Through first hand observations and intensive studies, students will learn about stars in the Milky Way and the Magellanic Clouds. During the first five weeks of the program students will be based in Cape Town, learning about research methods, astrophysics and observational astronomy through classroom instruction and practical projects. This will include learning how to operate telescopes, and running public observing sessions.
Approximately one week of the program will be spent at the national observatory in Sutherland (four hours north of Cape Town), a remote location which is home to over 20 professional telescopes, including the largest telescope in the southern hemisphere, SALT. After collecting data for a week, students will return to Cape Town, where they will analyze their data and present the results of their independent research. During this time, students will assist staff at the national observatory in their public outreach efforts by visiting local schools, introducing young learners to the wonders of the night sky and the science of astronomy.
Dartmouth faculty will teach the regular courses and supervise the independent projects, assisted by a graduate student TAs.