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Frontier Fields

Spotlight on Jennifer Mack, Research and Instrument Scientist

29 Jul 2015, 19:05 UTC
Spotlight on Jennifer Mack, Research and Instrument Scientist
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This occasional series focuses on members of the Frontier Fields team. It highlights the individuals, their jobs, and the paths they took to get to where they are today.
Jennifer Mack, a Hubble Research and Instrument Scientist, answers questions about her role on the Frontier Fields project.
What is your position?
My formal title is Research & Instrument Scientist in Hubble Space Telescope’s Instruments Division. I help manage the Frontier Fields data pipeline, which delivers the best possible calibrated data products to the astronomical community. I am also part of the WFC3 [Wide Field Camera 3] Instrument team where I work on calibration of the UVIS [ultraviolet and visible light] and IR [infrared light] detectors.
What is a “data pipeline” and what does it mean to “calibrate”?
A data pipeline is a set of software for processing and combining sets of images. It includes tools to correct for instrument artifacts, such as bad pixels, thermal signal from the detectors, and variations in sensitivity across the field of view. The goal of calibration is to tie the brightness of objects measured in Hubble’s cameras to some absolute system, based on measurements of stars of known brightness.
What does a typical ...

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