Observing 2018

Visits to a Professional Astronomical Observatory – 2017/2018


From left to right (May 2018, outside the INT): Charlie Alexander, Andrew Jenkins, Emma Dodd, Karolina Wresilo.

In total, five Lancaster University students benefited from the experience this year, four finishing their 2nd year and one finishing their 3rd year. Apart from practical learning and understanding how telescopes work, we also ran and broadcasted a live Lecture from the telescope in La Palma to Lancaster, led by the students. The students at Lancaster were therefore able to see different aspects of how it is to observe with a professional telescope and how that connects with their modules, explained by and through the eyes of their colleagues, along with a Q&A session at the end. Check out NLUAstro and GOC to see some of the data collected on this observing run and the work done with this by third year group project students in 2019. We hope to repeat the experience in 2018/2019!


La Palma was incredible! By far the highlight of my university experience so far and I am so grateful to my department for it! It makes all the physics worth it and reminds me of why I’m doing this degree and what I’m working towards. The whole experience really helped me become more confident in myself, both with my ability in physics, and also my presenting and communicating skills.”, Emma Dodd, who was an XGAL intern last year.


Going to La Palma was the most interesting and beautiful experience of my life (…) something I’ll never forget. We had the opportunity to operate the 2.5m telescope directly and select our own targets. We quickly picked up new skills in telescope operations, data taking and false colour image creation. This is why I do physics; experiencing and leaning the science I’ve admired since I was a child. My endless thanks to Dr. David Sobral for making this possible and giving me a taste of what it’s like to work in physics.”, Andrew Jenkins, second year MPhys in Physics, Astrophysics and Cosmology.