The International Astronomical Youth Camp (IAYC) is a three-week long summer camp aiming to promote knowledge of astronomy and related sciences in a unique international atmosphere. It is organised by an international team of students and young scientists, all members of IWA e.V.
More detailed information about the IAYC in general, IAYC participants, the daily schedule and observations during the IAYC can be found in the About IAYC section.
The IAYC 2012 will take place near the beautiful bavarian town Eichendorf in Germany. The house “Schullandheim Eichenberg” is located in the heart of “Niederbayern” about 20 km southeast of the next city - Landau an der Isar. Other cities in the surroundings are Straubing (50km north), Regensburg (100 km north), Landshut (70 km west), Munich (capital of Bayern, 142 km southwest), Salzburg (Austria, 115km south) and Passau (boarder to Austria, 50 km east). More information can be found using Google Maps or by contacting email@example.com.
The camphouse itself offers comfortable bed rooms of various sizes, all equipped with a shower and a toilet. In addition, there is enough space for working groups and other free-time activities (e.g. for NAP or workshops or just sitting together in the “Kaminzimmer”). Right outside there is a small playground and a big football/NAP field. Crossing this field, there are table-tennis tables, a huge chess set and other nice things like a big grill which just calls for a BBQ. In addition, there is a public swimming pool in Eichendorf, which is reachable during free-time on foot.
Camphouse: Schullandheim Eichenberg
Coodinates: 48° 37’ 35’’ N, 12° 52’ 46’’ E
Altitude: 335m (altitude of the town, the camp house is on a small hill)
Our observation field is located just behind the NAP field and has a great 360° view, partly down to the horizon. From an astronomical point of view these are great conditions to take astropictures because of the large possible sky coverage and the low light-pollution from the surrounding towns.
If you can bring your own telescope or binoculars - great. For everyone else, IWA e.V. provides several telescopes which are suitable for observations and taking astropictures. We also have a CCD which can be used together with the telescopes. If you want to bring astronomical equipment like eyepieces or filters or if you want to know more about our equipment, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Area: 357 021 sq km
Population: ~82 Million (2010)
Bigger cities: Hamburg, Munich, Frankfurt
Languages: German, most young people speak English
Currency: Euro (EUR)
Int. Dialing code: ++49
The participation fee for the IAYC 2012 will be 700 Euro. However, if you apply before the 7th of April (date on the post stamp counts), you will receive a discount of 50 Euro. You will have to transfer this fee after you have received a confirmation of your acceptance by email.
We think that your financial background should not be a criterion for participating in the IAYC. If you cannot come to the IAYC for financial reasons (for instance in case of a non-convertible currency or because you have problems paying the full participation fee), you can apply for a grant. If our financial support is necessary for you to attend the camp, then contact us on the address below or write an email to firstname.lastname@example.org in order to obtain the application form for our limited grant programme.
In the following section you can find the abstracts of the 7 working groups offered in the IAYC 2012. On the application form you have to indicate which working group you want to participate in. In addition to the working group overviews, the NAP leader and the general who are not leading a working group will also introduce themselves.
What does ACT stand for? Is it Atacama, a desert in South America, which is being conquered by brave ESO astronomers? Does it stand for Andriod Computer Technology, a special branch of AI studies? Or we could ask ourselves how many words starting with A, C and T there are in an english dictionary and how many meaningful combinations we would find? And then how could we decide which one is the correct one?
In our case it is none of the above. So, what does it stand for, you can ask yourself? The short answer is: Astrophysical Critical Thinking. AHA?! ....
Imagine yourself in some very good restaurant where you can eat all you want. On the table are the normal seemingly boring dishes which are good and made of proper ingredients. Imagine that among all of this "normal" food is also a huge delicious looking hamburger. Most of us will choose the hamburger, just because it will look delicious and more interesting than the other food. This is extremely normal, but where is the connection to astronomy camp?
We are living in an information consuming society, which means we love to feast on a nice big, tasty hamburger of information, even though we do not know how or what is it being made of, if it's dangerous or poisonous. It is also quite possible that it contains absolutely no nutritional value and its made of ballast.
