Images and Community

I can’t believe that there are only 2 weeks left of SSP. Not long ago I walked out of the Denver airport excited and nervous about what would be an experience of a lifetime. Since that point, so much has happened. I have made so many friendships that will continue long after the program ends, have learned how to program, and much more. 

The first images from the James Webb Space Telescope came out today. Disappointed by the limited showing time of the image during last night’s release and eager to see the others, we all came to lecture early to see the pictures.

Waiting for the image release with Alison and Lilah

After much laughter and anticipation, the first image appeared on the screen. Even though we had seen it the night before, I was still astonished by the beauty of the deep field. Every image that followed came with a uniform “wow.” There were no words to describe them. Being surrounded by the other participants and faculty who were just as excited as I was made this even better. This community has been my favorite part of SSP. While the lectures are always so interesting and observations are spectacular, the people are what make SSP truly unique. Before I came here, I never imagined how much I would enjoy working of PSets with the terrific trio (Ariella, Maggie, and I), midnight observation sessions with Ben and Michelle, and watching movie trailers before bed with Jay.

After the release of the first images we started our morning lecture. As we are approaching the last stretch of the orbital determination preparation and are putting the project together, we are beginning to have lectures on other topics in physics and astronomy. Today, we learned about special relativity, and Galactic and Extragalactic Astronomy. Each of the topics were so interesting!

As my blog post comes to a close, I will go back to working on my OD Code. Each time I look at it, I am astonished by how far we have all come. I look forward to all that we will learn the remaining weeks of SSP, and am excited for all that is to come!

Working on OD Code with Ariella and Jaile
Quick break to look at the Google Doodle with Ariella


Hi! My name is Gabriella. I am a rising senior from Yucaipa, California. When I am not studying physics and astronomy, you can find me practicing hapkido and ballroom dance. At SSP you can find me working on PSets and having celebratory Just Dance parties late at night with the terrific trio.