• 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:] 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:] The most surprising thing I experienced was the technicality and tediousness of calculating and entering the data.
  • [student:] The most important thing I learned was how to accept that I didn't, and wouldn't, understand exactly what I was doing. This was an entirely new experience for me, as I have always been able to grasp some part of a concept I was learning. This was quickly undermined, as I had no idea what I was doing! One of the most interesting things I saw was the complexity of the data we were working with. I LOVED getting to see how the process of genuine science went!
  • 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.
  • [student: Astronomers] do so much critical thinking and have to use their own individual judgement. I wouldn't have imagined that so many different astronomers could get differing answers and still all be technically correct.

Summer Visit - 2017 - CephC:LABS