ir spectrum

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12/10/16 As I’m trying to post something everyday here’s a glance at what my first day in labs consisted of. Left: my friend found mysterious crystals forming in her glassware after she completed a reaction so she ran an IR to see if it was anything interesting. Right: my (already) messy lab book where I wrote down the names of all the surfactants I’ll be studying for the next few months.

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Why Hubble will never see the first stars

“And so while Hubble may never see the first stars, it’s brought us closer than we’ve ever been before. When the next generation of space telescope comes online, it’s a certainty that we’ll see farther back that humanity ever has in the Universe’s history of forming stars. And if we get lucky, we might make it all the way back to the very first ones.”

The Hubble Space Telescope is an amazing piece of equipment, and has seen more distant stars and galaxies than any telescope before or since. Earlier this year, it broke its own cosmic distance record by discovering a galaxy at a redshift of 11, back when the Universe was just 400 million years old. Yet the first stars should go back even farther, and Hubble will never see them. Thanks to a combination of the fact that the Universe is not yet ionized and therefore transparent to light, and also that Hubble can only peer a little bit into the near-IR part of the spectrum, stars/galaxies at redshifts of 20, 30 or even 50 will never be seen by a Hubble-like telescope. But James Webb has a chance, and even if it fails, it will surely get us closer to the “first stars” than Hubble ever has.

It’s an amazing time to be alive, and if you weren’t yet excited about the 2018 launch of JWST, it’s time to get your motor running!

excuse the potato quality… but i’m thinking of calling this toluene, but i wanted some opinions first :). fractional distillation lab, unknown mixture of 2 liquids. first fraction DEFINITELY ethanol. this one boiled off at 104 degrees celsius, so i was thinking propanol at first but this is definitely not an ir spec for propanol lol. i don’t think we did a wonderful job with the last fraction, i think we boiled too quickly, but that’s okay per my instructor, as long as we know what we should do in the future to make the experiment more successful.