Yerkes Teachers View Stone Edge Skies

Stone Edge Observatory Captures the Universe for Yerkes Teachers

November 13, 2010 

By Margie Corp For Stars at Yerkes News

For some, a trip to California to see the stars means a walk on Hollywood Boulevard.  But for teachers at the Yerkes Observatory, it means being a partner with the Stone Edge Observatory, and access to their remote telescope.  Capture the Universe was the third workshop presented in conjunction with the Stars at Yerkes from the Yerkes Observatory.  During the workshop, teachers were given a hands-on lesson about telescope filters by Rich Kron of the University of Chicago.  By using diffraction gratings and color filters, teachers were able to analyze and separate light, similar to the filters on the Stone Edge telescopes.Rich Kron explains how colored filters are used to separate light for image analysis. Dr. Kron is currently deputy director of the Dark Energy Survey at FermilabRead more about this survey here. Guest speaker Dave McGinnis from the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory then explained the basics of remote observing using the Stone Edge Observatory telescope, located in Sonoma, California.  Dave described his design for the computer interface, which allows observers to operate the telescope from computers with access to Stone Edge.  Teachers were then given access to operate the telescope.Dave McGinnis describes the Stone Edge Observatory computer interface.

Throughout the observing sessions, teachers offered suggestions about the Stone Edge interface and captured amazing images of distant galaxies and objects within our own Milky Way.  ARCS teacher Kathleen Roper of Hoyleton School in Hoyleton, Illinois created this image of the Horsehead Nebula (m 42) in the constellation of Orion using another remote telescope system, Skynet.  The Stars at Yerkes teachers all agreed that remote observing was an incredible journey into the far reaches of the Universe - even if they did not have to leave their computers! For more information about upcoming workshops utilizing the Stone Edge Observatory, visit our Teacher Workshops page.