During the week of the 19th of January, I completed work experience at the Australia Telescope Compact Array in Narrabri, a small town in northern NSW. The facility consisted of six radio dishes, each 22m in diameter, as well as several smaller instruments. The dishes work together based on the idea of very-long-baseline interferometry, which involves each one collecting signals from a radio source in space and having them collated into a single reading, effectively creating a dish roughly 3km across. I was fortunate enough to be mentored by Dr Jamie Stevens, the facility’s Senior Systems Scientist; in fact, all the work that the scientists are doing there is amazing. I found the experience very interesting, and learnt skills that I can apply to a future career in astrophysics.
Tristen Collyer, Year 12 Student