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Left to right: Michael Lesser, Jianwei Lyu, Tau Herculids meteor shower courtesy of Jianwei Lyu.

Summer News: An Award and an APOD

We recently learned that Dr Mike Lesser, Director of the Imaging Technology Laboratory of Steward Observatory, has won the 2022 Joesph Weber Award of the AAS. Dr Lesser is cited for “innovative and foundational work on methods of thinning, coating, and reading out large-format back-side illuminated CCD detectors. This work has led to significant improvements in performance, and the methods are used by virtually all CCD detectors in astronomical instruments working from optical through X-ray wavelengths.”

You can read more about the award HERE.

While observing at the Steward Bok Telescope on Kitt Peak, postdoc Jianwei Lyu took this composite photo of May 30th's Tau Herculids meteor shower. You can see the photo HERE. Jianwei provides a bit of a backstory: "This is the composite image from 22 single exposures with meteors from 9:00 pm to 11:30 pm (MST time) on May 30. There are 22 meteors in total, and 19 of them shall belong to Tau Herculids. The source of this shower is Comet 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3... The dome in the front is the Steward Observatory Bok 2.3 meter telescope and the one behind it is the 4-meter Mayall Telescope. The reddish color is the reflected light from my headlamp. These photos were taken in front of the dormitory for the Bok observer. I used a Sony A7S camera with ISO 10000 and an exposure time 13 seconds for each exposure. The camera lens is Rokinon 8mm fish-eye. I used GIMP to manually rotate and align all the images, and used one picture as the background, and masked out everything besides the meteors. Then some simple color-balance correction is applied. I am currently a postdoc in the JWST MIRI team at Steward Observatory, University of Arizona. I'm using Bok for my observing run (for quasar studies) and learned about this meteor shower just one day before the event. To make this picture possible, I had driven back and forth for 2+ hours from the Kitt Peak to Tucson to get a battery to power my dead camera controller."

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