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ALMA Photo Diary

Oct 26, 2016 NAOJ-SOKENDAI Summer Student Program

NAOJ and the Department of Astronomical Science of the Graduate University for Advanced Studies (SOKENDAI) hold annual summer student programs every August for sophomore and junior students who major in science and engineering. This is a short-term program that provides opportunities for students to have research experiences under the supervision of NAOJ researchers who are teaching at SOKENDAI, aiming to nurture young students who wish to be a future astronomer. This program has already been put into practice at NAOJ Mitaka Campus and other facilities around Japan and Subaru telescope at the NAOJ Hawaii Observatory (Hiro, Hawaii Island, US), and has newly started at the Joint ALMA Observatory (Santiago, Chile) this year.

Two junior students at Kyoto Sangyo University applied for this program this year and they studied under Satoko Takahashi, an assistant professor at NAOJ, for a month from the mid-August to conduct research on the formation and evolution of protostars using ALMA observation data. They learnt the analysis method of observation data, as well as the star formation theories and the mechanism of an interferometer through lectures, discussions and journal reading. At the final stage of the program, they took the initiative to decide how to conduct data analysis of a target object they chose by themselves. At the presentations of their research results, the two students showed their findings respectively focused on (i) Accretion and rotational movement of gas around a protostar and the formation of a circumstellar disc and (ii) Identification of bipolar jets (mass ejection) from multiple protostars and classification according to the evolutionary phases.

During the program, in addition to their daily research activities, the students participated in journal study sessions and science seminars jointly organized with JAO and European Southern Observatory (ESO) where they took part in active discussions with international researchers. On the last day of the program, the students volunteered to give presentations of their research papers in English at JAO. They had valuable research experiences in an international environment.

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Figure 1. Discussion with a scientist in JAO.
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Figure 2. Presentations in a teleconference between Santiago and ALMA Operations Support Facility

Also, they went to the ALMA site in northern Chile and experienced a day of an observatory staff (scientist) at the ALMA Operations Support Facility (OSF) where they saw the actual ALMA telescope and people conducting science operations (observations) on site. At the closing of the program, one of the students said, "I learned that ALMA has been operated with support of many people around the world, and thanks to them we can do our research using ALMA data."

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Figure 3. Photo of the students and Satoko Takahashi, taken at the ALMA Array Operations Site (AOS) at an altitude of 5000 meters

NAOJ Mitaka Campus also had three university students from Shinshu University, Tohoku University, and Kwansei Gakuin University under the supervision of five researchers at the NAOJ Chile Observatory. They gave presentations of their research results using ALMA observation data on the characteristics of galactic gas, mass estimation of super massive black holes, and star forming region.

The photo below was taken at the seminar for research presentations in NAOJ Mitaka Campus.

NAOJ-SOKENDAI Summer Student Program

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