• IPAC

Summer Visit - 2015 - LADDT

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 LADDT team came to visit in June 2015. The core team educators attended, plus 14 students.


  • [student:] When I was younger, I always imagined astronomy as looking through telescopes and counting stars. I now realized that this is definitely not "real astronomy." Real astronomy is theory and observation, or coming up with explanations for things in our universe and then analyzing data to prove or disprove those theories. Like Dr. Gorjian said, there are no answers in the back of the book.
  • The visit seemed absolutely crucial to me because the time we spend in person is about ten times as productive and meaningful as the time spent on telecons and over e-mail. There is something about being in a room together that really pushed out understanding and work forward tremendously.
  • [student: Real astronomers] have to be willing to feel stupid or dumb at times. This program really showed us that you're going to mess up and that its okay. Sometimes your data will be wrong or you worked a problem wrong. It is going to be okay. You can't always expect the right answer on the first try.
  • The best part of the trip besides watching the students interact with each other would have to be participating in actual research. Making analysis mistakes, regrouping and getting back to work. I really enjoyed the authenticity of the experience.
  • [Astronomy] includes people with a broad background of experience, interests, skills, and degrees.

Summer Visit - 2015 - LADDT