Our aim in this WG will be to learn to distiguish such hamburgers* (or any other type of dish) and learn to analyse them. We will do this in context of astrophysics and other cases that are maybe more connected to everyday life, it is your choice. Some examples of the well known hamburgers are moon hoax, homeopathy, neutrinos faster than light or neo-geocentrism and many others.
And in the end a word of confession, yes this WG is about scepticism, but about scientific scepticism and trust me it has NOTHING to do with pessimism. Critical thinking and scepticism are important tools not only in science but also in everyday life. The use of them can lead you onto very interesting journeys.
I am looking forward to meeting you on such a three week journey next summer in Germany.
Note that the author likes hamburgers and uses them only for illustrative purposes, because when he was writing this, he was hungry and was feeling like having a hamburger.
Sometimes, while studying in Uni or High School, we might get the impression that Physics is a science where every problem can be elegantly solved on a blackboard. The typical algorithm is apparently simple: From a few basic principles, you write the equations, you substitute the values, and you obtain a final result which solves your problem. Period.
Hold on! Is that really everything? Is it always that simple? Fortunately, nature is usually a bit trickier, showing us plenty of phenomena where something more is needed. At times we end up having such a huge number of variables that it would be insane to solve it just with pen and paper, and in some other cases we obtain equations which can only be solved numerically. This is where the power of computational methods arises, allowing us to carry out simulations of complex systems in record time. But that's not the only point! The use of computers has allowed us to plot, analyse and present our data in a faster, more accurate and cleaner way.
So, what are we going to do here? Our main goal will be to understand and use these methods to develop a few models, whether making an interactive simulation of the evolution of a planetary system, understanding the importance of a Montecarlo simulation in an experiment, learning (and showing to the other groups) how to present your results neatly and efficient, and much more! Wait, you have any suggestions? Just drop me a message, and we'll see what we can do!
Don't worry if this sounds too complicated to you. Believe me, it's not! With a bit of patience, confidence and a "comphy" atmosphere, even the most challenging problem will show to be solvable! :)
Looking forward to meeting you all in Eichendorf!
My dear participants (I like the sound of that ;-) ),
after reading all the abstracts of the working groups that are offered during the IAYC2012, you are probably wondering who is in charge of this bunch of scientists. Well...that would be me, the general coordinator.
I take care of everything concerning the everday (and night) business. I make sure you get good food, stay healthy, that your postcards arrive at home before you do etc. Whenever you have a problem or question, when you are unsure of what to do during the free day or you are missing diet coke in the bar service, just come to me and we will figure it out.
In short: my mission is to make sure that you experience the most awesome IAYC ever. In order to do so, the leaderteam selected an exquisit location in Bavaria, Germany. Coming back to this camphouse after exactly 10 years calls for a legendary camp - but no pressure there!
However, my job does not start on August 5th, but it started already back with the preparation of this first Info. If you have any questions regarding the camp location, the set-up or schedule of the camp or whatever you want to know before applying, please, do not hesitate to contact me (email@example.com) or the info-service (firstname.lastname@example.org). We are happy to give additional information whenever possible.
I would be very happy to hear from you and see you in Eichendorf!
The ultimate answer to the great question of life, the universe, and everything. Isn't that all what we are actually looking for? Alright, in this working group we will start with the first item in the list. Life. Since life itself is an amazingly complex thing we will look at the tiniest living things available. Single cells. How do they live and what do they do all the time? You can find that out in M&M, by actually looking at them. What would happen if we only consisted of one single cell? This is probably a bit hard to answer but we will have some of the simplest imaginable organisms around. They are not just like an average pet but instead the ones which you eat every single day, millions of them! Even (or especially) if you suffer from being a vegetarian: yoghurt, cake, beer and wine are all based on microorganisms which we will study.
Since even these tiny beings are still utterly complex we will need tools for studying them. First there will be microscopes but if you know how to use a telescope you can handle a microscope as well - the main difference is that you can work when it is cloudy. Then you will be able to build your own microchip for studying those little beings. If that sounds too technical you should not be scared since our chips will be based on gelatin.
