MACRO at AAS #244

This past week, MACRO had a successful showcase at the 244th Meeting of the American Astronomical Society, highlighting the accomplishments of the consortium's collaborative efforts in the first 18 months of operation. A special session was held for MACRO, in which several integral members of the organization gave talks and answered audience questions about the operation and various projects at MACRO. 

Our first speaker, John Cannon, kicked off the talks with an overview of the capabilities of the Robert L. Mutel Telescope(RLMT) and a brief history of how the MACRO Consortium was founded. Following after, Walter Golay discussed the transition from the Gemini Telescope to the RLMT and his creation of Pyscope, the tool created and utilized by MACRO for the automatic scheduling and running of a robotic telescope. Our third speaker, William Peterson, spoke on the development of tools for spectroscopy. Dr. Peterson detailed how MACRO designed and created a compact grism and filter housing which allows for easy use in a remote-operated telescope.

Representative members of MACRO at an honorary dinner for Robert Mutel

James Wetzel took the stage fourth with a detailed report of the imaging capabilities of the RLMT and a brief overview of what's to come with MACRO's development. Philip Griffin, the fifth speaker in the special session, outlined in detail the future goals and next steps for improvement in the capabilities of the RLMT.

John Cannon(left), Nathalie Haurberg(center), and Anna Williams(right)

Our next speaker, Nathalie Haurberg, concluded the special session talks with a scientific highlight. Dr. Haurberg's talk showcased the diversity of research capable with the RLMT by highlighting a few student-led research projects conducted at MACRO institutions. These included projects of multi-wavelength astronomy, time-domain astronomy, photometric studies, and spectroscopic studies. Our final speaker, Anna Williams, explained how these tools are being used in the classroom to enrich the undergaduate curriculum. The special session ended with a Q&A section and an invitation for further discussion at the MACRO poster session.

Following the successful special session and poster session, the leaders at MACRO enjoyed dinner with the company of Robert Mutel while the undergraduate students bonded and went sight-seeing in Madison.

Congratulations to all members of the MACRO Consortium for your accomplishments!!

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Yerkes Observatory

Undergraduate researchers in front of the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile