• IPAC

Summer Visit - 2012 - ColdSpotz

The summer visit to Caltech is 3-4 days long and is the only time during the year of work when all the participants on the team come together in person to work intensively on the data. Generally, each educator may bring up to two students to the summer visit that are paid for by NITARP, and they may raise funds to bring two more. The teams work at Caltech; the summer visit typically includes a half-day tour of JPL, which is a favorite site for group photos. Reload to see a different set of quotes.

The Cold Spotz team came to visit in June 2012. The core team educators plus 8 students attended.


  • [student:] The most important thing for me on this trip was listening to different astronomers talk about their careers, but this was important not because it made me want to be an astronomer, but because it made me confident in the fact that I didn't want to be one. Knowing that this wasn't my future and that my life didn't depend on the work I do in this program allowed me to enjoy the project we were working on as something I'm interested in, not something I have to be perfect at.
  • I was surprised at the variety of approaches we would take in trying to identify sources (particularly those with sparse data).
  • The best thing about the trip was the entire experience. Working with a professional astronomer and learning completely new things was amazing.
  • There is so much more to Astronomy. I think this experience opened the eyes of the students to the various aspects of astronomy; one of the students was excited to learn she could incorporate her art into Astronomy.
  • I always imagined astronomy as someone at the end of a telescope looking at the stars, but today's astronomer is at a computer controlling a telescope miles away on earth or in space. The data are collected in mass amounts and need lots of people to analyze it. The industry is drowning in data and not enough astronomers to use it.

Summer Visit - 2012 - ColdSpotz