Amaia Imaz Blanco first joined the XGAL group in the summer of 2019 to work on an outreach project, developing the XGAL DIY activities (which you can check out here, and read her blogposts about here). ‘Once an XGAL always an XGAL’ we say, and it must be true because she is back for another internship this summer, but due to COVID-19 things are a little different. Amaia is working remotely from her home in the Netherlands, making learning something new all the more challenging! Despite this, working in a team with Emily and Louis, they have been building a new catalogue of Lyman-alpha emitting galaxies in the GOODS South field, adapting to the situation (read all about this project here).
Although Amaia is currently studying high redshift galaxies, her interest in astronomy has a much larger range. Her favourite astronomical object is actually Mars, and being on our doorstep, it is becoming more and more likely that we will get to visit the red planet soon. There is still so much more to learn about Mars which Amaia may even be a part of in the future! She also has a fascination for extrasolar planets, and the possibility of life on them.
Regardless of what area Amaia ends up in, we should expect great things! Learning on the job for two summers now, she is not afraid of a challenge and has shown a real passion and enthusiasm for exploring the Universe. Having learnt that asking questions is fundamental to learning and doubting your own ability is natural at times, she quotes from Neil Degrasse Tyson, “No one is dumb who is curious. The people who don’t ask questions remain clueless throughout their lives”.