• IPAC

Summer Visit - 2016 - HIPS AGN

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 HIPS AGN team came to visit in June 2016. The core team educators attended, plus 8 students.


  • [student:] I learned one very important thing about astronomy. I’d always had this romanticised picture in my head of astronomers gazing through telescopes at the night sky and making revolutionary discoveries left and right. Thus, this trip was a bit of a wake up call for me; I now know that astronomy involves a lot more spreadsheet work and data analysis before any life-changing discoveries can be made.
  • [student:] I most most surprised by my own capabilities at working on the project. Going into the week, I was worried about not being able to keep up with the workload and being unable to process the information. I was honestly shocked to see that the students as well as the mentors worked at a similar pace, asked the same kind of questions, and were learning alongside of each other, rather than the students just relaying everything done by our mentors.
  • [student:] Seeing people be so passionate about learning something they love and that interests them really inspired me and let me understand why so many people have chosen to pursue astronomy. Plus, I learned that most astronomers are secretly very dorky (the good kind, I promise ☺) and will gladly talk with you about anything “nerdy” (i.e. Star Wars, Doctor Who, etc.)
  • [student:] I think the two most important qualities in any astronomer are hard work and passion. Hard work is necessary in constantly building the knowledge base required to succeed, and passion is necessary in providing the intrinsic motivation required to succeed.
  • [student:] A good deal of the information was difficult to process despite relearning it each day. However, it was extremely rewarding when I finally did begin to understand—which was another thing that surprised me. *I* understood college-level astronomy.

Summer Visit - 2016 - HIPS AGN