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2011-12 News

This page contains Stars at Yerkes News items from 2011. To find recent news, visit our News page. You can find 2010 News here.

Finding Bright Star Trails

posted Jul 18, 2012, 11:28 AM by Margie Corp

Finding Bright Star Trails

                                                                                                                                                                                                    - photo by Janet Branson
On a clear and moonless night, Stars at Yerkes invited teachers to an evening of exploring constellation photography.
Our newest contributor, Janet Branson, showed us just what a camera can capture over time.
Viewed from Yerkes South Lawn, the star trails swirling around Polaris were intersected by several aircraft.

Don't Miss It - Our Last Stars at Yerkes Teacher Workshop for 2011 - 2012!!

posted Apr 10, 2012, 12:56 PM by Margie Corp   [ updated Jul 18, 2012, 10:11 AM ]

Constellation Photography and Variable Stars Teacher Workshop

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Workshop will be held at Yerkes Observatory from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm.

Join us for our last workshop of the 2011 - 2012 Stars at Yerkes year.
Our workshop leader Rich DeCoster, along with several expert breakout leaders, will guide you through a day filled with
activities using your digital camera to photograph the constellations and analyze the data from those images.
Included in the day will be lessons on recording the motion of Mars and Saturn through the zodiac, using to identify you and your students’ beautiful images of the sky,
Hands-on activities related to constellation photography including how to change photographic slides to digital images will be included.
Learn how to find geostationary Earth-orbiting satellites and engage your students in projects based on this.
Learn the basics of variable stars, observing them, and making light curves with Skynet’s Afterglow.

Our special guest will be Astronomers Without Borders member Chuck Ruehle, who will discuss his work with "Telescopes to Tanzania."

Cost for the workshop is $25.00 and registration is suggested.  Registration includes CPDU's and lunch. 

Click here for event agenda and registration.

You're Invited - Stars at Yerkes Spring Gala 2012 Saturday, April 21

posted Apr 10, 2012, 12:55 PM by Margie Corp   [ updated Jul 18, 2012, 10:15 AM ]

Stars at Yerkes Spring Gala 2012

Come join us as we celebrate a year of outreach and learning

at Yerkes Observatory


Guest of Honor will be Yerkes Observatory Director Kyle Cudworth.

Workshop leaders will be recognized for their contributions this year.


Saturday, April 21, 2012


Reception begins at 6:00 pm

in the Yerkes Rotunda followed by

Dinner served at 6:30 pm


Reserve your tickets today – reception and dinner tickets $5.00 per person.

Honorees are guests of Stars at Yerkes.


by Monday, April 16 with number attending.

Hope to see you there!

Friday Night April 20 Star Lights - Yerkes April Star Party

posted Apr 3, 2012, 6:29 PM by Margie Corp   [ updated Jul 18, 2012, 10:12 AM ]

Clear or cloudy, Yerkes Observatory will host its April Star Party on Friday April 20, 2012 from 7:30 to 10:00 pm.

We invite you to join us in exploring the very visible universe.  The planets Mars and Venus will be perfectly situated for our observing pleasure. 
The summer constellations will be greeting us in the east as we say goodbye to our winter friends in the west. 

Special addition to this evening's party:  the use of digital cameras to photograph constellations.

But don't worry if it's cloudy.  Inside, you'll be able to see how telescopes from around the world can be operated remotely through SKYNET.
There will be plenty of hands-on activities and some short presentations available as well.

Bring the entire family, and join the Yerkes April Star Party.
The cost for this event is $5.00 per person, with a maximum of $15.00 per family.
All children must be accompanied by an adult.
Available space is limited, so please
pre-register here.

Yerkes Observatory also hosts Family Night Programs. 
Click here for Family Night information and dates.

Skynet Telescope Network Featured in February

posted Mar 3, 2012, 3:28 PM by Margie Corp   [ updated Jul 18, 2012, 10:15 AM ]

In 2012, Yerkes will be engaged in a series of fund-raising events to support the restoration and upgrades of Yerkes telescopes
and support funding for Yerkes Education Outreach programs. On Friday evening February 24th, Yerkes will host the first of these events.  

    Exciting Agenda includes:
  • Looking through the 40 inch refractor, weather permitting.
  • Robert E. Holmes will share the evolution of his telescope endeavors from modest telescopes of his youth to his soon to be operational homemade 50" telescope!
  • Take home your own copy of the Sky and Telescope Dec. 2011 article about Bob's work.
  • Showcase of Student and Teacher Imaging Projects. Especially work done by our Yerkes HS students; and the students of our Yerkes teachers.
  • Unveiling of the new web-based Skynet Kiosk at Yerkes. Participants may request an image from telescopes in Chile.
Click on the image above or click here for registration information.

