[Skip to Content]

The work experience that I went to was in October 7th – October 11th. In here, we went to Curtin two days, and UWA for three days. In here we learned multiple things to feed out curious mind about the universe and understand what does exactly astronomers do as a job. During the work experience me and the other people I was with, were able to talk to researchers and students at ICRAR. We learnt so many things about the cosmos because of them. I am very glad for going to this work experience, as this will help me set a clearer path on what to focus on my future career, astrophysics. I really enjoyed this week with ICRAR. The best thing about this work experience is that you get to talk to passionate scientists that are kind and open-minded, and that they have a broad range of topics so that we can get a better grasp of how big the universe is. I find extremely impressive how astronomers are able to get so much information of stellar objects when so little of them can be seen.

October 7th, 2019 (Curtin University)

The first day we were in Curtin, we were all welcomed by Kathryn and Ronniy (both PhD students). They showed us the ICRAR building of the university, to then give us a brief introduction about the universe and what astronomy is. We were also explained the PhD research of Kathryn ‘understanding the nature of MgHz peaked spectrum sources’. After this, we went to a talk about a published paper about Pulsars and their proper motion. Next, we created a picture of the night sky, with the help of a Steve, by coding, something really impressive. Then we went to another staff member to talk about black holes and its features. For the end of the day, we talked to Nick about pulsars and how they can be identified.

October 8th, 2019 (University of Western Australia)

The second day of the work experience we were in UWA, we were all welcomed by Greg Rowbotham. The first thing we did was to watch a video that talked about the properties of the universe and how that is known, and cosmology. We also talked to the future PhD student, Jess, where she explained to us her process on starting to develop into an astronomer, and crucial tips for college years. Then we went to ICRAR’s general club for UWA, where recent and relevant papers are explained to the astronomers. This space that they have is very important because that way, the people can be up to date with what research is taking place in the field, it is also a good way to interact with people and discuss about topics. For the end of the day, we talked to Kevin, where he explained to us the massive projects that ICRAR has for the future and what they are expected to do.

October 9th, 2019 (University of Western Australia)

The third day of the work experience we also in UWA. The first thing we did was talk to the professor Lister Staveley-Smith who explained to us special things about the universe and his research with the 21cm wavelengths. He also explained to us the rotation of the galaxies and how they rotate fast no matter their position on the galaxy due to the dark matter. Then we talked with Professor Simon, an exo-galactic astronomer, he explained to us how dark matter can be determined using stellar objects to determine its mass and size. Then we also got to use a coding program where we could decide what was a galaxy or not. At the Astro Morning tea, the latest space related news were explained, and the correlation between the rugby success in the world cup was discovered to be directly proportional to the number of sheep the country has. Then we talked to a staff member where she explained to us another possible pathway to get into astrophysics, and expanded our understanding of the job of astronomers. Then we were explained about star formation and how with pictures of galaxies on different wavelengths can allow astronomers to determine the star formation of a galaxy as the different wavelengths show different features of the universe. The last thing we did was to understand what is known about galaxy evolution and how depending on the type of galaxies, they have different features like their dust, star formation rate. In my personal opinion, this was the best day in the work experience as I love galaxies, and today was purely about galaxies.

October 10th, 2019 (Curtin University)

The fourth day of the work experience was in Curtin. The first thing we did was to talk to the Honour students of the university. They gave us advices for life at university, and different pathways that can be taken to get into astronomy. Afterwards, we went to an explanation talk about the SKA telescope that ICRAR with Mia. Then we went to a talk with Ben, a PhD student that is researching the AGN. Then we went with Stephan, another PhD student that is researching the radio emission of galaxy clusters. The last two activities were trying to identify satellites in frames for specific nights. And finally, we talked to the group at Curtin that is studying the epoch of reionisation.

October 11th, 2019 (University of Western Australia)

The last day of the work experience was in UWA. The first thing we did was to talk to Paul, which showed us the SPIRIT telescope and explained to us what it is and how it works. Additionally, I could get help from him for some problems that I have with my own telescope. Then we talked about local galaxies and what Luca researches. Then we went to plot of the week, where PhD and master students present the graphs that they have done in the week, then people vote which one they preferred. Lastly, we talked to Adam, who does galaxy simulations.

This work experience I found truly enriching and eye opening, you are never learning the same thing. I really enjoyed this week.