Europlanet Summer School 2019
From 11-21 June, Europlanet 2020 RI once again welcomed 21 students, early career researchers and amateur astronomers to a summer school at the Molėtai Astronomical Observatory in Lithuania.
The 2019 course was the 20th anniversary of the inaugural summer school organised by the University of Vilnius at MAO and the third time that it has been supported by Europlanet 2020 RI.
This year, the summer school was attended by students from 17 countries. A priority for Europlanet is to support planetary science in under-represented states, so we were particularly delighted to that the class of 2019 included students from Albania, Armenia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Georgia, Lithuania, Poland, Turkey and Romania, as well as Austria, France, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Spain, Vietnam and the UK.
All the students were given practical experience in spectroscopic and photometric observations with the MAO’s two telescopes under the supervision of Arnas Drazdauskas, Sarunas Mikolaitis, Edita Stonkute and Justas Zdanavičius of Vilnius University’s Institute of Theoretical Physics and Astronomy. In the mornings, students analysed observations. In the afternoons, they participated in a programme of science communication training.
An introductory lecture, “Stars and Exoplanets – the breakthrough of research”, by Hans Kjeldsen of Aarhus University in Denmark put the programme into context. Participant Martin Topinka of the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies gave the public talk, “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away – in the perspective of JWST”.
Special thanks to Gražina Tautvaisiene, Renata Minkevičiūtė and all the Local Organising Committee for their work in organising the Summer School and creating a memorable event once again.