• 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.


  • 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.
  • Probably the most interesting thing I learned was that astronomers are more detectives piecing the universe together. Since we cannot actually see the life cycle of a star, we are forced to look at stars in different points in their (unfathomably long) lives and match them up in sequential order. Most importantly, "real science" is nothing like "textbook science" where we have explicit directions and there is a definite right or wrong answer. In the real world of science, we have to trust ourselves that we have done our best to reach the answer we deem correct.
  • Everything after the uploading of the images was new to me. And no matter how much it surged over and drowned my brain, the wave of new knowledge was quite welcome.
  • [student:] Meeting and listening to these experienced professionals made the world of science very realistic and made me feel more capable of having a potential future in this area of work.
  • Even though not all of us could do every step flawlessly, different strengths balanced the different weaknesses.

Summer Visit - 2012 - C-WAYS