Friday, July 8, 2011

The First Few Days (07/06/11 - 07/08/11)

           The first day was interesting to say the least. All of the interns, me included, met for a quick meeting to start the day. During the meeting we were informed that a scavenger hunt would start immediately following the meeting. We were split up into 3 groups and sent on our way. Each group competing against the others for some tee shirts. We had a packet filled with pictures of places on the campus that we had to find and then get video proof that we were there. My groupdecided to split up into two groups of two in order to be more efficient. Looking back this was not a good decision in the slightest. The problem was both halves of the group ended up finding the same things and wasting precious time in the process. My group for that reason came in third. After the results we ate pizza and soda that they provided us. Nothing is better than free food! After lunch we were sent to our labs to meet our professors and get started on our projects.

          I am a member of the Space Weather group along with Halle. She unfortunately is on vacation and won't start until Monday. Regardless of that I had to begin work on the project. I met my professor,  Dr. Dube and he vaguely described what I would be doing everyday. Currently I am using Kepler's Laws to locate and predict the movement and location of the inner planets, so that when a solar storm occurs I will be able to see if any of the planets will be hit by the storm. There are websites that do this already, but if a storm hits Earth and disrupts the Internet we are using in the lab we will be without this website. The group would need to know if the storm will hit any other of the planets after Earth. That is where the math would have to
be used. The math is also good for finding locations of the planets with respect to our lab so that the telescope can be positioned at the correct angle in order to observe the storm hit. This is not everything I will do all summer, but it is what I am learning how to do today and for the next few days.

                                                       Matt, SC

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