Friday, July 29, 2011

July 28th

Hello All! Today Matt and I finally located a way to measure solar auroras (with some help from Dr. D. of course). We now can look at any date and see if there was a spike in activity on earth. This should help us because now we can track CMEs and see if they reach Earth. We still have to research some more on this topic, but things are moving along quite nicely.

Halle, SC

Thursday, July 28, 2011

July 27th

Hello all! I was quite an interesting day today. One fun thing that we did was go to the Wednesday movie. It was all about making your presentations zen. It was actually very interesting and should be helpful for our presentations. Here some of the interns are gathered awaiting the presentation.

Later on in the day, Prati and Liz needed Elaine and I to be in an experiment. This was pretty fun, and we got to visit the Visual Perception lab in the process.

Overall, it was quite a successful day. As far as our research goes, we worked on finding images of solar auroras, which we will continue tomorrow.

Halle, SC

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

July 26th

Today we were quite productive. We completed a graph, which made us quite happy! Here are some videos to prove it!

Halle, SC

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

July 25th

So today was quite entertaining, seeing as we got to go on our first field trip! We went to Rochester Precision Optics and toured their manufacturing center. Afterwords, we all went to Pizza Hut. It was a fun way to start off the day, and we learned a lot of about optics in the process. I also had this interesting idea of taking videos, so here are a few of them. Although I didn't realize my phone cuts it off after 54 seconds so both are a little shorter than intended.

This first one is of us on the bus on our way back to campus from RPO.

And here you get a nice mini tour of the space weather lab!

Hope you enjoyed this fun, new approach I'm taking!

Halle, SC

Monday, July 25, 2011

July 22nd

Today is Friday! Matt and I continued on with our research. We found more satellites surrounding the sun, and looked at what quadrants the CMEs were in. We then composed a data chart of this, and will be doing further investigating on Monday. We also had our cookout today, which was very fun! The only negative is that it was extremely hot out. But we still managed to have a good time!

We played a large game of frisbee as well with all the interns, which was very fun in 100 degree heat with the sun right over our heads :]

Halle, SC

Thursday, July 21, 2011

July 21st

I got in early today to get work done, which felt very productive. Then we worked on some research, which went pretty well. We located two more satellites that surround the sun, and are now using the three satellites to track more CMEs. The other satellites help omplete the full picture, so it's allowing us to predict space weather for Mars. We're still working with this concept, but thet's basically what we're up to. I'm headed out shortly because I've been tracking my hours and I'm about to go over! So time to rush up to clock out.

Halle, SC

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

July 20th

Today we completed our graph with the trend line and everything! It was great to get it completed, although this only meant we got assigned another task. Yay? It seems a bit confusing, but I'm sure with time we shall figure it out, just like we did with this past one. Sorry this is short, but I am on my way out. Overall, we accomplished quite a bit today and I am quite pleased!

Halle, SC

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

July 19th

Hello! Today was very productive in the Space Weather research. We narrowed down our data points, and although we have few, there is definitely a correlation between the predicted times/speeds and the actual times/speeds. It was nice to see that on a graph because we have been working with this data for a bit now, and up until today we were constantly hitting roadblocks. We still have to find more data to confirm our theory, but at least it is a step in the right direction. So by mid-afternoon, we were back to finding more data. After finding a few more, I'm about ready to call it quits for the day. You can only look at so many pictures of CME's and electron graphs until you start to go a little crazy!

So yes, today was good! We also had a morning breakfast, which was fun! Hopefully we'll do that every week! I got here early today, but didn't clock in until 10 because I had to run over to the engineering building and help with a WE@RIT camp for my robotics team (The IgKNIGHTers). Although it obviously isn't work related, it was kinda fun to see the other cool things that are going on here at RIT. I also had to go over to Public Safety to discuss a minor parking violation with them. So I guess you can say I'm getting more and more acquainted with the campus and the people here.

Halle, SC

Monday, July 18, 2011

July 18th

I'm getting ready to leave so excuse the shortness of this blog. Today was a good day. We had some calculation issues soooo that wasn't too fun. We're going back and checking through data points. It takes longer than expected because for each point you have to go back through the images, the electron charts, and then recalculate from there. And plus Matt and I are trying to be extremely precise. Hopefully we should have everything cleared up by midday tomorrow.

Halle, SC

Friday, July 15, 2011

July 15th

Today wasn't what I would necessarily classify as exciting, but nonetheless, things were accomplished. In the morning, we discovered that the data I had given Matt wasn't exactly fitting for what he was hoping to accomplish. Because of this, we had to take a different approach. So once afternoon rolled around, all we had to do is add another column to our data chart. Sadly, there are 100 rows in the chart so this would involve quite a bit of work. Frustrated and confused, we called on Dr. D. for some assistance. So he came down to the lab and gave us some guidance, which made our task a lot more manageable. Instead of doing all 100 points, he helped us narrow down what was to be recalculated, which made the task much more feasible. We got started on it today, and  this will hopefully be completed on Monday. We shall see.

There wasn't anything eventful today, although we did find a new lunch location. Instead of sitting at Global Village, we decided to sit beneath the trees in the shade, which was a nice switch. Only half of the group joined us, however, because the guys insisted they needed to sit at tables. But hey, we still had a good time.

So it's currently Friday afternoon and I'm hitting the 4 o'clock slump. I've been looking at the same graphs for hours so I may go check out some other labs when I'm done blogging. Have a good weekend everyone!

