This cause of exploration and discovery is not an option we choose. It is a desire written in the human heart. We are that part of creation which seeks to understand all creation. We find the best among us, send them forth into unmapped darkness, and pray they will return. They go in peace for all mankind, and all mankind is in their debt.

President G. W. Bush, 2/2003 Columbia space shuttle crew memorial

Gerald Cecil & Burch Field Seminar Students atop C. Pachon, Chile outside SOAR Telescope
Here are some of my professional and academic interests

I'm preparing instrumentation and executing science programs for the SOAR telescope remotely

that, as Project Scientist in Tucson, I once spent 4.5 years helping to design.

In my research group, students have learned ZEMAX and SolidWorks 3D CAD/CAM design tools, printed parts from those directly on our lab's large volume 3D printer, programmed servo motors, and designed/built surface-mount circuit boards, among other technical activities. CINDERS (Circularized IFUs Nearly Deployed at SOAR) is tightly integrated into SOAR so hard to view in person, but this rendering shows it and the Goodman spectrograph collimator + grating carousel from the telescope side.

It deploys 3 IFUS comprised of fused hexabundle photonics technology across the SOAR science field of view.

My students have worked on numerical simulations of starburst outflows as part of a NASA-funded Herschel space Observatory program, and observations and models of Galactic (Herbig-Haro) and galaxy (superwind) outflows.

I'm primarily working on diverse aspects of the exciting SAMI Galaxy Survey, which is using the larger, original version of the same photonics instrumentation to map a dozen galaxies at once in a total sample of 3600 across the optical spectrum and over the one-degree field of view of the 3.9m Australian Astronomical Telescope (AAT). We are mapping galaxies both in the field and in 8 clusters. Here's an example of some of our QuickLook maps. More information is extracted from deeper analysis, including stellar population mix, M/L, and chemical abundances. SAMI spans the inner 15-arcsec diameter of galaxies, the sample is at z = 0.050+-0.025

My initial focus has been on gas kinematics/dynamics of bar/oval distortions, some examples of field galaxies and their derived axisymmetric rotation curves

But I'm working hard to learn much about stellar populations and kinematics/dynamics. Here is my talk on SAMI at the South African Astronomical Observatory (11/17/16).

I can be reached at

gerald@thececils.org 919-962-7209 (FAX 919-962-0480)