Emma Dahl

Hi, welcome to my personal webpage! I'm a Ph.D. candidate and NASA fellow at New Mexico State University interested in planetary science, observational astronomy, instrumentation, and mission planning. I'm currently working on a project focused on making optical observations with an acousto-optic tunable filter to support the Juno mission.

I got my B.A. in Physics/Astronomy from Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA in May 2015, under the mentorship of Andrea Dobson and Nathaniel Paust. While there I did a smattering of small projects, mostly concerning photometry, observational astronomy, and image processing. I completed an REU at Maria Mitchell Observatory on Nantucket Island, MA over the summer of 2014 where I worked with Peter Stetson on observing and identifying variable stars in open clusters.

At NMSU, I’m working with Nancy Chanover on ground-based optical observations in support of the spacecraft Juno’s microwave and IR measurements of Jupiter’s atmosphere. We want to know just how the deep atmosphere (which can be detected in the microwave and IR) affects the dynamics of the topmost cloud deck, which we can measure at a wide range of visible wavelengths at APO with our NMSU Acousto-optic Imaging Camera (NAIC). NAIC contains an acousto-optic tunable filter, which is basically a special kind of crystal you can “tune” to let specific wavelengths through by applying a standing sound wave to it, making it useful for taking detailed spectral and spatially-resolved data. We're currently using that data to model Jupiter's uppermost cloud deck and ellucidate its structure during the Juno era.

As of late 2018, I was awarded the NASA Minority University Research Experience Program (MUREP) Fellowship, which allows me to continue my work with JPL’s Glenn Orton as my external NASA advisor.

I also really enjoy outreach and teaching the public about astronomy, and I help organize the local Astronomy on Tap chapter.



Selected wavelengths from a NAIC hyperspectral image cube, taken in March 2017 during Juno's 5th perijove pass of Jupiter.


RBG images from NAIC data, left to right: Uranus, Neptune, and Jupiter (in Feb. 2017 during Perijove 4).
(Jupiter's image isn't corrected for rotation over the course of the image cube)


Contact Info
Email: dahlek@nmsu.edu
Office phone: (575) 646-4834

Links
A very complete version of my CV (as of Jan 2020)
Slides from my talk at the 2020 Virtual LPSC Young Career Networking event
My GitHub page, where you can find my NAIC data reduction pipeline and NEMESIS python scripts.
My Twitter account

Lab Info
Information about Astro 105 Lab
Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) lives here.
Handy-dandy clear sky chart for the Las Cruces area is here.
SpaceWeather.com, with daily updates of what the sun is up to exists here.


The galactic center, me, and light pollution from Phoenix at Kitt Peak National Observatory, June 2015