Starry-eyed and Sleep Deprived

Another lovely and sunny day in Boulder! I set six alarms to wake up this morning (each five minutes apart) and still ended up waking up at 7:30. I made my way to our half functioning bathroom, and managed to leave for breakfast around 7:40. I made a yogurt parfait in less than two minutes and ate at the speed of lightning. I showed up to our second programming lecture out of breath at 8:59.

Gustavo and I worked on the programming questions and tried to find the best way to calculate the determinant of a 3×3 matrix without hardcoding it. At lunch, I tried the make your own pasta bar for the first time and it was really good! I managed to get ten minutes of sleep before rushing back to the observatory at 1:10. The afternoon lecture was about telescope properties. After the lecture, we learned how to set up the observing logs, and it took me so long to figure out how to download the ephemeris as a CSV file. 

At dinner, our signs were ignored, so we combined tables 1 and 2 into a super table! We had a big debate about Chinese number gestures (which I have never ever seen). I still don’t for the life of me understand how this is a six. It makes so much more sense to just hold up six fingers.

Six (allegedly)

Anyways, after dinner I went back to the observatory to try out some of the pset problems. I got through the first part of number 1 (totally didn’t get side tracked and talk to people for an hour)! I finished most of the coding questions and then it was time for my team to observe. 

(Wonderful photos taken by Gustavo)

When I first stepped onto the deck, I didn’t even realize the roof was gone because I was staring at the telescopes and the computers. Once I looked up, I was amazed at how many stars you could see with just your eyes (I can only see the moon from home). While finding the North direction, we saw two Polarises! It turns out the second one was just something that looked like a star right above Polaris that was moving very slowly. Once we located our asteroid in the sky, we adjusted the settings on the telescope and Jay and Dominick yelled “SLEWING”. We took 2 sets of images and some darks. 

Team selfie!

Once we were done observing, I went back to the computer lab to try and fix my code. I got back to the dorm around 1:00, and tried (unsuccessfully) to fall asleep. 

Hi everyone! I’m Rebecca and I’m from Holmdel, New Jersey. In my free time, I love swimming, listening to music, watching TV, and hanging out with friends. I like doing math and coding (sometimes). I’m so happy to be at SSP and meet new friends!