Presentation on theme: "INTERNATIONAL ASTEROID SEARCH CAMPAIGN"— Presentation transcript:
1 INTERNATIONAL ASTEROID SEARCH CAMPAIGN Internet-Based Asteroid Search Program for High Schools & CollegesJ. Patrick Miller, Department of Mathematics, Hardin-Simmons UniversityJeffrey W. Davis, Honors Program, Hardin-Simmons UniversityCarlton R. Pennypacker, Hands-On Universe, Lawrence Berkeley National LaboratoryGraeme L. White, Centre for Astronomy, James Cook University
2 for high schools and colleges. The International Asteroid Search Campaign (IASC = “Isaac”) is a programfor high schools and colleges.Centered at Hardin-Simmons University (Abilene, TX) and provided at no cost to the participating schools, IASC is an educational outreach program in conjunction withHands-On Universe.Working with their teachers, students analyze real-time astronomical images,searching for unknown asteroids.The students are officially recognized as measurers and discoverers by theMinor Planet Center (Harvard) and the International Astronomical Union.IASC is a collaborative effort of the Astronomical Research Institute (Charleston, IL), Lawrence Hall of Science (Hands-On Universe, UC Berkeley), Astrometrica(H. Raab, Austria), and Hardin-Simmons University.
3 (University of Chicago) Yerkes Observatory(University of Chicago)The seeds for IASC began in June 2006 at the Hands-On Universe annual meeting held at the Yerkes Observatory (University of Chicago).At that meeting, the participating teachers expressed a need for an on-going program in astronomy and astrophysics that allowed them access to real-time images for analysis by their students.This expressed need and the networking of professionals, amateurs, and educators at the Yerkes meeting led directly to the creation of IASC.
4 During the first year of IASC, three 30-day campaigns were conducted. October-November 2006 with 5 participating schoolsFebruary-March 2007 campaign had 15 participating schoolsApril-May 2007 campaign with 17 participating schoolsType of School# of Schools# of StatesHigh Schools (U.S.)1913Community Colleges63Universities2High Schools (Intl.)4High Schools (U.S.): AK, AZ, CA, IL, KS, MA, NC, NH, OK, RI, TX, UT, VACommunity Colleges: NC, OK, TXUniversities: MS, TXHigh Schools (Intl.): Poland, Russia
5 CCD images are taken on clear, Moonless-nights by the Astronomical Research Institute (Charleston, IL).Using a 0.81-m prime focus telescope,a set of three images is taken along the ecliptic within one hour.The Astronomical Research Institute is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation performing research in astronomy and public outreach programs for student research.
6 Astronomical Research Observatory 32" Control Room
7 Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory 4-m Victor M. Blanco Telescope Chile4-m Victor M. Blanco Telescope
8 On the next morning, the images are downloaded at Hardin-Simmons University, checked for clarity, and placed onto HSU Blackboard.
9 Within two days, the schools download the images and the students analyze them for moving objects.
10 Using Astrometrica, the students run the “moving object utility” followed by a deep search into the images with “blink utility”.
11 The Minor Planet Center requires a follow-up image within 7 days of an From their analyses, reports are prepared and sent to Hardin-Simmons University.After validation of the reports, the confirmed new asteroid discoveries are reported to the Astronomical Research Institute (ARI).The Minor Planet Center requires a follow-up image within 7 days of anoriginal discovery, which is taken by the ARI.A successful follow-up image results in official recognition of the discovery by theMinor Planet Center and the International Astronomical Union.
12 Discovery of KO7C54V by a student at the Center for Theoretical Physics (Poland)
13 Asteroid discovery by Ranger High School (TX) during Region 14 workshop K07B50GAsteroid discovery by Loraine High School (TX) during Region 14 workshopK07B72X
14 Rare triple asteroid discovery by students at Meredith College (NC) K07C51J Rare triple asteroid discovery by students at Meredith College (NC)
18 IASC Program Flow Diagram Astronomical Research InstituteIASC Program Flow DiagramHardin-Simmons UniversityAstrometricaARIHSU & AstrometricaMinor Planet Center (Harvard)
19 IASC Teacher Training Sessions Teacher training for IASC was done primarily online, using the Internet. Instructions were prepared for installation of the software Astrometrica and a step-by-step guide written for the teachers to practice finding asteroids.For the search campaigns, two workshops were presented for the teachers:January 2007 Region 14 Annual Conference(13 Texas counties, 161 schools)February 2007 Dallas County Community College DistrictUniversity of North Texas (Denton, TX)- Brookhaven College- Richland College- East Field College- Mountain View College
20 IASC Teacher Training Sessions For the search campaigns, the online training will continue with additional workshops planned:June 2007 HOU Annual Conference(Yerkes Observatory)July GHOU Annual Conference(National Observatory of Japan)September 2007 Florida Institute of Technology(Melbourne, FL)September 2007 Tarrant County Community College DistrictJanuary 2008 Region 14 Annual ConferenceMarch 2008 NASA Johnson Space Center(Houston, TX)
21 Future Plans for the IASC IASC = International Asteroid Search CampaignThe goal is to establish an ongoing educational outreach program centered atHardin-Simmons University in conjunction with Hands-On Universe(Lawrence Hall of Science, UC Berkeley).Provided at no cost to high schools and colleges, the program will allow studentsto make original astronomical discoveries recognized by theInternational Astronomical Union.Astronomical
22 pilot campaign (May-term 2007). Holly Ann FidlerHardin-Simmons UniversityCary SmithJackson State UniversitySarah FrancesJackson State UniversityJeff DavisHardin-Simmons UniversityDominic JulianoHardin-Simmons UniversityMartha RagwarJackson State UniversityTylvia EdwardsJackson State UniversityFran SmithJackson State UniversityFor the academic year, a pilot SNe search campaign is being planned.Here are unsuspecting students at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory working on mastering techniques for thispilot campaign (May-term 2007).
