My Adler Experience

As we have worked at the Adler, we have all made many different choices. We choose our research project, we choose our websites to use etc. These choices have paved the way for all of our experiences here, making each one of our experiences both original and special. Let’s go and review some of the choices I’ve made to pave out my own experience here.

The question that I chose to research was “do galaxy pairs tend to be more similar in classification when they are closer to one another?” We had spent some time reviewing what a good research question would be and I chose this because it seemed to fit those qualifications we had talked of. Also it seemed very interesting to me, because I hear all the time about galaxies and their various types, but how often have you heard about the similarities of galaxies in a pair?

When I first set out to figure out the answer to this question, there were a few skills I had to make sure that I could learn. Of course I had to make sure that I had figured out how to create the necessary plots via python, but even before that I had to make sure that I was able to efficiently and accurately find data and put it into my code. These things ensured that I could complete the project.


Our plot made with iPython

After getting the results of this project, I learned many interesting and amazing things. First of all, I found a relationship between distance and classification. Even though the types of data we were looking at were two seemingly very different types of data: data regarding distance and data regarding qualities. I also learned from the Adler Astronomers during our first presentation. I learned that galaxy spiral pairs could be potentially colliding to make elliptical galaxies.

Globular Clusters

Now that I have completed this project, new questions of course come to mind. For example, do similar galaxy pairs tend to be more common in certain places? Do pairs with stronger gravitational pulls tend to me even more similar? The beauty of this program is that we will always have more questions to ask, and now we know how to answer these questions. What would you ask?


My name is Lillian J, I am a Freshman at Walter Payton. I have worked at the Adler Planetarium for the past 6 weeks.




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