July 5, 2017, by Dr. Meghan Gray
Student Research: Crystal Clear Clusters
Straight into the deep end!
That’s what happened to undergraduate student Shaun Brown. Just a week after finishing his third year, he’s started a summer project working with Alfonso Aragon-Salamanca and me in the astronomy group. And just days after starting his summer project, he joined a group of Nottingham astronomers at the “Crystal Clear Clusters” workshop in Spain.
For five days we lived in a residencia in the mountain with other astronomers from around the world, with nothing to do but eat, sleep, and think about the Universe. (OK, there was some hiking and football and a few hardy souls even braved the colder-than-expected temperatures to take a dip in the swimming pool!)
Here’s Shaun’s take on the experience:
I have been lucky enough to be given the opportunity to undertake a summer project in the University of Nottingham’s astronomy department. So far it has been a great experience. I am only a few weeks in and have already attended a week-long workshop in Spain fully funded by the university. This was a week dedicated for PhD students and researchers to study huge supercomputer simulations of galaxy clusters in detail.
It was an intense but amazing week where I’ve been able to get a lot of useful work done that will hopefully have a genuine impact on the understanding of these simulations. After a long week in Spain I’m now eager to get back and begin making progress on my summer project, which focusses on studying galaxies within the filaments of dark matter that make up the cosmic web.