Rancho Santa Fe student spends summer doing astronomical research in New Mexico


In five intense weeks this summer, Rancho Santa Fe resident Tomer Mate-Solomon, a senior at The Bishop’s School, operated a telescope to take digital images of a near-Earth asteroid, and wrote his own computer software to measure its position precisely and calculate its orbit around the sun.

Tomer joined 35 other top science students from around the U.S. and the world for learning, late nights, and collaboration at the Summer Science Program (SSP) on the campus of the New Mexico Institute of Technology. Since 1959, bright teenagers have come to this unique program to spend their days in college-level lectures, and their nights imaging and measuring the speck of light from a distant asteroid. Years and even decades later, many alumni refer to SSP as “the educational experience of a lifetime.”

Tomer and his colleagues worked closely with university professors, heard and met prominent guest speakers on a variety of topics, and enjoyed behind-the-scenes tours of the Very Large Array, Trinity Site on the White Sands Missile Range, and Magdalena Ridge Observatory.

SSP is an independent nonprofit operated in cooperation with CalTech, MIT, New Mexico Tech and Westmont College. For more information, visit