23 Searches for Supernovae (SNe) and Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) Anonymous galaxy in the clusterAbell 1066January 26, 2006Anonymous galaxy in the clusterAbell 1066February 29, 2006SN 2006alHolmes & DevoreSubtraction of the two images using the Alard method.Program written by J. Patrick Miller, Hardin-Simmons University.
24 An SNe search campaign needs to last at least 60 days, preferably a full semester, as these events are more rare and difficult to identify than asteroids.Teacher training is the key issue…but cannot be done online as easily as the training in the use of Astrometrica to find asteroids.A pilot program with 3-5 teachers is planned for October-December 2007, with one of the teachers being fully knowledgeable in the analysis of image sets.After one campaign, the new teachers who have been trained will be put in charge of their own group of 3-5 teachers, training them to search for and identify supernovae in future campaigns.In time, IASC will develop a large group of well-trained and qualified teachers who will guide their students in successful SNe search campaigns.
25 Test Alard Subtractions 0.61-m Prime Focus TelescopeAstronomical Research InstituteAbell 2199June 21, 2007Alard Subtraction1st Degree KernelAlard SubtractionConstant Kernel
26 Searches for Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) KBO VarunaJanuary 11, 2007VarunaSubtraction of the two images using the Alard method.Program written by J. Patrick Miller, Hardin-Simmons University.
27 Site of the Varuna Images 2.5-m INTRoque de Los Muchachos Observatory, La Palma, SpainSite of the Varuna Images
28 During 2006-2007 IASC, the Astronomical Research Institute took KBO test images anticipating possible future KBO search campaigns.These were taken using the 0.81-m prime focus telescope.At Hardin-Simmons we were never successful in finding any of the KBO targets.KBO search campaigns remain a work in progress.
29 Searches for Comets Comet September 17, 2006 Subtraction of the two images using the Alard method.Program written by J. Patrick Miller, Hardin-Simmons University.
30 20" Internet-Accessible Telescope Mike Ford’s GroupElk Creek ObservatoryHolton High SchoolHolton, KSSome discussions have been held with Mike Ford, Holton High School (Holton, KS) about conducting a pilot comet search campaign and providing follow-up images of asteroid discoveries made by the 0.81-m telescope at the Astronomical Research Institute.Also, discussions are underway to equip the Elk Creek 16" with Internet-accessibility as part of a network to provide the 161 schools of Region 14 (Texas) with the use of these telescopes in their classrooms and labs (elementary through middle school through high school).The 20" might be available to conduct research programs with interscholastic teams ofhigh school students.
31 PLANS BEGINNING TO TAKE SHAPE FOR 2007-2008 IASC The Astronomical Research Institute was recently funded by the National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA) to conduct follow-up imaging of near-Earth objects for the Minor Planet Center. ARI will use its 0.81-m prime focus telescope for this 3-year program.IASC (Hardin-Simmons University) will work in a collaborative project with the University of North Texas, University of Illinois, Eastern Illinois University, and Cape Fear High School to process the time-critical NEO image sets.The NEO image sets that are not time-critical will be form the basis of asteroid and comet search campaigns offered through IASC. Abell galaxy cluster image sets will be used the pilot supernovae search campaign, using the 0.61-m prime focus ARI telescope.
32 SNe Pilot Search Campaign Asteroid & Comet Search Campaigns Astronomical Research InstituteIASC (10-15 Schools)University of IllinoisEastern Illinois UniversityUniversity of North TexasCape Fear High SchoolCollaboration to Process Time-Critical NEO Image SetsIASCSNe Pilot Search CampaignIASCAsteroid & Comet Search CampaignsProcess Non-Time-Critical NEO & Abell Galaxy Cluster Image Sets
33 IASC & BEYOND EuROPA = Educational Reach-Out Programs in Astronomy InternationalAstronomical Search CampaignsInternet-Accessible NetworkIntercollegiate ResearchTexas Region 14 Project“Astronomical Research Methods”Interscholastic Research Teams
34 AcknowledgementsThe authors wish to thank Robert Holmes, Astronomical Research Institute, for his night-after-night efforts to provide real-time images using the 0.81-m prime focus telescope.Harlan Devore and his students at Cape Fear High School (Fayetteville, NC) provided back-up image analyses.Curtis Craig and his students at American Fork High School (American Fork, UT) provided back-up image analyses.Dr. Chris Smith, National Optical Astronomical Observatory, for his access to CTIO images.Dr. Chris McNair, Dean of the Holland School of Science & Mathematics (Hardin-Simmons University), for financial and staffing support.Students of the May-term 2006 and 2007 “Astronomical Research Methods” course at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory for testing methodology used by the participating schools.