Friday, September 03 2010 @ 09:31 MDT
Contributed by: evilscientist
School has started again for me in both senses, school as work as a teacher, and school as student. Work is as it always is, work. Enjoyable and rewarding work for sure but I'm not one of those people who define themselves by their job so it's not everything to me.
School is going well. I am half-way through my program so six courses down, six to go. I have two this term. One is on tools of astronomy, so telescopes, sensors and so on. The other is very cool, a research course on computational astrophysics.
What does computational astrophysics mean, well in general terms it's using computers to perform simulations to help explain observed phenomenon. What it means to me is I get to use the Swinburne University supercomputer to do something I've always wanted to do, smash galaxies together! Galaxy interactions either through close approaches or actual collisions are important in galaxy evolution. The formation of certain shapes of galaxies are due to galactic interactions and one of the mechanisms that initiates star formation in galaxies. That makes this a fun course for sure and I've been waiting for this since the start of the program!