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Kiln Firing Research

Luke Keller and SOFIA

Occasionally, a chance encounter at the irori table can lead to exciting new collaborations. One example is a visit by Luke Keller from Ithaca College. As the Chair of Physics, Keller is part of a team working on infrared cameras for the SOFIA project–a specialized telescope mounted onto a Boeing 747 airliner–enabling NASA to observe distant star formations. 

During his visit, Keller became interested in the Johanna wood kiln. Keller noted how he and Bresnahan both work to observe environments involving complex hydrogen and oxygen breakdowns: for Keller, injecting water into the Johanna kiln at high temperatures is in some ways similar to specialized processes used in astrophysics research. 

Through such connections, students at Saint John's University and the College of Saint Benedict can now record observations of their own inside the Johanna kiln. Keller is one of many individuals who bring their experience and expertise to the Johanna kiln's annual fall firings. Video (above, no audio) courtesy of Space Technology.