11 September 2020
As members of the Other Half Physics Factor Research Club, sixth formers Ashwin Tennant, Scott Yap and Ivan Gabestro joined the Institute for Research in Schools Cosmic Mining project, assisting astrophysicists in identifying targets of interest for NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope to be launched in October 2021. The boys had to learn the principles of spectroscopy as applied to the analysis of star and galaxy composition, then pass several tests to demonstrate their competence before being allowed to analyse previously unseen data sets.
Undeterred by lockdown, the team continued to work online despite the fact they were in different countries for most of the time. Having completed their analyses and received positive feedback on their results from the science team, they wrote up a report on their work and recorded a remote presentation which can be viewed on the Abingdon School YouTube channel here.
Their work was submitted to the British Science Association and each of the boys was recently awarded a CREST Gold Award. An article has also been submitted to the Young Scientists Journal and is undergoing review before publication.