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Tim Thompson
2008-Nov-15, 05:59 AM
Today, 14 November 2008, was the last day of my nearly 28 year career in the Science Division (http://science.jpl.nasa.gov/) at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/). I am now a Retired Gentleman. And I get to go out the door with some satisfaction of reasonable success. Back in 2004 I was one of the several co-authors on the paper First Look at the Fomalhaut Debris Disk with the Spitzer Space Telescope (http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2004ApJS..154..458S), Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series 154(1): 458-462, September 2004. Our enhanced resolution images (http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/Media/releases/ssc2003-06/ssc2003-06i.shtml) of the debris disk around Fomalhaut (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fomalhaut) revealed an asymmetry which had not been seen before, which we interpreted as evidence favoring a planet embedded in the disk. Today I was able to confirm that the planet Fomalhaut-b, imaged by the Hubble Space Telescope (http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2008/39/), is right where a planet needs to be, to satisfy the prediction we made 4 years ago. We were on the money, it's our planet!

Torsten
2008-Nov-15, 07:10 AM
Wow Tim, what a satisfying last day on the job.

I've always enjoyed your posts, liberally sprinkled with informative links, and your highly readable writing style. I trust that won't end any time soon.

I also enjoyed your posts (many years ago, now) at the 24/7 barroom brawl that was CARM. They were always a breath of fresh air.

Cheers.

PraedSt
2008-Nov-15, 08:21 AM
Congratulations Tim; a great way to go out. Don't go retiring from BAUT though. :)

hhEb09'1
2008-Nov-15, 11:01 AM
Awesome Tim! and welcome to BAUT, now you'll have so much time on your hands! :)

geonuc
2008-Nov-15, 11:15 AM
Well done. And thanks for Fomalhaut-b.

Argos
2008-Nov-15, 01:30 PM
Congratulations for your achievements. Whatever you do, donīt stop working. :)

KaiYeves
2008-Nov-15, 02:25 PM
Always good to go out on a high note! Congrats, Tim!

Nadme
2008-Nov-15, 03:47 PM
Congrats! :)


Back in 2004 I was one of the several co-authors on the paper First Look at the Fomalhaut Debris Disk with the Spitzer Space Telescope,

APOD (aka Astropix) very recently featured that topic.

slang
2008-Nov-15, 04:09 PM
Congratulations on what seems an impressive career, and I hope you'll continue to share your insights with us for a long time!

tdvance
2008-Nov-15, 05:02 PM
Today, 14 November 2008, was the last day of my nearly 28 year career in the Science Division (http://science.jpl.nasa.gov/) at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/). I am now a Retired Gentleman. And I get to go out the door with some satisfaction of reasonable success. Back in 2004 I was one of the several co-authors on the paper First Look at the Fomalhaut Debris Disk with the Spitzer Space Telescope (http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2004ApJS..154..458S), Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series 154(1): 458-462, September 2004. Our enhanced resolution images (http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/Media/releases/ssc2003-06/ssc2003-06i.shtml) of the debris disk around Fomalhaut (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fomalhaut) revealed an asymmetry which had not been seen before, which we interpreted as evidence favoring a planet embedded in the disk. Today I was able to confirm that the planet Fomalhaut-b, imaged by the Hubble Space Telescope (http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2008/39/), is right where a planet needs to be, to satisfy the prediction we made 4 years ago. We were on the money, it's our planet!

I guess if your pension isn't enough, you could sell land on that planet :)

mike alexander
2008-Nov-15, 05:11 PM
Some people get to have all the fun...

So, how long will this 'retirement' thing actually last?

Gillianren
2008-Nov-15, 07:38 PM
I am frankly amazed by your information. That's so awesome! (Can you tell I'm originally from around there--Altadena, to be precise?) It just goes to show that there are real people doing real science around here, huh?

chrissy
2008-Nov-15, 08:10 PM
Congratulations Tim, now all you have to do is sneak some of your photographs onto the astrophotography section. ;)

peter eldergill
2008-Nov-16, 03:42 AM
Congrats Tim

Not sure if JPL is just a research centre or a teaching facility as well. If it is a teaching facility, will you continue to teach as a retired faculty member? (Also not sure if you were considered a Univerity professor or not)

Pete

Tensor
2008-Nov-16, 04:37 AM
Congratulations Tim. Both on the retirement and on the confirmation. That has to be very satisfying.

Donnie B.
2008-Nov-16, 02:37 PM
Not sure if JPL is just a research centre or a teaching facility as well.
AFAIK, JPL has no teaching role. It does do some public outreach programs, and of course there is always a certain amount of mentoring between older and younger generations. But it has no formal degree program or anything like that.

Of course, it was founded by CalTech so it has probably served as an adjunct site for students there (at least at the graduate level). JPL is now a NASA laboratory so its ties to CalTech may have changed.

Correct me if I'm wrong, Tim.

Swift
2008-Nov-16, 05:28 PM
Congrats Tim. May your retirement be even better.

Gillianren
2008-Nov-16, 06:44 PM
AFAIK, JPL has no teaching role. It does do some public outreach programs, and of course there is always a certain amount of mentoring between older and younger generations.

For one thing, they are part of the Pasadena Unified School District's Adopt-a-School program, having adopted Eliot Junior High School (or Middle School, or whatever they're calling themselves these days). In fact, they judge the science fair every year, and when I was in choir, we used to go from division to division carolling every Christmas, and so forth. It's actually pretty cool, if you attend that school, and if you don't, there's the annual Open House, which is how, for example, I saw the Mars Rovers being tested in the parking lot.

mfumbesi
2008-Nov-17, 10:04 AM
Congratulations, enjoy the extra time on you hands.
You can now fill the mandatory 100 post/day on BAUT.

JohnD
2008-Nov-17, 10:29 AM
Congratulations Tim, now all you have to do is sneak some of your photographs onto the astrophotography section. ;)

No need to sneak!
Picture of the Fomalhaut system is today's (17/11/8) APOD.
It's credited to a Canadian team, but WTH! Congratulations, Tim!

John

Romanus
2008-Nov-17, 12:21 PM
Congrats, Thompson; your symbolic send-off is the finest feather in one's cap any astronomer could wish for.

Cougar
2008-Nov-17, 04:10 PM
Today, 14 November 2008, was the last day of my nearly 28 year career in the Science Division (http://science.jpl.nasa.gov/) at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/).

Thank you, Tim, for all your contributions, there and here.

So, um, you a big ZZ Top fan? :lol:

The Backroad Astronomer
2008-Nov-17, 04:56 PM
belated congrats Tim.

mugaliens
2008-Nov-17, 04:57 PM
Fomalhaut was one of the stars we celestial navigators used.