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.
It was very special to be in the room when the announcement of planet Kepler 10b (an estimated 1.4 X the size of the Earth) was discovered. I turned to my student Inga and asked, "How does it feel to be one of the first people on planet Earth to know about this discovery?" She replied, "I never thought of it like that ... it's pretty cool."
Just being exposed to the jargon is mind opening, and I can’t imagine walking into this convention and being asked to present without having this initial exposure. I think this [first AAS] trip is a crucial part of the program.
This experience has forced me to look at something new and has inspired me to enrich and improve my classes.