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Showing posts from March, 2014

Breaking my audio jack (and finding a software solution)

Almost an year ago, i broke the audio jack on my dell inspiron laptop. I was too lazy to get it repaired, which actually worked out for the better. I wasn't able to watch movies or tv shows on my laptop for almost an year so i ended up either reading up (articles on) the internet or working. And ubuntu was the sole OS on my system (as this problem has an apparently easy fix on windows). Until i found this solution on askubuntuto the problem early feb. Granted, i wasn't looking for a solution before and i should've just continued using my phone for songs. I shouldn't have. It's a software hack to use the mic port as an audio out jack. As simple as that.

The HDA-Analyzertool is a GUI for audio control and the script one downloads (after running the wget command) is a dummy to download the full set of codes. Mind you, having a proxy wall will prevent the program from downloading the rest of the necessary codes.Actually, it'll even prevent you from downloading the …

Pulsar Observatory for Students, ORT, July '13 - An overview of the project work

As i mentioned in a previous post, student projects as part of POS was to observe a pulsar & a calibrator using the ORT and infer properties of the pulsar such as period of the pulsar, flux density and dispersion measure (and therefore distance to the pulsar). We were given a list of pulsars (refer to the post aforementioned) & corresponding calibrators and asked to choose one pair.

                     To be noted here that a calibrator for a pulsar cannot be more than +/- 5 degrees away from the pulsar as the atmospheric response is different at different angles. And we need the pulsar & the calibrator to have the same atmospheric response (DUH!).

Choosing a pulsar was the first problem. I looked up properties (period, profile width and strength) of each of the pulsars from ATNFand NED and chose a pulsar which i felt was interesting (slide 3). ORT observes at 326.5 MHz and the next step was to estimate the strength of the pulsar at the ORT observing frequency (slide 8).

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ARIES Training School on Observational Astronomy, Mar '13 - An overview of the project work

I feel that the slides are pretty self-explanatory as to the theory behind the work, reduction of data (using iraf in this case) and the eventual analysis to understand -
ISM dust properties,direction of local magnetic field & probable cluster members. Note : On slide 18 in the b/w image on the right with numbers denoted over stars, each pair of numbers i.e (1,2), (9,10) are twin images of the same star generated by the polarimeter on the CCD. This b/w image is the processed data, which is now run through the apphot package in iraf to perform photometry. The graph on the left is plotted using flux (in random units) on the y-axis against size of the aperture (in pixels) used to calculate flux on the x-axis. Excuse me for not labelling the plot. Each curve corresponds to one star and the 2 y data points for each x denote the flux of the two different polarizations.

Winter School in Astronomy, IIST, Dec '13 - An overview

Note : The words introduced, discussed and commented appear a lot, A LOT, in the following post. I couldn't come up with a better way to concisely write about what we (i) was taught during the school. I've tried (been trying for over an year) to write a detailed report of the the topics discussed by each of the professors but i thought this would atleast get the wheels in motion.

6 Professors from the Earth and Space Sciences department of IIST, Trivandrum conducted the winter school. It was a 2 week school, theory sessions in the morning and lab sessions in the evening. The school was primarily oriented towards giving a theoretical overview of (interesting) astrophysics, the lab sessions were just an added bonus to screw around with linux machines and a chance for the (participant) unix nerds to show off their comfortness with the terminal.

The school started off with Prof. Anandamayee talking about (an adapted version of) the scale of the universe, giving interesting anecdot…