Final Weblog Report

Detecting Exoplanets

This year I worked on two projects that were similar. In the first semester, I was trying to find exoplanets by detecting periodic variations of transiting binary star systems. Unfortunately, I was able to get follow through the procedure quickly enough to arrange observations before the targets moved out of the night sky. I hope to continue this project sometime later this year.

For the second semester, I was able to pick up a project working with CoRoT to confirm exoplanet detections. I am currently still in the process of analyzing the observations. I wasn't able to completely finish the project due to another task that required my work. With the efforts being made to stop the construction of TMT, I decided to start a petition in support of the telescope. I never imagined that it would receive so much attention! I spent most of the last month of the quarter corresponding with people, answering interviews, keeping up with the media coverage, etc. My family and I flew to Oahu so that I could testify in support of TMT at the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. My involvement also led me to be very well introduced to the astronomy community and I was very happy to have the opportunity to tour CFH, meet astronomers to talk story with them, and tour the Keck Telescopes. This summer, I will be spending two month in an internship with Dr. Asantha Cooray at UC Irvine.

I talked a bit with Savannah about my project this year because she expressed an interest in continuing a project in the astronomy field. The biggest challenge I see is finding the means of receiving the background information necessary to conduct an independent astronomy project. Hopefully, HPA students will have the opportunity to do so or will be able to attend summer camps/classes that enable them to conduct their own astronomy project.


Weblog 33.2

Today I spent the class time preparing for an interview about Mauna Kea and TMT that I have later in the day with a journalist from the San Diego Union-Tribune. These are some of the questions I will be answering:

"Do you have a sense on how Native Hawaiians are split on this? Do most seem against construction or for? What about non-Native Hawaiians?

Are there any compromises that are being discussed, formally or informally that would allow the TMT but would give protesters concessions to some of what they are asking for?

If there aren’t any being discussed, is there a compromise you can imagine?

Do you feel the site has been disrespected in the past in the way telescopes were constructed?

What context do Hawaiian cultural and astronomical heritage mean to you in this controversy?

Are there talks going on between stakeholders now? Do you know anything about those?"

I also began working on my Quarter 4 video and my Final Weblog Report (I will be posting it later this evening or tomorrow).


Weblog 33.1

I spent today's class time studying for the AP Physics C exam.


Weblog 32.2, 32.3

I was not at school. I was at states for tennis on Oahu.


Weblog 32.1

Today I talked with Dr. Bill to give him an update on my OHA testimony.

I also spent the time studying for my AP Physics C exam.


Week 31 Summary

Lately I haven't been able to work very much on my astronomy project (and barely even school work) because of all the activity I've become involved in with TMT. I presented my petition to the Governor's Office. Governor Ige wasn't there because his flight from DC had been delayed so I presented it to Mr. McCarthy (the chief of staff). I may be meeting with the Governor next week when I'm on Oahu for tennis states. Then, I attended the OHA Board of Trustees Meeting and testified for TMT.

It seems (and I'm really hoping) that activity with TMT will die down for a while so that I can focus on school, AP exams, work on my astronomy project, and tennis.


Weblog 31.3

(May 1)

Today, I spent the class period replying to emails from various people in the TMT Support Group. They emailed me to thank me for testifying and supporting in favor of the telescope to OHA. In 2009, OHA decided to support the telescope, but now they were meeting to reconsider this. The ending outcome was the OHA has rescinded their support. This doesn't mean that they oppose the telescope, but it means more that they have a neutral stance on the situation. It seems that this really was the only action they could take and no one is really happy about it. The supporters were really hoping that OHA would remain firm in their support, but realistically, we knew that if they were to do this, it would actually put their personal lives in danger from the protestors. Every opposing testimony was demanding for the return of Hawaiian sovereignty (which would mean over throwing Hawaii's current government and even the US's position here).


Weblog 31.2

(April 29)

Today I spent time looking through the pictures I took of the Keck Telescopes while I was touring yesterday.
Download file "GOPR6435.JPG"
Download file "GOPR6443.JPG"
Download file "GOPR6449.JPG"
Download file "GOPR6455.JPG"
Download file "GOPR6460.JPG"

Then I spent the time writing my testimony that I will be presenting to the OHA Board of Trustees tomorrow (Thursday).

Download file "OHA Testimony.docx"


Weblog 31.1

(April 27)

Today I wrote answers for questions was interviewed by my friend who attends University of Oregon about the TMT Project and my perspective of it. She writes articles for an environmental publication and it was focused on the environmental aspects.


Week 30 Summary

This week I have been continuing my work on my TMT support petition. I've been answering many questions for interviewers, classmates that are working on schoolwork related to the issue, and also just working to inform people the supportive side of the telescope and why it's beneficial.

