ICRAR and Exploring the Stars
Over the summer holidays, Year 12 student Logan (Class of 2023) was fortunate enough to attend work experience at the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR), a joint body formed by Curtin University and the University of Western Australia.
During his highly sort after work experience placement, Logan was able to experience the variety of work ICRAR does and get a taste of what a day in the life of an astronomer/engineer is like. Logan had the opportunity to work with professional equipment while learning more about telescopes, space and celestial bodies. Initially, Logan said, “we were taught vital concepts about astronomy and physics that would prove useful in examining stars and other objects in space when using ICRAR’s telescopes”.
Alongside these concepts, Logan mentioned an advanced piece of software by the name of ‘Mathematica’ – this software was used during Logan’s analysis of stars and celestial objects. After they had the fundamentals out of the way, Logan went on to learn about two types of telescopes that he would be working with.
These were the SPIRIT telescope and the Short Range Telescope (SRT) which Logan would be working with most. The major learning point from working with the telescopes was the ability to deduce how fast the galaxy being viewed was travelling in space from the resulting data.
The SPIRIT telescope is a world-class piece of technology accessible from the internet. This cutting-edge piece of technology has been provided for students, educators and researchers in Western Australia and beyond.
To conclude the experience, Logan was driven up to the Gingin Gravity Discovery Centre to marvel at the physical SRT that they had been working with during their work experience. Whilst Logan had many standout opportunities and memories of his time at ICRAR Logan shares that
The most memorable moment was on the very first day… we were greeted by the European Space Agency whom we shared morning tea with. What a way to start off the week
Logan wishes to thank everyone at ICRAR who made the opportunity possible and worthwhile – with a special mention to Matthew Young for guiding the students along the way as they delved into the topic of space.