Solar Week - Ask a Question

Come here during Solar Week (next one: March 22-26, 2021) to interact. To post a question, click on your area of interest from the topics below, and then click on the "Ask New Question" button. Or EMAIL or tweet or plant in Answer Garden your question about the Sun or life as a scientist to us -- and watch for it to appear here.  You can also visit our FAQs (frequently asked questions). In between Solar Weeks in October and March, you can view all the archives here.

PrevPrev Go to previous topic
NextNext Go to next topic
Last Post 3/19/2012 8:13 AM by  Kris Sigsbee
 2 Replies
You are not authorized to post a reply.
Author Messages



3/19/2012 7:50 AM
    I wanted to know if any of you guys do a little bit of programming or anything... I am an 8th grader and I am developing a video game by myself. Its in Java. Coding is a useful tool, and can definitely help any scientist.
    Tags: Sounding Rockets, hobbies, programming, Fortran, Java, LabVIEW, Python, C

    Irina Marinova

    New Member

    New Member

    3/19/2012 8:06 AM
    You are definitely correct! Coding is a huge part of being a scientist, and especially an Astronomer! In fact, we spend the vast majority of our time at a computer writing code. These computer programs are used to control the telescopes and instruments while we are taking astronomical observations. We also write programs with which we analyze large amounts of data. In addition, some astronomers use computer models to study astronomical phenomena instead of taking observations, so their whole job is based on programming! Knowing a lot about computers and programming languages would definitely give you an advantage in becoming a scientist.

    Kris Sigsbee

    Basic Member

    Basic Member

    3/19/2012 8:13 AM


    Computer programming is a huge part of what I do. Today I am planning to work on a program I wrote in IDL (Interactive Data Language) to analyze Langmuir Probe data from a sounding rocket mission called TRICE, which is an acronym that stands for Twin Rockets to Investigate Cusp Electrodynamics. TRICE actually consisted of two sound rockets that were launched from Andoya, Norway in 2007. The Langmuir probe data that I am working on will help us determine the electron density in the ionosphere.

    I definitely agree with you that coding is useful for any scientist! When I was a student, I learned Fortran, and a little bit of C and assembly language. I am now trying to learn Java, as it is useful for making web-based data plotting tools. Java had not been invented yet when I was a student. Python is another useful language for scientists to know. We also use LabVIEW here to help collect data when we test electron detectors for sounding rockets in our vacuum chamber.

    You can read more about the TRICE sounding rocket mission here

    Here is a video showing the launch


    You are not authorized to post a reply.

    Twitter Feed

    Scientist Leaderboard

    Name # of replies
    Multiverse skin is based on Greytness by Adammer