GROWTH Internship Students
 /  GROWTH Internship Students
Kit Chinetti (Caltech)

Kit Chinetti was a junior at Caltech when she applied for the GROWTH internship program. She majors in Physics and she hopes her job in the future will offer her the opportunity to tackle difficult data analysis problems and develop interesting experimental designs.


  • Internship Start Date 26 June 2016
  • Internship End Date   3 September 2016
  • Project Nova Eruptions in the Andromeda Galaxy
  • Mentor Matt Darnley & Paolo Mazzali
  • Liverpool John Moores University, UK

There's a ton of stuff I've been learning in my first week here. I guess the thing that's stuck in my mind the most is learning about the plans for the second Liverpool Robotic Telescope, this one 4m. I thought the instrumentation considerations were very interesting, and hearing about the desired research science and other inspirations and considerations gave me insight into the status of astrophysics research I hadn't had before.
-- Week 1

What a great week. I found a nova! iPTF16bqy is my first little contribution to transient discoveries. And I traveled to Scotland!
-- Week 2

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Learning photometry through trial and error was definitely the standout of this week. I feel like I understand the sky around 16bqy a lot better now that I've looked through so many different photometric images of it.
-- Week 4

I enjoy spectroscopy, so going through the new spectra of 16bqy was fun! I also tentatively confirmed 16bqy to be in the M31 Giant Stellar Stream, which might explain why it's so far out from the center of M31. This week had wonderful summer weather, so I took a rental bike out for a spin. I biked around Liverpool a bit but it took me a bit to get accustomed to riding around on British streets.
-- Week 5

This week was exciting because I had to learn how to dig into the archival GALEX data to search for the progenitor system of 16bqy completely on my own. Neither Matt (my advisor) nor I knew much about the GALEX survey before.
-- Week 6

While exploring the wonders of the Andromeda Galaxy, Kit didn't forget to explore what's right in her feet. On her trip to Scotland she fell in love with the Wanlockhead village.

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.