When we talk about microorganisms we have inherently small objects but can you maybe see them with your bare eye? No? Really? This still sounds to macro for you? Well, you are invited to dig deeper. How about simulating the action potential of the cell that currently tells your eye to focus on the next word?
Oh and don’t be afraid, we are able to work when it is cloudy. But that does not mean that we cannot sneak out, get under the clear skies and observe the rather macro worlds out there and discuss the remaining parts of the great question: the universe and everything.
Life... is like a grapefruit, take a towel, your favourite tea mug and join M&M to figure out more about it!
See you in summer
Welcome to the dark side! I have sticky tape!
No, you don’t have to put NAP among your first three preferences on your application, you’ll have the pleasure of enjoying some quality time with me everyday either way! You don’t have to sign up for it, ‘cause we’ve had your name on the list since the day you were born! It was your destiny and we’ve been anticipating the day you’d finally arrive on our homepage to apply for the camp for years!
As you know the IAYC is a camp that mainly focuses on astronomy and science in general. However, the IAYC is also about spending three weeks together with people from all over the world and getting to know each other’s cultures and habits better. This is what the NAP (the Non-Astronomical Programme) is there for: helping you get to know all the other participants and pushing all of you to the limits of trust and team work, while at the same time also having an amazing and fun time.
We’ll be running, shouting, screaming, singing, jumping, swimming(?), drawing, constructing stuff, filming, … and most importantly laughing together. NAP is about games, action, adventure, poetry, culture, constellations, movies, nationalities, fast witted thinking, ground-breaking design, innovative bending of the rules, music, instruments, performance,… and the list goes on and on.
But besides making sure that you spend your time on useful things at least once a day, I’ll also be there to provide you with enough sticky tape, scissors, rulers, pens, pencils, strings, paper and whatever else can be found in my office so that all your small and big projects will be successfully completed. Of course you’re also always welcome to just come by for a cosy chat in a relaxed atmosphere. And remember: I’ll be trading coffee/tea and cookies for the latest gossip! So help me produce a complete and detailed “map” and you’ll be rewarded! ;)
I can’t wait to have all of you in my big “working” group this summer! We’ll make the most of the IAYC 2012 together!
See you in Eichendorf!
Are you a curious person? Are you eager to dive into a new world that describes nature? Do you want to know why all galaxies move away from us? And, does dark matter really exist? If you wonder about these questions, Physics in Astronomy is your working group!
In this working group we want to explore the laws of nature that govern our universe, from the infinitesimal to the unimaginably large. Let's find out how we can explain phenomena in nature; Just think of all those magnificent nebulae (e.g. the Horsehead Nebula) out there! Have you ever wondered why some nebulae appear more blueish while others seem more reddish? We will try to explain these observations by means of physics! All we need is paper, a pen and your curiosity!
Some other projects might deal with special relativity or, for the brave ones, general relativity; We will be able to understand the Friedmann equations that describe the expansion of the Universe!
What if you haven’t had advanced physics or math courses and this sounds all very sophisticated to you? Don’t worry about that! There will be projects for all levels; the only ingredient you need is your own enthusiasm!
Of course PA will be more than science. An important aspect is getting together, having a nice time and throwing a party with sweet biscuits and hot chocolate. We can also go out stargazing and hear stories from around the world!
Looking forward to seeing you under the beautiful sky of Bavaria!
To infinity, and beyond! To go where no human eye has set foot before! That is our mission. Without automated space probes, we would never have found out so much about the planets in our own solar system. Space Probes by nature are robots. They collect information, make their own decisions about where to go and return information safely back to mission control without any contact to people. In other words, they're pretty cool. So we're going to make one. "But Wait!" I hear you yell, "NASA and ESA have millions of dollars and hundreds of scientists working for years on each probe, how can we possibly make one in three weeks?".
