• IPAC

Summer Visit - 2012 - HR4AGN

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 HR4AGN team came to visit in August 2012. The core team educators attended, plus 12 students, and one additional scientist.  The scientist mentor is Dr. Varoujan Gorjian. IPAC staff member Jacob Llamas (SSC) assisted, as did Dr. Jean-Christophe Mauduit (SSC).


  • The "real astronomy" we conducted was a process that included the exchange of ideas and mutual cooperation of others toward a common goal.
  • The most surprising thing [was that] I realized that the work that most of the astronomers do can be done by civilians who have the knowledge and know how to access data on the internet. It's fascinating that the internet offers such a rich database that most people don't know about.
  • [It was not surprising to me that] the process of research and collaboration is not so easy; we are working through null results and that there can be times where it doesn't seem if there's any progress made, but we keep on trucking through the data anyway.
  • The most interesting thing I did was organize data and actually understand what it meant.
  • I spend a fair amount of time, just looking, enjoying, and observing the night sky. I have always thought that professionals somehow "use" the data that is generated by the bigger telescopes but our project has really given me a glimpse into the process, and how complicated that process can be. I can say that my respect for the professionals has increased quite a bit, especially given how hard a seemingly simple question can be to answer.

Summer Visit - 2012 - HR4AGN