An astronomer’s life: trips to the mountain tops
Many of today’s astronomers observe remotely from their desks, never setting foot inside an observatory dome. But not all. As part of the team that works with a spectrometer called Celeste, built at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Brigette Hesman has undertaken many exciting and entertaining trips to mountain tops to set up this instrument for observing the planets, stars, and the Sun. This talk will take you on a visual journey to the mountaintops of Mauna Kea and Kitt Peak and show you the behind-the-scenes details that go into installing an instrument on world-class observatories.
About Brigette Hesman
Brigette Hesman is a planetary scientist at the University of Maryland working at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. She studies the composition of the atmospheres of the giant planets. Brigette earned her PhD from the University of Saskatchewan in 2005 and started as a post-doctoral researcher at Goddard that same year. Since arriving at Goddard she has worked as part of the Composite Infrared Spectrometer team on the Cassini spacecraft orbiting Saturn. Her recent research has focused on using infrared spectra to investigate the effects of Saturn’s storm systems on the planet’s atmosphere. She is also part of a team that uses various ground-based telescopes to provide support observations for Cassini.