The Dust Mights team will be searching for Galactic sources in the Spitzer Enhanced Imaging Products catalog which have an excess amount of infrared light and whose distances are known from Gaia observations.
This experience convinced me even further that I can push myself to learn even more each and every day. I started out feeling very overwhelmed and unprepared last year. I forced myself to work through my unease and wound up much more comfortable. I learned that astronomers are much more down-to-earth than I envisioned a lot of them to be and so many of them are very willing to go out of their way to explain things when we have questions.
I have found that “real astronomy” involves a lot of data processing. In addition, I have found that collaboration is a very important aspect of the process.
Many science teachers begin the year with a discussion of the “scientific method.” Our group modeled just that … Starting with a problem, researching background papers, submitting a research proposal, analyzing authentic data, and drawing conclusions models the scientific process in real life.