The goal of SHIPs (Searching Herschel Images for Protostars) is to find and identify stars in the earliest phases of formation in NGC 281, a.k.a. "the pac-man nebula". These stars will help us understand the history of the star formation process in that region.
Our lead astronomer, Luisa Rebull, has a very energetic style and pushes her team to the limits. Our group of teachers put in many hours each week for a full year to learn the topic or skill at hand followed by a weekly teleconference. The pressure was on and I loved it!
Before ever having experienced an AAS meeting, I thought I was well versed in the astronomer’s culture. [..] I also thought I knew what an astronomer did. [..] Well, this 221st meeting of the AAS has certainly been an eye opener. [..] My experience has been one of culture shock.
I wanted to share this with you about one of the students I had on our team that explored star formation in Lynds dark nebulae (LDNs) [in 2008]. [He has since become involved with a big Air Force program at Michigan Tech in 2012.] [He] has often thanked me for getting him involved in NITARP research, having used that experience, in part, to get access to programs such as MTU's Aerospace Enterprise.