• 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.


  • Luisa is a master of searching for the image needed to clarify a concept while simultaneously providing the introductory context in which it needs to be understood. Your guidance always feels so authentic. You recognize our limitations, and openly talk about them in a way that makes it clear that you view them as a movable barrier that can be pushed to new places if we just keep putting in the work and ask our questions as they form.
  • [student:] This experience changed the way I thought about astronomy research because I did not think it was as digital as it is. I did not think it was going to be as much computer work.
  • [student:] The most important quality [of an astronomer] has to be patience. I did astronomy work for four days and I found myself being frustrated quite often. But it takes time to learn from your mistakes and hence patience is an important quality for an astronomer, or any scientist for that matter.
  • [student:] The most important and interesting thing I did was looking at CMDs and CCDs for each cluster of IC417. This mini-project really revealed to me that the NS and its BPI14 cluster are special when looking at their excesses in comparison to their cluster neighbors. This step essentially proved to me, scientifically, that we are digging for treasure in the right place, and that was a cool thing to see materialize in front of me.
  • [student:] I feel like real astronomy is working with real data from the real world that no one has looked at or touched before. Throughout this entire process, I've felt like I have done real astronomy and have been making new, exciting discoveries that will contribute to humanity's understanding of the cosmos no matter how small that may be.

Summer "Visit" - 2020 - Spider Team