RSAA Winter School 2011

Publication date
Sunday, 22 Jan 2012

Thank you very much for running such a fantastic and enjoyable programme. I am grateful that I was able to participate...

The ANU Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics (RSAA) Winter School was held from the 27 July to the 3 August 2011. Approximately 50 applications to participate were submitted by undergraduate students for the 10 available places. The top applicants were selected on the basis of their interest in pursing astronomy as a future career and their prior academic achievements. The students spent 4 days at Mount Stromlo Observatory in Canberra, participating in a lecture series and working on mini projects which they presented on their final day at Mt Stromlo. The final 3 days of the program were spent on a road trip to the Siding Spring Observatory were they participated in night observing as well as attended day time tours. The group also visited the CSIRO Parkes Observatory where they had a VIP behind the scenes tour.

Very good (unique) learning experience and very good insight into modern professional astronomy.

RSAA is home to many world leaders in astronomical research. Our scientists study many aspects of the of our universe including searching for planets around other stars, mapping the expansion of space and time, understanding the formation of galaxies, modeling the violent flows of gas around black holes and finding the oldest stars in the galaxy. RSAA scientists discovered that the universe is expanding at an accelerating rate. Our engineers design cutting edge astronomical instruments that go on some of the worldʼs largest telescopes.

I thought it was a fantastic experience and would like to thank everybody who took part in organising and running it.

Many of the participating students had chosen to study at ANU specifically because RSAA has a reputation as Australiaʼs premier university for astronomical research. RSAA has the largest group of astronomers in Australia. In 2008 Thomson Reuters listed the top 20 institutions for space science and ranked RSAA 10th in the world (ahead of Harvard University and Cambridge University). It was the only Australian university that appeared in this list.

I came to ANU specifically to pursue astronomy and this was the highlight of my semester... brilliant, thank you!

The students who attended the RSAA Winter School in 2011 found the week and exciting introduction to astronomy research. They had the opportunity to interact with leading researchers and participating in scientific observations on research telescopes.