• IPAC

Summer Visit - 2017 - SIRXS-DEEP

The summer visit to Caltech is 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 SIRXS-DEEP team came to visit in June 2017. The core team educators attended, plus 8 students.


  • [student:] Being able to ask questions in person is also extremely helpful versus asking online.
  • I really think it is important the students see the astronomers and other people working at JPL and Caltech as people and that they see themselves participating in research in a real way. Unless they have been exposed to working scientists as part of their daily lives it seems that they have a different view as to what an astronomer is or should be – not even a full misconception as much as a missing conception. The time during the week and the talk by the visiting Caltech folks helps fill in that context.
  • [student:] The work we carried out at Caltech would be plain confusing to do on the internet, especially learning NASA terms and getting to understand our assignment. [...] Overall, I think meeting together in LA was worthwhile by a mile. We would not have been as engaged in our work without the LA trip.
  • [This experience] made me more jealous of astronomers and what they do.
  • Real astronomy is looking at an object over and over again until you are sure it is what you are looking for. It is making sure the source is reliable and not spending time on objects that don't have enough supporting information. It is using information from one mission to look for objects that need to be studied more with a subsequent mission. It is about trying to tell the story of the universe. I guess when I look back on it I would think there would be so many places to check and recheck and cross check the data.

Summer Visit - 2017 - SIRXS-DEEP