• 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:] 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.
  • [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:] Real astronomy is mostly looking at data and numbers. I didn’t realize we would be using so much math these last few months, so it’s important to remember how closely math and science correlate.
  • [student:] Allowing yourself to be confused and feel like you know nothing is an important quality to be an astronomer. Being patient and also being open to learning anything new that comes your way are also important qualities.
  • Astronomers don’t look at the stars. They look at their computers. Not that that’s a bad thing.

Summer "Visit" - 2020 - Spider Team