I am an Assistant Astronomer at Steward Observatory in the infrared group, working on the MIPS team, and on optical and infrared observed programs from the ground and with the Hubble and Herschel satellites. MIPS was the far-infrared instrument on the Spitzer satellite. Prior to moving to Arizona, I was at Maryland working on the Maryland-Magellan Tunable Filter (MMTF) with Prof. Sylvain Veilleux.
I am PI of the AGHAST infrared grism spectroscopic survey, a survey of the GOODS-N field using an infrared grism in HST's WFC3-IR. I have been heavily involved in the CANDELS HST survey, a multi-cycle Treasury program using HST's WFC3-IR to do imaging (and a little spectroscopy) of five deep fields to study distant galaxies: our goals include obtaining deep infrared images to detect high-z galaxies, measuring galaxy masses, restframe optical sizes, colors, and morphologies, and discovering distant supernovae.
I returned to the North American tectonic plate in 2004
after several years on the Pacific plate:
I was a postdoc with the
at UCO/Lick Observatory
at the University of California, Santa Cruz and a Carnegie Fellow
at the Carnegie Observatories.
I studied for a PhD in physics
Rutgers University, alma mater of
More tedious biographical details.
Velocity field of NGC 1365, obtained with the Rutgers Fabry-Perot, CTIO 1.5-m telescope; analyzed in Zanmar Sanchez, Sellwood, Weiner, & Williams (2008) ApJ, 694, 797.
This is a brief tutorial essay intended to go over some simple optics governing instrumentation for astronomical telescopes, including simplified reimaging cameras and spectrographs. The original motivation for this essay was to provide a non-specialized answer to the question: "Why do instruments for large telescopes have to be large?"
The tutorial covers only basic, idealized material that astronomers should know but is paradoxically a bit too basic or astronomy-specific to learn from an optics text (no actual lens design, aberrations, and so on). It may be useful for people taking or teaching a class in observational techniques. You can read the essay in HTML form or follow the link within for a PDF to print.
-- Data tables for Template Spectra for Infrared-Luminous Galaxies from G.H. Rieke et al 2009, ApJ 692, 556.
-- Digital versions (FITS files) of the model gas density and velocity field in the Milky Way bar, from B.Weiner and J.Sellwood 1999, ApJ, 524, 112. This is old stuff but still useful when trying to interpret velocities and distances of objects in the inner Milky Way.
-- Machine readable tables for the DEEP1 redshift survey catalog (Weiner et al 2005) and the TKRS galaxy kinematics sample (Weiner et al 2006a) should be freely downloadable from either the ApJ web site or arXiv.org (use retrieve source option).
-- If there's an image, data table, simulation model, and so on from one of my papers or projects that you need in digital form, please email me. Even if it's old. I try to keep these things available for archival purposes.
Some possibly useful astronomical software that I've written. Includes a reduction pipeline for the Large Binocular Camera (LBC) on the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT). Also has some links to not-useful polemics.
NEW for 2012: On the useful software page I now have a PGPLOT for Mac OS X set of config files and installation instructions that will work on Mas OS X 10.6 and 64-bit machines, which has been a nuisance for a lot of people.
"Astronomical Software Wants to be Free," a white paper on the role of astronomical software and its authors submitted to the Astro 2010 Decadal Survey call for papers on the State of the Profession.
This area under construction/to be expanded:
Is there a proposal submission order effect? Does getting a low or high proposal number affect your chances of acceptance, for example due to TAC fatigue? For Spitzer proposals at least, the answer appears to be no, and we can prove it with SCIENCE.
The First Rule of Instrumentation:
No electrical problem is so mysterious that it cannot be explained by a bad connector.
A Programmer's Caution:
Version control isn't any help if all the versions stink.
Benjamin Weiner Steward Observatory University of Arizona 933 N. Cherry St. Tucson, AZ 85721 email: bjw -at- as.arizona.edu phone: 520-621-4119
Some older photographs.
The Four Steps to Project Completion:
P.S. Are you ready in the event of a national emergency?