The Brites-Constellation Project: Entering a New Era of Nanosatellite Astrophysics ... or ... Why I'm heading to the Great White (French) North

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Date/Time:Friday, 05 Apr 2013 from 4:10 pm to 5:00 pm
Location:Room 3
Contact:Massimo Marengo
Phone:515-294-2958
Channel:Astronomy
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Talk by Herbert Pablo, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Iowa State University

The Brites-Constellation project is a network of six nanosatellites of which the first two launched successfully earlier this year on February 25th. These satellites are designed to take high precision differential photometry of the brightest stars in the sky (V < 4.0) . While the number of targets is small (~600), over half these stars are O and B stars which are extremely difficult to observe in general as they will saturate the detectors of similar space missions. In addition, though small in stature these satellites offer several distinct advantages over larger current missions including the ability to do multicolor photometry. This talk will be an introduction to this unique astronomical mission and hopefully into a new era of nanosatellite astrophysics. I will also elaborate on my individual plans as the newest member to the Brites team.