December 2, 2019 0

PACE Tasters: Professional Experience at Australian Astronomical Observatory

PACE Tasters: Professional Experience at Australian Astronomical Observatory

[music] We’re very lucky here at Macquarie. We have access to world leading
research facilities in the form of the Australian Astronomical
Observatory and the CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science Department. This gives our students unique access. Jack and Bron are working with
us on the Huntsman Eye project, a project to do astronomical imaging
in a new way using ordinary camera lenses. The AAO isn’t really a normal
workplace as you would imagine it. Everyone was really interested in
what was going on and ready to help. Tonight, we’re at
Macquarie University Observatory to do some initial testing with the
Huntsman Eye imaging system. Jack and Bron have conducted
work that was actually crucial to a major project going forward. We’re about 10 kilometres out of
Coonabarabran and it’s the first time that we are able to test it
in a site with a good altitude, not much light pollution, and
actually get some scientific results. This is an amazing opportunity
to actually do some science. This afternoon we are visiting
the Anglo-Australian Telescope which is Australia’s
largest optical telescope. It’s actually quite satisfying
to stand up in front of people and tell them what you’ve
learned and what you know. When you get up there
and you start talking, you realize that you do enjoy it
and you do know quite a bit about it. The good thing about being
involved in the PACE project is that you have lots of time
to be involved in it. You’ll be working on one project
for the whole semester and we were able to understand a lot more of the
background knowledge about what it’s about. This is quite
inspiring for any student. It’s been very important for them
to see the things that they’ve been learning in classes being applied
to a professional environment and being surrounded by people who are
excited about the work that they are doing. PACE units are a really
good way of getting involved in what you think you might be doing
in the future and actually seeing what that would be like in real life. The ultimate goal of an education
at university is to develop the entire student, not just
to focus on specific skills. The PACE unit really allows us to do that. [music]

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