Interested in: Radio Astronomy Camp

Run by Radio Astronomy Camp
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Radio Astronomy Camp

Radio Astronomy Camp


Run by Radio Astronomy Camp

About this Day Camp

  • Day Camp
  • Age 16 - 18+ (Coed)
  • Specialized in Python and Space—offers 3 activities
  • 1 session date to choose from
  • Cost starting from $750
  • Busing not available
  • Special needs support not available  

This camp is designed to build the following character traits:

  • Curiosity: Astronomy is arguably the ultimate form of "curiosity driven" research. Participants will have ample opportunity to explore the radio telescope data.
  • Interpersonal skills: The program is challenging, but participants who are persistent will learn a lot and achieve a deeply satisfying result.


The program will be run by the Canadian Center for Experimental Radio Astronomy (CCERA) at its observatory in Carp, Ontario.

Participants in the program will use a 12.8 m radio telescope dish to observe the 21-cm radio waves that are emitted by the hydrogen gas that permeates the Milky Way. Data from the dish will be used to infer the existence of dark matter, a mysterious substance that accounts for much of the mass of the universe.


To conduct this program, participants will need to learn a lot of things along the way.   These include: i) the rudiments of astronomy and radio astronomy; ii) the microscopic origin of the 21-cm radiation; iii) concepts in software defined radio; iv) spectral analysis; and v) how to analyze and plot scientific data from the dish.   Data analysis will be done using the Python programming language. No prior knowledge will be assumed, but participants should be willing and able to learn as they go. Those completing the course will acquire an ability to analyze and visually display data in ways that tell a story, a skill that will prove useful in many contexts.

Format & Schedule

Participants will meet five days a week (M-F from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM) over a two-week period.  Session activities will include seminars led by an experienced instructional staff (see below), firsthand instruction on how to select astronomical targets and to operate the telescope, and sessions where participants work independently or in small groups to analyze data from the dish.    Participants who successfully complete the rotation curve exercise will be able to design and conduct observations on topics of their choosing.   Possible observations include observation of 21 cm signals from other galaxies, the observation of signals from radio pulsars, and a measurement of the Sun’s velocity relative to nearby stars.

Instructional Staff

Participants will learn directly from a team of scientific and technical experts. The lead instructors will be CCERA President Marcus Leech, who is a well-known expert in radio astronomy and software defined radio, and Daniel Marlow, who is a CCERA member and a Professor of Physics at Princeton University.


The program is aimed college-aged participants, but highly motivated high school students are eligible to join.   The course will assume no prior knowledge in astronomy, although participants should have a solid grounding in algebra and trigonometry and be open to picking up additional mathematical techniques as the program progresses.

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Session Dates and Rates

Jul 22 - Aug 02. '24
Ottawa, ON
2336 Craig Side Road

10:00 - 16:00


  Recreational         Instructional      
  Intense or Competitive



Radio Astronomy Camp is run by Radio Astronomy Camp.

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Run by: Radio Astronomy Camp
Fields marked with an asterisk (*) are required
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