Casca Day 1
Day 1 - Friday June 2
Today was the first full day of CASCA. All of the galaxy talks were today, so it was the main day for me, science-wise. After an exhorbitantly expensive breakfast at the hotel with my roommate,
(I've since found a Tim's) the day began with a talk on Alma by Chris Wilson. ALMA is the Atacama Large Millimeter Array, and it's going to be awesome when it comes online starting around 2009. It's going to be a great way to probe star formation in the early universe, and with it's high resolution, it should even be possible to see planets forming around other stars. Cool! Her talk made me want to go back into submillimeter astronomy, and possibly into the search for extrasolar planets.
After that, we entered the long string of 10-15 minute talks. Other highlights for me were:
We went for sushi for lunch, and I got a very artistic looking orange on my tray. It reminded me of some kind of devil bunny, so I had to take a picture:
Later, I gave my talk on Supermassive Black Holes and Dwarf Elliptical Nuclei. I was somewhat nervous, but it went better than my last conference talk, I thought. I had to adjust a little on the fly, since by the time I spoke in the mid-afternoon, some of the stuff in my introduction had been mentioned 2-3 times by other people. But all's well that ends well. After the afternoon session, they rolled out the bar during the poster session. They had special beer made for the conference so they were serving "Hubble Flows" to the thirsty crowd. Each of my supervisor's bought me a beer. Here's a picture of me and Bill:
In the evening, I attended the CASCA banquet. There was good food and the usual round of announcements. The Casca leadership changes at this meeting, and the retiring Former President (which is different than the current president retiring), Gretchen Harris, got a much deserved standing ovation of applause. After that, they introduced a First Nation's group. One gentleman played the drum and sang and told stories. The other, dressed in full traditional costume, performed a hoop dance. it was absolutely amazing, and I think at the peak, he was carrying and dancing with ~20 hoops. It was awesome. At the end, they got some people to come up and dance. I got some pictures.
Overall, it was a great first day!