Kevin Manning

Look Up to the Stars

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Cosmic Images Across the Spectrum

Using computers online, students will learn how to access robotic telescopes, take photographs of planets, galaxies, and nebulae and use image processing tools to bring out detail in these photos the same way that professional astronomers do.  Each student will download the image processing software onto their computer's hard drive from the NASA web site and is assigned the task to request an image(s) from the robotic telescopes as much in advance of the program as possible (to allow for cloudy nights and make sure they have clear images). Each student will need access to a computer during this activity.  Using a search engine, locate and download images of the selected object taken by detectors sensitive to various frequencies in radio, infrared, ultraviolet, X-rays and gamma rays, and assemble with the processed visible image.  Then, information for each selected object, such as type of object, when discovered and by who, constellation found in with its celestial coordinates, apparent and true size, brightness, etc. will be compiled onto a page or "block" and submitted to be added to a “Cosmic Quilt.”  Color poster-sized printouts of all blocks submitted can be assembled together for a physical Cosmic Quilt and put on display as an exhibit for all to see.

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