Never fear! We don't need to launch our probe into space to get a good look at a planet. We're standing on one. Thanks to my incredibly secret WHALE (Warm/Hot Air Launching Equipment) technology, we will launch a Probe of our own design into the atmosphere that will collect information on the world around us and return the information to us for processing. And all that with materials that can be found at your nearest Hardware store. Be warned though, as with all scientific missions, there is no manual. It will be up to you to design and build the launch vehicle, the probe, the instruments, the safety features and the return mechanism. It will be up to you to decide what data needs to be recorded and then to analyse it. And then it will be up to you to launch PLUTO 1 and retrieve the data. Something we often forget that rocket scientists are really just a bunch of kids with (advanced) hammers and nails.
There is no formula for discoving the unknown! So if you're a practical person with an eye for the heavens, a problem solver, an experimentalist, have a thing for data analysis or really just want to see a bird's eye view of our camp through the onboard camera, come to the dark side of Pluto!
We have cookies.
Ever looked at the night sky and wondered what civilisations of old saw in those shiny balls of fire? Anyone can sit down, open up a planetarium program at home, but can you spot Aquila without a guidebook? Can you stay up until you find the fuzzy patch of Pleiades? Have you ever tried to construct a sundial?
We will do all this and more. We are going to learn about what people dead long ago thought about the celestial world, what it meant for them. About how sailors used the stars to navigate the seas before the era of the GPS.
And whats more - will be astronomers.
See you next summer!
Question: What's cooler than one star?
Answer: Two stars!
OK, we're not talking temperature here, but you may be surprised to learn that an estimated 2 out of every 3 stellar systems we know of have more than one star in them. Binary stars are an astrophysicist's best friend. Through the wonders of Keplerian mechanics, we can easily work out the mass of both stars and with a bit of careful observation, the masses of the individuals. The masses then lead us to the radii and all sorts of other useful information.
Question: But, what if the second star isn't a star? What if the second star is a planet?
Ah, now we're talking. Much of the same techniques that astronomers regularly apply to binary stars also work with exoplanet systems, you just need to look harder. What is an exoplanet? Simply speaking it's a planet that isn't in our solar system and we've discovered over 500 of them so far. I bet you'd also be surprised to learn that you don't need an 8m telescope with adaptive optics to observe an exoplanet. That's a pretty big claim, but you'll have to join VIBE to find out whether it's true or not.
So, what are we going to do? Well, we're going to use a method called photometric detection to look at some eclipsing star systems. Essentially we're going to measure the light from a star, over time, and look to see when it dips as one star passes in front of another.
We’re going split into two teams. The first group is going to calibrate the telescope and then take the all-important pictures of the stars. The second group will be tasked with data analysis and will try and get some science out of the pictures.
Question: But I’ve never done X Y or Z before!
Answer: Fear not, that’s why you’re joining this working group - to learn how!
Along with a healthy dose of science, relaxing music, good food and friendly conversation, VIBE is sure to be the best working group!
See you on another planet
If you want to participate in the IAYC 2012, fill in the application form that is provided with this booklet and send it to us as soon as possible. If you are not yet 18 (21 in some countries) your legal guardian (usually a parent) has to sign the form instead of you. We also ask you to include a recent picture of yourself.
Make sure you have read the terms and conditions on the reverse of the application form carefully. Specifically, we point out that you are obliged to have a valid health insurance. Once we decide to accept your application you will have to send a copy of your insurance certificate to us. The application form should be sent to:
You can apply any time before the IAYC 2012. But if you apply before April 7th 2012 (poststamp date counts), you will be informed about your acceptance in May 2012. Later applications will be considered if places are still available. Before receiving the letter of acceptance you can withdraw your application without further obligations. If you are accepted as a participant, you will have to submit the full participation fee to the IAYC bank account. The most recent information is always available on our homepage: www.iayc.org or can be obtained by contacting email@example.com.
Well before the camp, you will receive a Second Info brochure containing the contact details of other participants and more detailed travel information, including how to get to the camp house. If you have any questions that are not answered by this booklet, do not hesitate to contact one of us. We are looking forward to receiving your application and to seeing you in Eichendorf, Germany.
Alex, Balazs, Eva, Florian, Javier, Josh, Kieran, Martin, Seb