• IPAC

Summer "Visit" - 2020 - Spider Team

Our regular summer visit to Caltech was hijacked by COVID-19. So we did an online work week instead -- 4 days when all the participants on the team come together to work intensively on the data. Reload to see a different set of quotes.

The Spider Team worked June 22-25, 2020. The 4 core team educators attended, plus 12 students.


  • [student:] Astronomers definitely have to be hard working and dedicated to their study. They have to be passionate about the data they are working with, and smart enough to understand it well. They also have to be good communicators, as it involves a lot of collaboration with peers. It’s also important that they are good at explaining their findings to the public, such as in a scientific journal.
  • [student:] Personally, the most important thing I did was getting to work with real data and seeing how it can be manipulated to relay applicable information. Students rarely get to work with anything that has relevance to modern science so that’s a uniquely exciting thing I got to be a part of.
  • Astronomers have to be solid on the fundamentals of scientific theory and mathematical analysis. They must be curious about how we came to conclude that which we claim to know, and about what lies beyond the predicted patterns formed by theories. Astronomers must be clear, concise, and complete in communicating the why, what and how or what they are doing as it the collective that must be able to interpret, integrate and challenge their process and conclusions before new knowledge is accepted as true. This means that persistence is also a key quality of any scientist.
  • [student:] I didn’t realize that most of astronomy is looking at numbers on a screen. It was hard work and intense math and it made me have more respect for the entire field.
  • Getting to work with this group of passionate, curious, and bold individuals as we all experienced the processing of learning how to be a researcher was the best part of the NITARP summer learning experience. Integrating all the separate pieces of knowledge and skills that we developed over the last five months into a tool for forming a new understanding of what is in IC417 felt amazing.

Summer "Visit" - 2020 - Spider Team