Click here for information about Yerkes Winter Star Party held Saturday, February 25, 2012

Yerkes Observatory also hosts Family Night Programs. 
Click here for Family Night information and dates.

Citizen Science Saturday at Yerkes - February 25, 2012

posted Feb 17, 2012, 1:29 PM by Margie Corp   [ updated Jul 18, 2012, 10:11 AM ]

Call them amateurs, hobbyists, or citizen scientists; they have always been a part of research astronomy. With unmatched passion for the night sky and its mysteries, patience and long-term dedication, they discover supernovae and comets, track asteroids, and plot the light curves of variable and binary stars. With advances in technology has come an explosion of opportunities for participation and discovery.

Join the Stars at Yerkes Professional Learning Community for a day celebrating the citizen scientist. We will look back at the history of the amateur in astronomy and explore the oldest amateur research group in the nation, the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO). We will also take a look at two new opportunities, Zooniverse and Globe at Night. We strongly recommend that you bring a laptop to use during the early afternoon session.

Our late afternoon highlight is a talk by Bob Holmes of the Astronomical Research Institute ( whose passion for astronomy has been acknowledged in the December issue of Sky and Telescope magazine. Stay around for an evening of stars.

For a detailed agenda and registration information, click here.

Asteroid 433 Eros

posted Feb 16, 2012, 10:01 AM by Marc Berthoud   [ updated Oct 20, 2012, 2:46 PM ]

This February, asteroid 433 Eros is visiting the Earth, passing "only" 70 times further than the Moon. Eros is the largest near-earth asteroid.

Yerkes astronomers observed it on February 8th using the Yerkes 24 inch telescope. The attached movie covers about 2 hours.

Stars at Yerkes Teachers Travel to SEEC

posted Feb 3, 2012, 11:00 PM by Margie Corp   [ updated Oct 22, 2012, 7:49 AM by Marc Berthoud ]

Stars at Yerkes teachers Lynne Zielinski and Margie Corp traveled to Space Center Houston in Houston, Texas for the 18th annual Space Exploration Educators Conference (SEEC) February 2 - 4, 2012.  Their session entitled "From Steam Engines to Stars" illustrated principles of thermodynamics and discussed how these principles help us understand stars. 

Resources presented at their session are found below.

Visit the article "Seeing the Unseen"  to learn more about SOFIA and infrared light (including an infrared light photo gallery).

How does the radiometer "light-mill" work?  Visit this site to learn more.

S@Y at AAS 2012, Austin TX

posted Jan 22, 2012, 5:44 PM by Peggy Piper   [ updated Oct 22, 2012, 7:49 AM by Marc Berthoud ]

Once again, S@Y had an impressive presence at the American Astronomical Society Convention.  See the whole story and pictures here.

StarsAtYerkes was well represented once again at the AAS convention, January 9-12, 2012, in Austin, TX. In attendance were teacher members Marcella Linahan (Carmel Catholic High School, Mundelein, IL), Chelen Johnson (Breck School, Minneapolis, MN. and Peggy Piper (Lincoln-Way North High School, Frankfort, IL) as members of NITARP (NASA/IPAC Teacher Archieval Research Program). Chelen and Peggy will work serve as mentor teachers for NITARP in 2012. Our main S@Y mentor, Vivian Hoette (Yerkes Observatory) was also in attendance keeping us connected to our bevy of astronomers who have supported us over the years.

Miss Leavitt's Stars - January 21, 2012 Teacher Workshop - Register Now!

posted Dec 16, 2011, 6:09 PM by Margie Corp   [ updated Jul 18, 2012, 10:13 AM ]

Come join us on Saturday January 21, 2012 from 9:00 am - 4:30 pm for our next Stars at Yerkes teacher workshop. 

The workshop will be held at Yerkes Observatory.
Henrietta Leavitt’s analysis of Cepheid variable stars gave astronomers an ability to measure distances outside our galaxy. Miss Leavitt’s Stars by George Johnson was mentioned last year at the first Stars at Yerkes book discussion. This book does an excellent job discussing how astronomers determined that the Sun is a member of one of many million galaxies that compose our Universe.

We are excited to feature discussion of this publication this year especially in light of the recent Nobel Prize in Physics being given to Perlmutter, Schmidt, and Riess for the discovery of the accelerating expansion of the Universe. The workshop will begin with a discussion of our featured selection and an opportunity to “live the book” by analyzing Henrietta’s stars as she did. The afternoon will feature activities on galaxies, variable star observing and analysis using Skynet (UNC), and the use of supernovae to measure distances to galaxies.

Cost for the workshop is $25.00.  Click here for registration and more.

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