Work Experience Week at the ARI

Staff at the Astrophysics Research Institute (ARI), where the NSO is based, were joined by 17 budding astronomers for the first week in July 2012. Ages ranged from 15 to 22 and pre-existing astronomy knowledge varied greatly. The group spent the week learning about the life of an astronomer, current research activities at the ARI and possible careers in the field.

After an intensive couple of days learning about the topics and techniques needed for the week, such as using LTImage and hunting for asteroids, they were split into small teams and each given a different task to research, write up and present to the group on the last day. Some of the topics included, Stellar Formation, Asteroid Rotation, Nature of Variable Stars and Supernovae 2011fe.

Two prizes were awarded by Professor Mike Bode at the end of the week; they were:
Best Report: Solar Investigations by Adam and John.
Best Presentation: Extrasolar Transits by Alex, Frances and Sid.

Feedback from the students included some fantastic comments;
“Great week, very educating. It has increased my interest in taking up maths as well as astrophysics”
“Good insight into what astrophysics involves and how Phd students do their research”
“I found it was a very good insight into what being an astronomer actually involves. It also gave me useful skills and information.”

The week was enjoyed by both staff and students and we would like to thank everyone who made it possible, especially the talented and very friendly students, and we wish them every success in whatever field they choose to pursue.

Top Row - Three groups working on different projects. Adam and John winners of best report.
Bottom Row – Alex, Frances and Sid winners of best presentation.
Group session on the frontiers of astronomy with Dr David Bersier (Reader in Astrophysics).