It’s officially the fourth “Funday Sunday” for us participants at CUB and, after weeks of difficult but rewarding work, each group is steadily approaching their final OD code. While I missed out on (slept through) a morning hike and our customary weekend visit to the CU Rec Center, I did get some time to reflect on a few recent SSP happenings.

First of all, I was killed by a wanted murderer on campus.

Ok, just kidding—we’ve been playing a mafia-style murder mystery game for the past few days, courtesy of our Site Director, Ms. Doyle.  Two participants are chosen as mystery murderers each day, and based on who they “kill,” we hold meetings to vote them out. It has been a lot of fun, except for when I was betrayed by my own teammate! 

No hard feelings though, we do make a great team. Last night, Calista, Kenna, and I (dubbed Team Everglades) rounded out our set of asteroid observations by imaging 1994 PC1 for the fourth time. Soon after, we managed to get some neat pictures of the Wild Duck Cluster and Lagoon Nebula. According to Kenna, though, the Wild Duck Cluster looked more like a reindeer. And to Dr. Domingue, it didn’t really resemble anything at all… maybe a more fitting name would be the Wild Blob Cluster?

Team Everglades on the Sommers-Bausch Observatory (SBO) observing deck (photo credits to Milenka)

We’ve been lucky to enjoy a series of “special interest” talks by the faculty, ranging from Dr. Domingue’s talk about galaxies and star formation to Dr. Dubson’s presentation on LIGO and VIRGO. After a few weeks of mostly physics and math (think r dot dot r double dot cross r dot), we’ve now shifted over to a wide range of astronomical topics. To me, the best of these astronomy events was an unforgettable 7/12 morning JWST image reveal in SBO. 

Interposed between lectures, PSet work, and frequent field trips and guest lectures, we’ve had “Wunna” karaoke nights, Jackbox parties, Pokémon card pack openings, and cloudy pool volleyball, which have offered brief changes of pace. I even had the pleasure of listening to Tall Matthew’s beautiful musical composition which was certainly very soothing during an intense PSet work session.

As the Sun began to set, we decided to play some pick-up soccer organized by Anoushka on a turf field near the observatory. Then I headed to SBO with Kenna and Siddardh, where Kenna swiftly won the latest murder game despite Alison’s best efforts. Then Tall Matthew said he wanted to eat a lot of McDonald’s Minions banana pies. Mmmm. Until midnight, we worked on the final OD code which will calculate the orbital elements we need for our ephemeris, and we also improved our photometry which will give the magnitude of our asteroid.

Then I went to sleep.

A sunset view from the field, a hub for soccer and water balloon wars


Hi! I’m Ethan, a rising senior at Horace Greeley High School in Chappaqua, New York. I love astronomy, hanging out with friends, reading, and playing the cello. SSP has been an amazing opportunity to learn about astrophysics and apply it to a research project!