• IPAC

Summer Visit - 2012 - C-WAYS

The summer visit to Caltech is 3-4 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 C-WAYS team came to visit in July 2012. The core team educators attended, plus 12 students, and two additional scientists.  Dr. JD Armstrong (LCOGT/UH) and Dr. Babar Ali (IPAC) also assissted.


  • I was surprised to see the amount of work was needed for a seemingly small job. To have stayed for such a short amount of time and to have done so much work [..] was overwhelming.
  • The fact that we were doing REAL science, we were working with real data, from real telescopes, looking for tangible objects in space. As much as I like working with theories and in the theoretical, it was fantastic to be able to make real scientific headway in the physics world.
  • Probably the most surprising thing that I learned was how much focus you have to have to accomplish work like we were doing. Although I knew beforehand that it was a lot of time and effort, it was interesting to see that doing the work takes time, patience, and a good amount of focus.
  • "Real astronomy" involves a lot of data analysis. It involves a large amount of time spent at a computer rather than at a telescope. Astronomers have to know a lot more about programming than I had expected.
  • Most surprising (for me anyway) was how little I actually knew about astronomy. I always thought I knew more than I actually did, but now I can positively say that through this program I learned more than most adults I know in this field.

Summer Visit - 2012 - C-WAYS