Arrived at ICRAR for our first day of the work experience. I was introduced to Jed and Bea who were the other work experience students. Began the day with a tour of the ICRAR building, as well as some of the technology on the premises. After the tour we talked to Kevin, who told us all about radio astronomy, which was a chill introduction to my work experience. Following up after Kevin was Brent who went into detail about space dust, and Professor Gerhard who shows us many photos of galaxies and nebulae. Following a quick lunch break was talks to Ruby and Jan who told us about simulations, coding, dark matter, dark energy and black holes and their effect on space time. The talk that I enjoyed the most today was from Ruby and Jan who talked a lot about coding, simulations and black holes.
The second day started with a video from Allan Duffy who went into his studies on the universe, including the expansion of the universe and the cosmic microwave background.
After getting the video we watched explained by Gregory. Tristan was the next speaker and he went into a lot of detail about the paper he was working on, and the effects of the interstellar medium on the gas of galaxies, which I found the most interesting talk of the day. Luka was up next with his talk about cosmic dust and how it can explain many things about galaxies, like temperature, size and distance. Luka also talked about how it’s possible to find the mass of a black hole, and how jets of gas form in galaxies. Ended the day of with some messing around on universe sandbox and a choose your own adventure, universe version.
Day 3 was a very information heavy day, with many pages of notes being created. The first talk was mainly about cosmic dust and gas and how it affects galaxy and star formation. We talked a lot about university, career pathways and types of astronomy jobs. The next talk was from Barbara who talked to us about optical and radio telescopes. Being taught about the different types of telescopes around the world was very interesting and it was cool to see the different types. After Barbara, we had a talk from a Professor of cosmology, who taught us about dark energy, dark matter and many other things involving the cosmos. The next two talks were from Dr Lilian who is a theoretical astronomist and Dr Kate who is also a theoretical astronomer. Both Dr Lilian and Dr Kate were experienced with supercomputers and simulations. Overall day 3 was a very interesting and information intensive day but most of what we had learnt was repeated which was unfortunate.
Day for was my final day at ICRAR. It was the most fun day out of the 4 because we got to visit some of the UWA labs and research facilities. After going to the top of the physics building to see the “Spirit” telescope which is a remote internet telescope. After this we had a group morning tea, where everyone involved in ICRAR grouped together and had some food and chats. After that Gregory showed us how to weigh a galaxy which was very interesting, and I thought it was cool to know how to do it. After that we visited the UWA physics labs and learnt about optic cables, quantum physics refrigerators, lasers, and how the oceans can actually move the moons orbit.
Overall it was a great experience where I learnt so much new information and got to meet some great people.