Week 2: Python Pain and Star Stirred

Edward A -

Welcome back everyone; week 2 is now complete! As I predicted in my last blog post, this week was primarily focused on learning Python coding and I struggled. When it comes to hardware vs software in the computer world, software isn’t always my strongest point. However, this doesn’t seem to be just a “me” thing; even Becca has expressed that sometimes she struggles with coding as well. She and Dr. Richardson gave me some resources I can use to learn. In addition, a BASIS staff member gave me a Python course that can also help me learn to code. With both of these, I’m managing to find my way to learn Python coding. I know I won’t be an expert by the end of this project, but it’ll give me a good introduction that I’m sure I can take with me into college and beyond.

We had a guest speaker come to Embry Riddle this week; he gave us a lecture about civilian involvement within the astronomy field. This topic especially spiked my interest. Even if I don’t continue with astronomy as a primary career field, I’d love to continue it as a hobby. I now have resources and groups I could potentially reach out to if I ever want to get involved with astronomy research even from the comfort of my home!

I ended the week meeting with Becca, Dr. Richardson, and Payton, since Payton and I will both be working with the same star data. Payton and I initially listened in on Becca and Dr. Richardson’s discussion about the code she has made for processing the collected star data into graphs. With that, we planned out that Payton and I would start working with the star data and her code starting Monday! In addition,  Dr. Richardson is going to get in touch with the astronomy team so that Payton and I can get a chance to use the telescopes and learn how observatories are used to collect data. There’s a lot to look forward to from here on out, and I can’t wait to report it to you all soon. For now, have a star-tastic week!

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    Hi Edward! I agree that Python is difficult; I tried it once and then stopped, so I am super thrilled to see how your journey with Python progresses! I am glad you enjoyed the lecture! You mentioned you learned about ways a person can be involved with astronomy even if they don't want to pursue it as a career, what are some? :)
    Hi Selene! In short, there are many independent communities or some that affiliate with NASA. Through those communities, you can use your own telescope to add on to the data of certain stars or celestial objects and get credit for it!
    Although you are struggling with Python, it is very cool to see that you have so many people and resources who are willing to help you. They must think your project is interesting enough to hope you succeed, and I would agree with them.

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