2015A Day 30: Dr.* Vanessa P. Bailey

We got to open for a few hours tonight, when the winds were only 30 mph:

T.J. got some science done tonight in the brief burst of sub-35-mph winds we had from around sunset to 11pm.

[Update at the end of the night]: Winds eventually came back down, and we got another 4 or 5 hours of science done. Hurray!

So instead of talking about the wind, let’s talk about our latest PhD*:
Vanessa Bailey, first discover-er of a new planet using MagAO, has successfully defended her PhD dissertation today in Arizona! Here is HD 106906 b discovered by Vanessa using Clio:

Discovery image of HD 106906 b in the thermal infrared (4µm wavelength) from MagAO/Clio2, processed to remove the bright light from its host star, HD 106906 A. The planet is more than 20 times farther away from HD 106906 A than Neptune is from our Sun.

Since so many of her friends and colleagues around the world wanted to watch it, she and Amali Vaz set up remote streaming of the talk. Her dissertation is titled: “Adaptive Optics for Directly Imaging Planetary Systems”, and Jared and I woke up in the middle of the day to watch it:

Here are some screen grabs from Vanessa’s defense — Jared and I were watching from LCO and really enjoyed her excellent presentation. That’s her planet*, HD 106906 b, at bottom.

And here’s the video:

It looks like there was much rejoicing in Tucson:

Vanessa attended the graduation ceremony (top) because she figured there was a good chance her defense would go well today. It did, as you can tell by the face her advisor Phil is making (bottom, left).

Jared: That’s a lot of pictures of Vanessa, especially since she refuses to come on MagAO runs lately (even if she does help remotely).

Here’s the song of the day for Dr. Vanessa P. Bailey:


Note that Vanessa is the 2nd graduate of Brookings High School, South Dakota to earn a PhD from the University of Arizona Department of Astronomy using (in part) MagAO images of exoplanets. Article from the Brookings Register:

The 2 (so far) graduates of Brookings High School, South Dakota who have earned a PhD from the Unviersity of Arizona Department of Astronomy. Article by the Brookings Register.

*Pending submitting her revisions 🙂