GROWTH Internship Students
 /  GROWTH Internship Students
Atharva Patil (IUCAA, India)

Atharva had just completed his 4th year at IISER Pune when he applied for the GROWTH internship program. He majors in physics with a focus on astrophysical processes and plasma physics. He is keen to become a professor because he'd like to " do active and high quality research in a particular field (maybe Gravitational Waves!) and use my bleeding edge knowledge to educate everyone and keep them encouraged with the wow factor".


The requisite software installed without any fuss. I also got acquainted with the server set-up which was going to be helpful further along the project. However, my personal laptop hard disk crashed and hence, I learnt the age-old importance of uploading codes to on-line repositories. Food here is amazing!
-- Week 1

I visited the on-campus observatory which hosted the 24" telescope. Wow! I have worked with telescopes before but never inside a domed observatory. It reminded me of my childhood; when I used to see such astronomers and the time-lapse videos of telescope peeking into the heavens above on TV. The weekend started on a painful note as I got stung by a hornet in the bus I boarded for Taipei! This experience is indeed worth sharing: A random NCU guy got off the bus along with me as soon as he got to know what stung me and guided me all the way to a hospital. Amazing Taiwanese people!
-- Week 2

The dedicated server, (intended for the remote telescope communication) finally kicked off! I met an alumni of NCU while having dinner, who had been to over 50 countries! We chatted for a really long time (and we didn't even ask for each other's name!) regarding various things and I got to know pretty interesting things about Taiwan's relation with mainland China.
-- Week 3

Due to the problem of inverted RA-DEC, we've decided to make another trip to Lulin by the end of the coming week and possibly have a fully automated and remote telescope by the end of that trip. This experience has indeed helped me to learn a bit of the workings of the telescope components: the mount, ccd, filterwheel, focuser, dome, etc. Such knowledge might be difficult to get from a book. My Saturday started off by visiting the Giant Panda house at the Taipei Zoo, and it was a first to see a panda in real. Amazingly cute sight!
-- Week 4

Atharva with his mentor Dr Chow Choong Ngeow during a visit to the Lulin Telescope site in Taiwan

GROWTH is funded by the National Science Foundation under Grant No 1545949. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.