Interns 2018

Left to Right: Tom, Tania, Alice, Katie, Will, Matthew, Charlie, Cassandra

Tom Cornish 

I have recently finished my third year at Lancaster University, studying on the Physics, Astrophysics and Cosmology course. I have been interested in all things astronomical for as long as I can remember, and so I am thrilled to have been offered this opportunity to gain experience in the field. I will be working with Alice and Tania on the Metal Poor Stars project, in which we will be analysing spectral data to search for the most metal-poor stars in the the Milky Way. This internship offers the chance to get my teeth sunk into a proper project, and I am looking forward to being able to apply some of the things I’ve learned during my time at university in a real research environment. I am also hoping the experience will help to prepare me for my MPhys project next year, in which I will be working with one of my lecturers, Dr. John Stott, to observe the evolution of the so-called ‘red sequence’ of galaxies over the last 7 billion years. Since that will also involve dealing with a lot of spectral data, this internship should be the perfect opportunity to prepare myself.

Tania Gomes Machado

I have just finished my first year in Physics at Lancaster University, on the Physics, Astrophysics and Cosmology degree scheme. I am part of the group developing the Metal Poor Stars Project, and I could not be more excited to, not only possibly find interesting astronomical objects, but also understand all the process and hard work that happens behind the biggest discoveries in Astronomy.  Since middle school, I have been certain of  the field I want my future career to focused one, but never have I actually experienced what an astro-related job is like. For this reason, I believe this internship is the perfect opportunity to understand whether a career in this area is the ideal for me and to help me conclude that indeed I was correct in pursuing my passion.

Alice Pygott

I’ve just finished my third year as an MPhys Physics with Astrophysics and Cosmology student here at Lancaster University. I’m working with Tom and Tania to search for metal poor stars in the halo of the Milky Way. I’m very excited to have the opportunity to experience real physics research, as it’s always what I have seen myself doing in the future, specifically in Astrophysics. I’ve always been fascinated by the stars and how they work, so this opportunity is like a dream come true. This project will help me develop a lot of new skills including a new programming language, which will be vital to my work if I do indeed go into research. I’ll be working on a similar project to this for my Masters next year and so I’m grateful to have the opportunity to experience research beforehand as it will hopefully prepare me for that.

Katie Hurt

I have just come to the end of my third year studying Physics at the University of Oxford and I am part of the team hunting for galaxies using data from MUSE-VLT. I am very excited to get a proper experience of scientific research, as research has been my longterm plan for many years, despite not really knowing what it entails on a day to day basis. Since the first three years of my degree gave very little scope for choice, I hope that completing an Astrophysics project will help to confirm where my passions lie as I choose where to direct my masters and further. I also know that to succeed in any field of physics, strong computing skills are vital, so I hope that this project, focussed around data analysis should help me immensely to develop mine.

Will Thompson

I am a former student of Physics and Astronomy at Nottingham University and I am hunting for galaxies with the MUSE-VLT team. I am looking forward to doing some of my own research and exploring a project in detail. Having enjoyed the computing side of my courses the most, I am also hoping to be able to develop and work on some more complex scripts. Maybe this internship will help me to decide on a path to follow as I move on from my student days.

Matthew Gorton

Having finished second year of my Physics degree at Lancaster University, I am very happy to do this internship, as part of the MUSE-VLT project! The experience will be very useful for the future – data analysis, coding and understanding of the physics of galaxies, among other skills. I am confident that this experience will be useful not only for the rest of my degree, but to help me decide whether I want to pursue astrophysics research in the future.

Charlie Alexander


Cassandra Barlow-Hall

I am a second year student at Lancaster University, studying Physics, Astrophysics and Cosmology. I have always be fascinated with how the universe works and what lies beyond our planet and our solar system. There are so many amazing discoveries being made in the world of astrophysics I cannot wait to be able to research and investigate the distant galaxies that the MUSE Data cube will hold. For a long time I have wanted to go into physics, so the opportunity to work on the MUSE internship and do research beyond the scope of my course was really exciting for me. I am very glad to be able to work on this internship, and I hope it will confirm my desire to go into research and teach me extra skills to help me in my course and the future, and of course that we will find some very distant galaxies in the data cube!



Above: Cassandra, Katie and Charlotte, starting to hunt and catalogue new galaxies in the VR7 Deep field obtained with MUSE on the VLT.


Above: Alice, Tania and Tom. We are hunting for metal poor stars in the halo of the Milky Way.

IMG_1624.jpgMatthew and Will, hunting for galaxies in the MUSE data cube.