Thursday, October 21, 2010

BAL quasars

Bit more research chatting with OSU grad students.

Skype conversation with my grad student Laura Chajet, about fitting absorption troughs.

Worked on two new cases of BAL variability from SDSS-III, including adapting existing software to more easily deal with SDSS-III spectra. Time spent writing code now will pay off in not having to repeat the same processing steps in the future (obvious, yes; but when I'm teaching I find I opt for the what's-quickest-now approach instead of what's-best-in-the-long-run).

Investigated whether a list of BALs bright enough for MDM spectroscopy have pre-existing X-ray observations. Some do, making them good targets for spectroscopic monitoring (and a 2nd epoch of X-ray data if their troughs are seen to vary).


  1. regarding X-ray monitoring

    if the BAL troughs are seen to vary that doesn't necessarily mean that the X-ray absorbing column would vary does it? you mentioned that the 2nd epoch of X-ray data would be good if their troughs are seen to vary..

    though variability in UV does point towards something interesting happening, and the more wavelength coverage you have the better i suppose

  2. Yes, the UV and X-ray variability can be disjoint. But you can only know if the X-ray absorbing column varied if you have a "before" data point. So that's why we want targets with existing X-ray data.