GYRE 7.1 released Aug 31 2023, 15:09

Logo for the GYRE oscillation code

A few weeks ago, I released version 7.1 of the GYRE stellar oscillation code. This version adds support for turbulent viscous damping in convection zones, and is the second major release in 2023 (version 7.0 brought the ability to model tidally forced oscillations; see Sun, Townsend & Guo 2023 for details). It also fixes a bug in the evaluation of weight functions, which was reported in a recent research note (Townsend & Kawaler 2023).

Two Cultures, #1 Aug 31 2023, 14:46

Cartoon of two people engaging in dialog

In the USA, when the Queen song "We Will Rock You" is played on the radio, it is always followed by "We Are the Champions".

This never happens in the UK.

MSG 1.3 released Jul 31 2023, 15:15

Logo for the MSG software package

Earlier this month, I released version 1.3 of the MSG software package. MSG (short for Multidimensional Spectral Grids) synthesizes astrophysical spectra and photometric colors via interpolation in pre-calculated grids. Given a set of stellar atmospheric parameters (e.g., effective temperature, gravity and metallicity), MSG can calculate the specific intensity of the emergent radiation field as a function of wavelength and angle. It can also convolve these data with appropriate filters and response functions, to evaluate colors in a wide variety of photometric systems. A brief summary of the package can be found in Townsend (2023), and full documentation at the link above.

MESA-Web portal moves to UW Sep 7 2021, 20:55

Logo for the MESA stellar evolution code

After a number of years of successful operation, the MESA-Web portal created by Carl Fields & Frank Timmes at Arizona State University will be discontinued at the end of September.

However, the good news is that we've re-implemented the portal here at UW-Madison, and are ready to accept new calculation requests. As part of this re-implementation, we’ve beefed up the computational resources a bit, so that calculations run faster; and, a greater number of calculations can be run concurrently. If you’re planning on using MESA-Web for instruction in the fall, we recommend trying it out right away — there may be a few bugs lurking, and better to weed them out now than during classes!

First Flight for the Gentleman's Relish Oct 23 2020, 15:31

The Gentleman's Relish

Earlier this week I took the Gentleman's Relish out for its first flight. This is a quadcopter (drone) that I built from parts — some salvaged from my old DJI Phantom FC40, and others bought off Amazon. Functionally, the 'copter is similar to a DJI Flame Wheel F450, but with a number of custom tweaks. For one, it has a set of chunky engines (T-Motor Air2216), giving it sufficient lift-to-weight ratio to carry a decent camera and gimbal. Also, I've installed a Flytrex Core flight tracker gizmo, allowing telemetry to be recorded (see here for the first flight).

The 'copter name was inspired by the GPS received housing that I ended up using. The best solution I could find was an empty jar of Patum Pepperium — a delicious anchovy paste which styles itself as the gentleman's relish. In the picture above, you can see the jar as the squat white cylinder on the GPS mast!

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