I've received a lot of contact from many people in the astronomy community and it has been really wonderful. One of the main purposes for my transfer to HPA and participation in HSR has been to become more involved in the astronomy community. Mission accomplished. I will be touring the Keck telescopes on Monday with Dr. Rich, from UCLA.

My goal for this upcoming week is to arrange a time to meet with Savannah to discuss her interest in continuing a project similar to mine during her senior year.


Weblog 30.2

Today I went to the CFH Headquarters for a tour. Dr. Moutou showed me around the headquarters and gave me insight to the careers that people working for CFH have. There is a great variety of types of jobs for the telescope from research positions, operation jobs, engineering, and software management. I met a few of the workers and had conversations with them about many things from TMT, to HPA, college, etc. Touring CFH was helpful for me to gain first-hand insight from the astronomy side of this TMT situation and was also encouragement for me to continue my work of supporting TMT. Dr. Moutou also gave me a lot of insight to the career path of being an astronomer. She answered a lot of my questions about getting a Ph. D and what it entails.

Tonight, I will be sitting in on an observation at Keck Headquarters with Dr. Lyke


Weblog 30.1

Today, I spent the class period answering questions from a former classmate of mine at Kamehameha Schools Kapālama. She will be sharing my mana'o (thoughts) to her global studies class. I also replied to emails from Dr. Kerr, from the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope (UKIRT), who has invited me to tour the telescope on the summit. I have also been invited by Dr. Lyke, from Keck, to attend an observation this Wednesday evening at the Keck Headquarters. I was also invited by Mrs. Laychak to tour the CFH Headquarters and the telescope. I will be visiting CFH Headquarters on Wednesday during ISR B period. I haven't set dates for my telescope tours yet because I'd like to wait until the end of tennis season.


Week 29 Summary

This week has been very hectic. The activity surrounding my petition has escalated very quickly in a very short amount of time. As of right now, the petition has 3,200+ signatures. Unfortunately, a lot of the media coverage about my petition has started to become a bit personal about my life. I would like all the attention to remain on my petition and the intentions that I hope my petition will achieve.


Weblog 29.3

(April 17)

Today I was video-interviewed by Lynn Beittel (Abe's mom). I answered another series of similar questions to those on Wednesday. She also took video of me working on my ISR project (I had to demonstrate using other data because of the confidentiality with CoRoT) and while I played tennis. I was quite nervous and it took many shots for me to clearly answer the questions.


Weblog 29.2

(April 15)

Today I was interviewed via telephone by Tom Callis from the Hawaii Tribune-Herald and Jennifer Kelleher from the Honolulu Star Advertiser. Both interviewers asked me similar questions such as why I started the petition, how it feels to be a Native Hawaiian that supports the project, about receiving negativity from the TMT opposers, and my goals for the petition. The petition reached 1,000+ signatures today.


Weblog 29.1

(April 13)

Today I worked on locating comparison stars that have a peak value that is between 10,000 and 30,000. I also had to ensure that these stars are a variable type by researching about them in SIMBAD. At the moment, I cannot publish the coordinates or the names of the comparison stars due to confidentiality reasons with the CoRoT project.

On another note: I have started a petition to support the TMT project


Week 28 Summary

I used this week to examine the observations that I received from JD (Maui IfA). I also had to email him inquiring about two stars that are very close to the target coordinates that I was given. JD replied to me and told me to graph the light curve for both stars. In order to do so, I will have to use very small apertures in the light curve function. I will also have to use the same comparison stars for both functions. Now, I have twice the amount of work to complete for this observation. There are 10 folders that I will have to process twice each.

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Weblog 28.3

Today I spent the class time helping Mr. Bleckel set up the CCS camera and programing for our astronomy class to use on the telescopes. The class will be doing a lab to detect exoplanets using the telescopes we have here and the transit method. Unfortunately, the camera's programing is only for PCs, so Mr. Bleckel and I are searching for an alternative. I showed him the photometry programming that I use, AstroImageJ.


Weblog 28.2

Today I emailed JD because there are two stars extremely close to the given coordinates of the target:
Download file "Screen Shot 2015-04-08 at 10.43.13 AM.png"

I was given a gif that shows the target:
Download file "gif.gif"

I was also given the info that the star is a rapidly rotating F type star. I asked JD how I can discern between the two stars which one is the target.


Weblog 28.1

Today I spent the period working with Mr. Bleckel. I spent the time trying to locate comparison stars on the image sequence and showing him the SIMBAD data base. Astronomers from Keck will be coming to speak to my astronomy class on Wednesday (tentatively). Unfortunately, I may not be there because of a tennis match that afternoon.

Later this week, I need to talk to Savannah about my projects and hear her interest in taking up an astrophysics project next year.