• 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.


  • [student:] It would be infuriatingly difficult to try to learn how to do aperture photometry over the internet. It could be done, but it wouldn't be as fun or productive.
  • [student:] The most surprising thing I experienced was the technicality and tediousness of calculating and entering the data.
  • The work we conducted at Caltech could not have been accomplished online. The benefits of all working in the same room were enormous. We could get/give help, ask questions to Luisa in person, and check our answers. There is no way I could have a thorough understanding of the SEDs, aperture photometry, or the color-color and color-magnitude diagrams without hearing the description from Luisa, working on it, asking questions, collaborating, and working some more. I believe we could have benefited from having one more day (or even half day) as a work day similar to the Thursday workday.
  • Best thing about the trip = Learning how to do astronomical analysis and participating in the process of authentic science. Nobody in the history of humanity has done exactly what we’re doing. That’s amazing.
  • [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.

Summer Visit - 2017 - CephC:LABS