Professor Terry Herter
Hi there. I thought you might like to know a bit about me. I'm a member of
the Astronomy Department at Cornell.
As an astronomer my main areas of interest include:
- The center of our galaxy,
- Normal and starburst galaxies, and
- Disks around stars.
In the recent past I've also studied HII (ionized hydrogen) regions and planetary
nebulae. From time to time, I've dabbled in planetary astronomy, observing
moons and comets. I am Principal Investigator on a first light instrument on
the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA).
The instrument, called FORCAST, is
a camera that will be used to image star formation regions, other galaxies,
and other science targets. We obtained "first light" for SOFIA with FORCAST
in May 2010. In December 2010 we perform the first set of science
observations and in May/June 2011 supported guest investigations by the community.
Papers are in process!
I am also involved in the development and testing of infrared arrays for ground-based,
airborne, and space-based astronomy. I was a co-investigator on the Infrared
an instrument for the Spitzer Space Telescope (Spitzer).
Spitzer launched on Aug.2003 and its cyrogenic (liquid helium) mission lasted
about five years. Go to the Spitzer link for the lastest news.
I also enjoyed some special observing trips before the shutdown of the Kuiper
Airborne Observatory (KAO). The KAO was the predecessor to SOFIA. These happened
quite a while ago but let to my interest in SOFIA.
- Observing the galactic center with KAO from Christchurch, NZ in May '95.
We observed an ionic species of silicon to study the dynamics of the circumnuclear
ring of gas and dust which rotates about the core of our galaxy.
- Observing the impact of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 into Jupiter in July '94
with KAO on flights from Melbourne, Australia. Our instrument detected water
resulting from the impact.
Some fun events include:
- A summer trip to Newfoundland with hiking in Gros Morne (Big Gloomy) National
Park, visiting the Viking site on the northern peninsula, and meeting the
people who live there. Cape Spear, Newfoundland is the eastern most point
in North America. We traveled through New Brunswick and Nova Scotia on the
way there and back, stopping at the
has the largest
world and visiting some quirky sites like the largest axe and the longest
covered bridge in the world.
- Visiting Scotland and trekking through a few castles (Sterling and Urquhart),
walking along Hadrian's wall, and hiking to the "Old Man of Storr" (a
large rock outcropping) on the Isle of Skye.
- Performing a site survey in Northern Chile for potential telescope locations
- we're talking greater than 5000 m (16400 ft) - and it's a real desert.
- Visiting the Kelso sand dunes in Southern California. They vibrate when
you walk down them!
- Traveling to England and visiting the great stone circles at Stonehenge
and Avebury! It was damp, cloudy, and breezy -- but what else would you expect
for such a place.
- Hiking to the summit of Stawberry Peak which is in the San Gabriel Mountains
of Southern California. It's not too high but a lot of fun because of the
moderate level rock climbing/bouldering.
- Backpacking into San Jacinto National Forest from Idyllwild. It rained during
the trek in but the precipitation washed away the smog and haze from the valleys.
The skies cleared the next day making the view from the top of Mt. San Jacinto
- My wife and I have started up a plan to attend games at all the baseball
parks. So far only a few: Toronto, (old) Yankee Stadium, Seattle and Philadelphia.
Back to A101/103 Outline