I kicked off the sabbatical with another lovely 2 weeks at the Aspen Center for Physics in September (and I discovered that there's a photo of me on their webpage!). I attended a workshop on stellar and AGN winds and spent time finishing up a few ongoing projects.
One of those projects has now borne fruit with an accepted paper by Jamie Lomax, my former Ph.D. student (and current postdoc at the University of Oklahoma). The study combines X-ray spectroscopy and optical spectropolarimetry of the eclipsing colliding-wind binary V444 Cygni; we found evidence from both techniques that radiative braking and Coriolis forces produce a wind-collision region that has a very large opening angle and is offset from the line of centers between the stars. The paper is now out on astro-ph (1410.6117) and will appear in A&A shortly. It's the second paper to appear from Jamie's Ph.D. dissertation.
2014 January 10 — My Ph.D. student Manisha Shrestha and I just returned from the 223rd American Astronomical Society meeting in Washington, DC. We both presented posters and had several productive discussions with colleagues. My recently graduated Ph.D. student Jamie Lomax also attended to present her dissertation talk, for which she won a Doxsey Travel Prize from the AAS. A highlight of the meeting was Neil deGrasse Tyson's plenary talk, for which we got front-row seats!
I was excited by the extent to which the meeting had a virtual component: the AAS set up "Extras" pages (here's mine) where each poster author could archive supplementary information, and the commentary on Twitter was lively and fascinating (cool stats here). There was also lots of meta-discussion of scientific data presentation and education and demographics within the field of astronomy. All in all, an excellent meeting that made me look forward to the next one!