XGAL From Lancaster to the World – Amaia Week 5

After a long (and needed summer break) I have come back to the internship this week and was very excited to jump straight back in. While most of the fantastic people that I shared my first four weeks with have unfortunately finished their internship, I have got a lot done this week.

This week was extremely outreach heavy, but with some interesting variety as well. I started off the week continuing the work that Heather had started, working on the masterclasses for secondary school students that you can find here. Specifically I have been working on the ‘Mapping the Universe’ masterclass. In this masterclass I attempt to teach students how to use TOPCAT (a software often used to work with astrophysical catalogues and graphing of large amounts of astrophysical objects) whilst mapping over 3700 distant galaxies from the COSMOS field (see figure 1) and linking them to real images of the galaxies from SUBARU and Hubble Telescopes. 

Figure 1: the style of graph created on TOPCAT in the Mapping the Universe masterclass

Linked to these masterclasses, I also worked on an article for STEM magazines in order to promote the classes and have them reach more schools and more students that could be interested in learning about what the university does and what astrophysicists do. Finally, I have been working on some video promoting the La Palma trip that David Sobral does for second to fourth year students to go observing at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory.

Next week I will hopefully put the finishing touches on the Mapping the Universe masterclass and have it fully ready and published, and the same with a couple La Palma videos. Furthermore, I’ll be helping David prepare for the LancAstro conference on Friday the 4th of October, as well as preparing my own talk for it speaking about my internship experience. Here’s to another week of physics and outreach!

-Amaia

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