HETDEX presents at the AAS 224 in New Orleans
January 21, 2024
We had a great time sharing some of the early science results from HETDEX at the American Astronomical Society’s 224th Annual Meeting held in New Orleans. A small team of HETDEX researchers joined the 3400 other attendees in one of the largest AAS meetings ever held!
At left, REU undergraduate Kristina Gatto from Sienna College explains how she uses machine learning to hunt for supermassive blackholes in HETDEX data by applying her method on a sample of detected sources with very broad line widths. High line widths are a signature of high velocity gas accreting onto the black hole. There are over 10K of these in HETDEX but finding the fainter systems is tricky as broad line emission in the detected sample can include a number of contaminants. Machine learning can help to separate the real galaxies from contaminants. Check out her poster here.
On the right here, Mahan Mirza Khanlari, an undergraduate at the University of Texas at Austin, provides a sneak peak into his exciting research on measuring hydrogen gas surrounding the environment of Lyman Alpha Emitters in this iPoster. Surprisingly his research demonstrates faint hydrogen gas absorption at distances of 10-5o kpc around the central Lyman Alpha Emitting galaxy detected in HETDEX. His work uses the power of stacking to boost the underlying signal by a factor of 1000. This faint absorption implies neutral hydrogen gas surrounds the ionizing bubble that is the main LAE signature. It also requires a background radiation source in the optical path meaning HETDEX is capable of detecting the UV background using the power of statistical analysis. Learn more about this science in the latest paper by HETDEX graduate student Laurel Weiss in this preprint.
Undergraduate Researcher Jose Saucedo considers HETDEX’s role in science education in his iPoster presented at the AAS. Jose is interested in the interplay between a student’s identity and citizen science and education, in particular those who do not speak English as a first language or those with a disability such as deaf/hard-of-hearing. Check out Jose’s interactive and accessible iPoster.