I’m Begoña, and I just finished my internship at Quasar. My main input to the SFM project has been to work in identifying a suitable star cluster with information in both GAIA and Herschel and look for GAIA catalogue data and dust map images from Herschel in both data archives at ESAC. Once the data was extracted, I worked on the cross-correlation of the information obtained from both missions. Below is the example plot obtained using the tools developed by the Quasar team for the project.
In the left image we see the Herschel map of the star cluster IC 5146. On the right I have over plotted the GAIA coordinates of the stars in the cluster.
The reason behind doing this cross-match is to see what information the data from both missions gives us when combined. Given the fact that GAIA resolves stars with great accuracy and that Herschel gives us information in the infrared and submillimetre, we can test if we find inside the star cluster (where young stars can still be forming) large quantities of dust and gas. The dust and gas are vital to trace star formation.
I have also worked on some outreach activities, something that the program H2020 makes a lot of emphasis in. I have helps preparing a talk for schools on general astrophysics as well as prepare exercises for kids.
Being involved in this project, which is the effort of a large international collaboration, has been a very positive experience. It is because of this, that the tasks undertaken have not been easy and there has been plenty of difficulties along the way. The working environment has been important for me to understand what it is like to work in such a collaboration. In my view, this project has given me new tools that I think will be very useful for my professional growth. I have also seen first-hand how a company works, its development, the working environment, …. and I can only say, now that I have finished, that in Quasar I have learned a lot and that it has been a great experience, one that I recommend to my fellow students at university. I want to thank the personnel at Quasar for this opportunity.