• IPAC

Summer Visit - 2017 - CephC:LABS

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 CephC-LABS team came to visit in June 2017. The core team educators attended, plus 5 students.


  • Real astronomy is looking at data, analyzing data, and drawing conclusions. Real astronomers collaborate with other astronomers to verify their findings. Everything we did on this trip was scientific research; looking at data, analyzing data using different tools, collaboration, and drawing conclusions.
  • [Real astronomy is] Using physical evidence to construct models about the universe. Lots of computer screen time. A back and forth, non-linear process. One of the coolest things one can do with one’s time here on spaceship earth.
  • [student:] In my personal opinion the best thing was being able to do actual science and not just something like I do in school.
  • [student:] I don't think "real astronomy" can be simply classified. I now know that astronomy covers an incredibly wide field of research, from finding active galactic nuclei to finding baby stars to sorting out the mysteries of the universe. "Real astronomy" can't be set in a box. I was semi-surprised that scientific research was so circular. In every science class I have been given a set of instructions and told to follow them. There were no instructions here, and it's so imperative to teach others that.
  • [student:] I was expecting the most amount of work I have ever done, and I was a little frightened I wouldn’t be able to keep up at all. The work proved to be intense, but not too much.

Summer Visit - 2017 - CephC:LABS