Posts with the Tag Puzzler:

  • GAVO at the AG-Tagung in Berlin

    A booth with a large screen, quite a bit of papers, a roll-up, all behind a glass wall with a sign UNI_VERSUM TUB Exhibition Space.

    It's time again for the annual meeting of the German astronomical society, the Astronomische Gesellschaft. Since we have been reaching out to the community at these meetings there since 2007, there is even a tag for our contributions there on this blog: AG-Tagung.

    Due to fire codes, our traditional booth would almost have ended up in a remote location on the third floor of TU Berlin's main building, and I had already printed desperate pleas to come and try find us. But in a last minute stunt, the local organisers housed us in an almost perfect place (thanks!): we're sitting right near the entrance, where we can rope in passers-by and then convince them they're missing out if they're not “doing VO”.

    One opportunity for them to realise how they're missing out is our puzzler, this year about a lonely O star:

    An overexposed star in a PanSTARRS field with an arrow plotted over it.

    Since this star must have formed very (by astronomical standards) recently, it should still be in its nursery, something like a nebula – but it clearly is not. It's a runaway. But from what?

    Contrary to last year, we will not accept remote entries, sorry – but you're welcome to still try your hand even if you are not in Berlin. Also, if you like the format, there's quite a few puzzlers from previous years to play with.

    I have just (11:30) revealed the first hint towards our sample solution:

    We recommend solving this puzzler using Aladin. There, you can look for services serving, e.g., the Gaia DR3 data in the little “select” box in in the lower left corner. Shameless plug: Try dr3lite.

    If you are on-site: drop by our booth. If not: we will post updates – in particular on the puzzler – here.

    Followup (2023-09-13)

    At yesterday's afternoon coffee break, we gave the following additional hint:

    To plot proper motions for catalogue objects in Aladin, try the Create a filter… entry in the Catalog menu.

    And this morning, we added:

    If you found Gaia DR3, you can also find editions of the NGC catalog (shameless plug: openngc). These are small enough for a plain SELECT * FROM….

    Followup (2023-09-14)

    The last puzzler hint is:

    Aladin's dist tool comes in handy when you want to do quick measurements on the sky. If you are in Berlin, you still have until 16:00 today to hand in your solution.

    However, the puzzler should not prevent you from attending our splinter meeting on e-science and the Virtual Observatory, where I will give an overview over the state of ADQLs in arrays. Regular readers of this blog will remember my previous treatment of the topic, but this time the queries will be about time series.

    Followup (2023-09-14)

    Well, the prize is drawn. This time, it went to a team from Marburg:

    Two persons holding a large towel with an astronomical image printed on it, in the background a big screen with the Aladin VO client on it.

    As promised, here's our solution using Aladin. But one of the nice things about the VO is that you get to choose your tools. One participant using pyVO was kind enough to let us publish their solution using pyVO, too: Thanks to everyone who particpated!

  • We are at the AG-Tagung in Bremen

    The bottom part of a towel with a Hertzsprung-Russell diagram printed on it

    Our puzzler prize for this year (well, its lower part): The Hertzsprung-Russell diagram according to Gaia on a wonderfully soft towel.

    After two years of “virtual” meetings, this year the venerable “Herbsttagung der Astronomischen Gesellschaft”, the meeting of Germany's Astronomical Society, is back. Almost as before Corona, it is bringing astronomers together, this year in Bremen (previously on this blog: 2018 in Stuttgart).

    Bowing to the “German“ in GAVO, this is an opportunity for us to connect to the (or, rather, our) community, both with a splinter meeting and with our traditional booth, at which you can pick up various edifying printed matter, a laminated ADQL reference card, and lots of VO wisdom (i.e., chat with our friendly booth staff).

    And you can solve our puzzler, a little problem that has an elegant VO-based solution (previous puzzlers). As is tradition, solving the puzzler will not only give you intellectual satisfaction and perhaps even insights into the VO, it will also give you a chance to win an item that is heavenly fluffy. The article photo shows this year's puzzler prize, and if this piques your desire, absolutely feel free to hand in solutions even if you are not in Bremen[1].

    Update 2022-09-15: This year's prize went to Bonn. So, there's no point to hand in solutions any more – rather, have a look at how we thought the problem should be approached.

    [1]We've had an actual award (the AG-RAS Carolin Herschel medal) being handed out virtually yesterday, so in case we really draw a remote entry, I am very confident that we can work something out for handing over the prize.
  • GAVO at AG-Tagung Stuttgart

    towel with astro photo

    Our puzzler prize this year: a Photo of the seahorse in the LMC, taken during Hubble's 100000th orbit around the earth, on a fluffy towel.

    It's time again for the meeting of the Astronomische Gesellschaft (as 2017 in Göttingen; last year we had the IAU general assembly instead). We're there with a booth (right next to the exhibition on 100 years of IAU) and a splinter meeting, at which I'll have a sales pitch for cross-server uploads.

    And, of course, there's a puzzler again: you could win a beautiful towel if you solve a little VO-related problem. This year's puzzler is about where in the sky you'll see “nebulae” (in the classic sense defined by NGC) batched together most closely. If you've been following this blog for a while, it shouldn't be too hard, but to participate you'd have to find someone in Stuttgart to hand in your solution.

    If you are in Stuttgart: As usual, we'll be giving hints during the coffee breaks on Tuesday and Wednesday. So, be sure to visit our booth.

  • GAVO at AG-Tagung 2017, Göttingen

    Photo of our booth

    For the 11th time, GAVO has a booth at a meeting of the venerable Astronomische Gesellschaft (AG). This year, we are in Göttingen, again offering advice to users and data providers at our booth (if you're looking for us: We're close to the entrance of Hörsaal 5).

    And again we have a Puzzler, a little problem easily solved if you know your VO tech – and if you don't we'll gladly help you at our booth. We are also giving hints there, one being released at each coffee break on Tuesday and Wednesday (there are little posters with them, too, if you miss one). Of course, if you're not in Göttingen, you're still welcome to try your hand. You won't get to win our great first prize then, the big Crab Nebula towel (it should be easy to spot on the image above).

    If, on the other hand, you are in Göttingen, be sure to drop by our splinter meeting. Yours truly, for instance, will speak about EPN-TAP (remember And the Solar System, too right here? That's what this is about).

    Update 2017-09-20, 17:00 We've just given out the last hint for the puzzler, and so we can publish them all over on the puzzler archive: Hints for the 2017 puzzler. If you're in Göttingen, you still have until tomorrow 16:00 to hand in a solution and perhaps win our nice and fuzzy Crab Nebula towel.

    Update 2017-09-21, 17:00 And the winner is... again not from Marburg, which is beginning to become a running gag, and they've been unlucky for the last three years in a row. Anyway, here's our proposed solution.

    Our prize towel

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