Halle, SC

Thursday, July 14, 2011

July 14th

Hello again! Today was another great day! I finished finding all 100 data points, which was quite the feat. I then was able to form the graph I needed and pass all that information onto Matt. He is then going to take my velocities and times and plug them into an equation that will allow him to find some constant. This constant is very important, but to be totally honest I forgot why...good thing that's his project, not mine! But I'm very pleased with today because ever since Monday, I've been focusing on these velocities, and it feels good to finally finish something. Well, finish part of something, because I am obviously far from done.

Another fun thing about today was our cookout. We got to experience some intern bonding in front of the Carlson building. With a grill and some lawn games, anything can happen! It was nice to take a little break, especially on such a nice day. Also, the Blue Angels were practicing above us the whole time. Although I suppose it was a bit loud, it definitely was an experience. I think everyone had a great time, and I can't wait to make this a weekly tradition!

Like every other event so far, I made sure to document it:

After lunch, I had some free time, so I got to go up and visit Kelsey in her lab. First of all, her lab has the best chairs. Second, and of course more importantly, her research is quite cool. She explained the "ghetto PTM" to me, which was quite interesting. And I got the chance to look at some of her cool equipment in her awesome lab, which, I must say, is a bit more colorful than our basement lab.

So, in conclusion, it was a successful Thursday. Almost the weekend!

Halle, SC

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

July 13th

Today was a good day. As far as my project goes, I got quite a bit accomplished. I am now taking the different velocities I have found and graphing them versus the time it takes the CMEs to reach earth. I already had about 10 data points, but Dr. D. informed me that I need at least 100. Greeeeeeat. At least it will keep me busy for a while, and looking at the images of the CMEs is quite interesting. In case any of this doesn't make sense, maybe looking at our chalk board will clear things up...

No? It doesn't? I mean the diagrams make the concept look so easy! (Sarcasm). But no, it isn't that bad, and I'm really enjoying space weather so far!

Today was also exciting because Kelsey, Evelyn, and I took a trip to the RIT library! I hadn't been there before, so it was a fun, new experience. First, we discovered the very small elevator. Although rather scary, we found it entertaining. As you can see below, Kelsey was having a good time.

And then came my favorite part of the library. I found an entire encyclopedia collection on Physics. For some reason this made me extremely happy. I might be taking a few more visits to this library this summer...and by might I mean I most definitely will be.

One last fun thing happened today. We discovered that if you go watch fun scientific movies at noon on Wednesdays, you get free pizza and soda. To be honest, I went solely for the free food, but the lectures by Jeff Hawkins on The Genesis of Palm Computing were actually really interesting and educational. I'm thinking about making theseWednesday movies a pattern.

So, in conclusion, today was great :]

Halle, SC

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

July 12th

Today was quite productive. First, Matt and I trekked all the way to the other side of campus to find Public Safety so I could get my parking pass. This took us about an hour, seeing as neither of us knew where we were going. But at least now we know! Once we returned to the lab, we returned to our research. Things went well for a while, but we hit a road block by early afternoon. Unfortunately, Dr. D. was in a meeting, so we couldn't progress much farther. I was able to find the initial velocities for over ten CME's, but I couldn't figure out how to use their total energy to figure out their velocities once they reach earth. Oh well, tomorrow's another day. There's not much else we can do, so I guess I'll find a few more velocities and then visit some other people's labs. And blog of course!

So one fun thing I've decided to do is make this a picture blog, too. A picture is worth a thousand words, right? Let's's us eating at lunch

 And this is the notebook Dr. D. gave me to use. You could say I'm pretty proud of my research so far :]

Halle, SC

Images of the Day!

I thought I would upload some images I'm working with to make my task more clear to my numerous viewers. That's sarcasm, I know my demographic is quite small. Anyway, the first image is of a CME coming off the sun. The CME itself it what I have to measure to determine velocity. I have to look at several images over an elapsed time to figure that out. The bottom image is a chart measuring electron energy. I can use these values to determine the velocity of the CME once it reaches earth. 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Working Hard :]

First Day!

Today was my very first day at RIT as an intern! Everyone else started last Wednesday, so I suppose I am the late comer. Everyone is so kind and welcoming, so I am settling in just fine. As the title of my blog suggests, I am working with space weather. Dr. D. gave me a basic intro of what I will be doing, and to be completely honest, it went a little over my head. After getting started with the data, however, things become much more clear. I will try to give a basic summary of what I will be doing for a little while. I am currently looking at a camera that captures images of coronal mass ejections. I am then comparing the dates and times of the images taken to a chart the measures the energy of x-rays, protons, and electrons. I then compare these energies to see if the CME reached earth. It sounds complicated but it really isn't too bad once you get it figured out, or once you ask Dr. D. a thousand questions. Once I know if it reaches earth, I use basic physics to determine the velocity of the CME. By comparing velocities, I can then figure out the drag on the CME. So I'm assuming this task will take me a bit, but we shall see.

There's one other space weather intern, whose name is Matt. Basically he's doing the theory of things and I'm doing the experimental side. He seems pretty cool, and I'm not just saying that because he's standing over my shoulder. We both share a lovely lab in the basement of the building which lacks windows and natural sunlight. Yay for fluorescent lights! But in all seriousness, our lab is quite nice and we're haing a great time!

Now, time to get back to work and to continue learning about my task!

Halle, SC