Working in Professional Astronomy with Josh Walawender

What a dream job to be working in astronomy as a professional career! Listen to this latest Space Junk Podcast episode where Dustin and Tony host Josh Walawander, a staff astronomer at the Keck Observatory in Hawaii.

About Josh Walawender

Josh is also involved in Project Panoptes, a citizen science initiative that makes the hunt for planets around other stars accessible to amateur astronomers.

Some of Josh Walawender’s specialties are that he is an astrophysicist with specialties in star formation and in the reliable operation of astronomical instrumentation including instruments for 8-10 meter class telescopes and small, robotic telescopes.

Astronomy as a Professional Career with Josh Walawender

  • 3:34: Intro and background of Josh’s role at Keck Observatory
  • 4:18 What type of industry is the biggest on Island of Hawaii and what Josh loves about it
  • 7:04 About Keck logistics and how things have changed due to the pandemic
  • 9:34 Primary partners of Keck & Josh’s role in helping astronomers & how it’s changed
  • 14:55 What is missed from having observers visit Keck
  • 16:36 What it is like working at Keck
  • 19:47 Josh’s instrument at Keck & the technology of other instruments at Keck
  • 28:33 Technical specs of telescopes at Keck and uses by researchers
  • 36:52 Research at Subaru Telescope - national observatory in Japan
  • 42:54 Keck’s follow-up on observations on exoplanets from objects of interest
  • 45:25 The development of a new Keck planet finder
  • 48:05 Josh’s involvement with amateur astronomers
  • 55:28 Construction plans & policies to protect the environment around the Keck Observatory

What was something that surprised you about the Keck Observatory and Josh’s profession? Have you visited the observatory? Let us know in the comments!

Leave a comment