News

Young researchers hunt asteroids in Portuguese school

Six students, ages 12 and 13, participating in the Asteroid Search Campaign, have contributed to confirm the discovery of an asteroid and helped determine the orbit of another one. The International Asteroid Search Campaign is a project promoted by the Hardin-Simmons University in collaboration with Hands-on Universe. “My students are very excited”, describes the proud teacher, Ana Costa, while humbly accepting the congratulations for the well done work. "Gladly", she adds, "even the parents are now cooperating in the research."

Portugese kids - asteroid discoverers
 

 

Read more: Young researchers hunt asteroids in Portuguese school

Polish students discover yet another asteroid this year !

 

Polish students discover 10th asteroid this year. 

 The tenth asteroid has been discovered by three lower secondary school students from Nicolaus Copernicus Lower Secondary School in Sierpc, Poland. The young discoverers, Marek Urbanski, Patryk Stanczak and Bartosz Zielinski, all three from class III c, found the object in images provided for the school within the framework of the "International Asteroid Search Campaign". Students work under the supervision of their IT and physics teacher - Józef Urbanski.

 Polish schools, including the one in Sierpc, participate in the IASC Campaign within a wider EU-HOU programme, which in Poland is coordinated by the Center for Theoretical Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences. Within the programme students are equipped with modern didactic tools facilitating educational efforts in sciences, for example, computer programs for astronomical observations by means of web-cams or programs for the remote control of telescopes and radiotelescopes.

 Polish young astronomy enthusiasts have so far discovered 10 asteroids this year. The spring edition of the International Asteroid Search Campaign resulted in 6 Polish discoveries, with the students from the following schools becoming new discoverers: Secondary School No. 13 in Szczecin, Tadeusz Czacki Secondary School No. 27 in Warsaw and Secondary School No. 10 of the Stefan Banach Complex of Schools in Torun.

 The same schools joined the autumn edition of the programme, which resulted in yet next discoveries: 2 planetoids have been discovered by the Warsaw and Szczecin schools, with another two recent discoveries credited to schools from Torun and Sierpc.

 "The discovery made by students from Sierpc means a lot to us. It's been for the first time in the history of the project that these are students from a small, as opposed to a big town that have discovered a new planetoid. This proves that schools from smaller towns situated far from urban areas also have the potential, which has not been realised in full until now" - emphasised Professor Lech Mankiewicz, the coordinator of the EU-HOU programme in Poland.

 

 

Uranus and its satellites UII & UIV on October 20, 2007

Uranus and two satellites Umbriel and Oberon. 18 views  de 30s, focal length reducer, webcam Philips ToUcam pro II ( LExp) l


André Debackère
SAF n° 31777
Monistrol sur Loire 43
45° 18' 52" N 4° 10' 8" E   605 m

uranus_astro_a__l_ecole2.jpg

 

Read more: Uranus and its satellites UII & UIV on October 20, 2007

The Faulkes Telescope Project meeting in Moscow !

The Faulkes Telescope Project  meeting  in Moscow !

 

On 26th September 2007, a meeting organized by the British Council in Moscow was held at the Sternberg Astronomical Institute in Moscow to celebrate one year of the Faulkes Telescope project in Russia. Attending the meeting were representatives from schools in all five regions of Russia participating in the project (Moscow, St Petersburg, Ekaterinburg, Nizhniy Novgorod and Samara), together with regional co-ordinators of the British Council-FT project and professional astronomers. Founder of the Faulkes Telescope project, Dr Martin (Dill) Faulkes, was guest of honour.

FT/BC/HOU Meeting in Moscow 1

 During the day, students and teachers from the five regions presented the results of their work during the year. In each region, school pupils and their teachers have worked closely with the regional coordinators and with professional astronomers to identify projects which are of BC/FT Meeting in Moscowgenuine scientific interest. Working together, the teams have then planned the observations needed, booked time on the telescopes, and collected their data. Collecting the data is only part of the work - pupils, teachers and astronomers have then undertaken careful analysis of their results, drawing appropriate conclusions and deciding on future work.

All of these efforts were reported during the conference, and those attending were highly impressed with the work that had been carried out, both in terms of the amount of observations and the quality of the analysis.

All schools participating in the project received certificates and prizes of books, kindly donated by the Dynasty foundation. In addition,  each of the five regions received an astronomical telescope, and there were FT/BC Meeting in Moscowprizes of webcams and printers for the best reports presented by schools. Certificates were awarded by Dill Faulkes as guest of honour, books by [name] of the Dynasty Foundation, and other prizes by Serge Lamzin for Sternberg Astronomical Institute.

