two pieces of glass and a tube.
Using his mind, Galileo’s result:
an entirely new universe to be explored and
Teachers at the latest Stars
at Yerkes workshop were guided through their own path of discovery by constructing
a Galileoscope telescope to extend their knowledge of worlds beyond.
John Sunta and Peggy Piper test out their new Galileoscopes
In celebration of Global Astronomy Month, the theme
of the workshop was “Sharing the Universe.”
The event began on Friday evening with a relaxed
session of remote viewing led by Josh Haislip from the University of North Carolina at
Chapel Hill. All participants were very excited
to see the new addition of ARO 30, Bob Holmes' telescope near Charleston, Illinois. Josh gave us an overview of the Skynet
network of telescopes including live video of
the PROMPT telescopes in Cerro Pachon, Chile. After a brief lesson on requesting images,
attendees requested their own images using a list of deep space objects provided
by ARCS teacher Rich DeCoster.
Ed Sadler helps teachers Peggy Piper, Maria Wilson, and John Sunta with their Galileoscopes.
Stars at Yerkes teachers Kevin McCarron and Ed Sadler began the day by
helping teachers build their own Galileoscope.
Teachers then practiced using the telescopes with their tripods. Teachers commented that building a telescope
using the basic components greatly helped them understand how the larger
telescopes at Yerkes worked.
Vivian Hoette, Yerkes Director of Education and
Outreach, then led participants in a session describing how to use the online
program Afterglow. This program allows
teachers and students to create a movie, animating images taken with remote
telescopes in the Skynet network. Teachers
enjoyed finding the asteroid in the set of images, and discussed plans to
request images of their own for similar study.
The afternoon session was devoted to student
station lessons about lenses and mirrors.
ARCS teacher Margie Corp described how these stations aided
her students by giving them opportunities to see the components of telescopes,
and by managing classroom organization to permit small groups to view actual
A computer projector was
also studied by the teachers, showing how lenses, mirrors, and filters were
used in an everyday application.
Left: Cathy Fernan and Vivian Hoette examine concave and convex mirrors.
Right: Kate Meredith explores the angles of reflection of light at another mirror station.
The highlight of the afternoon was a tour of the
Yerkes 41 inch telescope. The telescope
recently has been automated for the Skynet network by Josh Haislip. Josh demonstrated how
the use of barcode technology was instrumental in automating the telescope and
observatory dome. The telescope also
boasts a new camera, provided by a grant from the Illinois Board of Education.
What would Galileo think if he could make
discoveries like this? We can only