A Summer of Asteroid-Tracking

As my 40-day summer adventure tracking near-Earth asteroids at the University of Colorado at Boulder draws to a close, I find myself experiencing an overwhelming feeling of sadness. Sure, it has been, by far, the most intellectually and physically challenging experience I have ever had in my life. Between countless hours of graduate-level mathematics, physics, and astronomy lectures; struggling through a constant onslaught of problem sets; writing every line of code in image analysis programs to least squares plate reduction programs; getting telescope time at 2 in the morning; sleeping for an average of 4 hours a day for a month and a half; writing thousands of lines of code to do the orbit determination for a near-Earth asteroid; and penning and entire research paper on my findings in just 18 hours, my time in Colorado was grueling.

But…I also experienced guest lectures from Nobel Laureates, I encrypted messages on an original Enigma machine, I was fully immersed in the natural beauty of Boulder, and I spent 40 days with the most bright and inspiring group of young people from all around the world in my life.

Needless to say, my summer in Colorado has been the best one yet.

When I get a chance, I’ll upload my paper and orbit determination code on GitHub. For now, here were some of the highlights:

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