 

Following the reports from schools, those attending the conference had an opportunity to discuss future work with the telescopes, and collaboration with other countries across Europe. This discussion was greatly assisted by the attendance of Lech Mankiewicz (Poland) and Rosa Doran (Portugal) from the EU Hands On Universe (EUHoU) project, who provided many helpful examples of collaborative projects currently running in Europe. As an outcome of the discussions, Russian colleagues prioritised the following projects for future work, participating fully in a range of international projects through three initiatives:

1.     Nizhniy Novgorod initiative - to join "Academy of colour imaging" - a special section of the web site including dedicated Forum, devoted to improving color imaging skills to learn to adapt photos from telescopes and make them beautiful, including use of the SalsaJ software.

2.     St Petersburg initiative - to join "To the edge of the Solar System" - observations of trans-Neptunian objects and Pluto.

3.     Samara initiative - to join "Supernova Observation", a continuation of the activities of the Portal of Supernovae. This would include the introduction of a "Supernova Target of the Month" intended to encourage more schools to perform observations of the same supernova, and thus contribute to detailed knowledge about it.

 

Read more: The Faulkes Telescope Project meeting in Moscow !

Making an asteroid movie!

The Faulkes Telescope Project, in collaboration with their Polish partners, who are supported by the British Council in Poland, recently created a movie of an asteroid moving against the starry background.

Read more: Making an asteroid movie!

Life Cycle of Stars Themed Observing Day

On Wednesday 23rd May, the Faulkes Telescope Team ran a themed observing day for which all of the observations were used to create a poster based around the Life Cycle of Stars. 


 

Read more: Life Cycle of Stars Themed Observing Day

Google Sky - explore space from your computer !!!

August 22, 2007 - Google today announced the launch of Sky, a new feature that enables users of Google Earth to view the sky as seen from planet Earth.

With Sky, users can now float through the skies via Google Earth. This easy-to-use tool enables all Earth users to view and navigate through 100 million individual stars and 200 million galaxies.  High resolution imagery and informative overlays create a unique playground for learning about space.

To access Sky, Google Earth users need only click "Switch to Sky" from the "view" drop-down menu in Google Earth, or click the Sky button on the Google Earth toolbar. The interface and navigation are similar to that of standard Google Earth steering, including dragging, zooming, search, "My Places," and layer selection.

To access Sky in Google Earth, users need to download the newest version of Google Earth, available at: http://earth.google.com. The feature will be available on all Google Earth domains, in 13 languages.  

Read more: Google Sky - explore space from your computer !!!

Galaxy ZOO - a safari through the Universe !!!

SDSS LogoThe Sloan Digital Sky Survey has just opened a new web site with an exciting opportunity for the public called through a new web site called Galaxy Zoo: www.galaxyzoo.org . It's a chance for you to participate in research efforts of the SDSS.

It's an interesting and useful question to ask whether a galaxy is a spiral or elliptical galaxy. In addition to their different shapes, spirals and ellipticals have different properties, and they are home to different populations of stars. And it's easy to tell a galaxy's type just by looking at it.

 

 The Galaxy Zoo

The  www.galaxyzoo.org web site.

The SDSS has images of millions of galaxies - far more than any single person could look through in a lifetime. Computers can't help with the task of classifying galaxies, because they have trouble recognizing images. So classifying galaxies is a task that is nearly impossible for computers, but easy for humans - but there are so many galaxies that a person could never look through all of them.

This is where you come in. If thousands of people all look at the galaxies together, they can classify the galaxies reasonably quickly. The web site www.galaxyzoo.org lets you classify the galaxies. Read the main page and "How to Take Part", then register to join the project. "How to Take Part" includes a tutorial on classifying galaxies. After the tutorial, you will take a simple test of your classification skill. Once you pass the test, you can start classifying by clicking "Galaxy Analysis." Your classifications will be sent to a database that astronomers can see. We are working on a star system to recognize people who have classified the most galaxies - galaxies that you classify now will count toward your total.

 

The Mice

 

These too merging galaxies are known as The Mice. Courtesy www.galaxyzoo.org  

If you're a teacher, your students can help too!

Let me know if you have trouble with the site. If you're a teacher and you'd like to have your students help, let me know that too. I'm planning some student activities using Galaxy Zoo, and I'd love to get your thoughts on how they should work. Enjoy, and happy classifying!

Clear skies,

Jordan Raddick

 Please send questions, comments, or suggestions by E-mail to: Jordan Raddick ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )