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Vera C. Rubin Observatory

Brianna Smart

PhD - Astronomy - University of Wisconsin - Madison
Masters - Astronomy - University of Wisconsin - Madison
Bachelors - Astronomy & Physics - University of Arizona

LSST Alert Distribution System

I am currently a Research Scientist at the University of Washington for the Vera C. Rubin Observatory. I am helping with software development in the LSST Alert Productions team, and focusing on the Alert Distribution software. Alert Distributions is in charge of sending the alerts of objects of interest to LSST's alert brokers, who will use the data to discover asteroids, comets, variable stars, supernova, and all things transient.

A Survey of the Magellanic System with the Wisconsin Hα Mapper

The survey of the Magellanic System with WHAM consists of three seperate surveys, the Small Magellanic Cloud, the Large Magellanic Cloud, and the Magellanic Stream. These surveys together will give us the first comprehensive map of the extended ionized gas of the Magellanic System. We hope to give the first estimates of the ionization fraction of the system, and begin to investigate the sources of ionization in the Magellanic Clouds.

Small Magellanic Cloud Survey

Overview: The SMC survey is a 21 x 26 degree survey of the Small Magellanic Cloud. We have made the first extended ionized diffuse gas map of the SMC, in addition to having the kinematics. The survey observed down to .01 Rayleighs, with a velocity resolution of 12 km/s. Each spectra covers 200 km/s in velocity space.

Status: Published by the Astrophysical Journal.


Large Magellanic Cloud Survey

Overview: The LMC survey covers a 31° x 22° region centered on the LMC., covering 150 km/s to 350 km/s in velocity space.

Status: Paper under review by the Astrophysical Journal.


Magellanic Stream Survey

Overview: The Stream Survey is a 120° x 40° survey of the Magellanic Stream, starting at (l,b)=283.29°,-32.40° and extending along the length of the Magellanic Stream. The survey extends from +400 km/s to -400 km/s in velocity space along the extent of the Stream, with velocity windows matched to observed HI velocities.

Status: Observations complete. Early data reduction underway.

A Spectral Index Catalog of MeerKAT Point Sources

Overview: I am creating a spectral index catalog of point sources found in the MeerKAT survey. The source catalog I use was created by Mubela Mutale using Aegean on the combined observations from MeerKAT. I am using the python astrophot package to calculate the photometry in each image and then filter out innsuficiently bright sources to create the final catalog.

Status: Nearly complete

Current Outreach

IAU Junior Member Organizing Committee

I am an elected member of the IAU Junior Member Organizing Committee. As a comittee member, I am helping to shape the future programs and organizing of events for JM. Our goal is to help connect JM and the greater astronomy comunity. I also run the IAU JM twitter account.


Former Outreach

Herts Advert

I wrote a monthly column in the Herts Advertisor. Each month I highlighted astronomical events you can see in the UK, recently published research originating from the University of Hertfordshire, and interesting astronomy discoveries from around the world.


I was employed as the Radio Sky Research Assocaciate at the University of Hertfordshire. I have been hired to help develop outreach content for the University of Hertfordshire and the National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand.

Astronomy Radio Show

I was formerly involved with the Radio Astronomy radio show in Madison, Wisconsin which aired every Tuesday on WORT 89.9 FM.

For past recorded radio shows, as well as recent ones, visit WORT FM.

Universe in the Park

Universe in the Park is an outreach event where graduate students travel to Wisconsin State Parks to give public astronomy talks and opperate telescopes for the public to enjoy. I regularly participated, giving talks designed for younger children and regularly running the telescopes.

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