Abstract Details

Title: Great Times Now and In the Future For Telescopes Afar in Education

Authors: Carlton Pennypacker

Institute/Affiliation: UC Berkely

Abstract Type: poster

Abstract Information:

These are very exciting times in education and astronomy, and our communities have growing capabilities to positively change teachers and students lives through the use of remote telescopes. This has been a long haul, but traction is evident. Over the last 17 years, beginning with researchers and students acquiring and discovering our first automatically requested images of supernovae from UC Berkeley\'s automated Leuschner Observatory (arguably one of the first successful civilian automated telescopes). we, as other groups, have found extremely high engagement with students of various ages in using remote telescopes, both in real-time and cue-based observing modes. E.G., we currently have a small GHOU network of small telescopes that can intermittently serve our teachers, and eagerly try to use every telescope that might share a few photons with our kids, some living in tough circumstances. (some GHOU students are from very low-economic conditions, but still love the stars, and love to communicate and collaboate with children around the world). Other groups are actively pursuing making such networks succeed, too. The project I work with is called \"Global Hands-On Universe\" (GHOU). The need for regular and robust remote telescopes could grow to very high levels, if the astronomy community can produce reliable and robust telescope networks. For example, as part of the International Year of Astronomy, I helped in efforts that eventually led to the training (coordinated by Rosa Doran, of Portugal) of 5000 teachers in greater than 90 nations in the use of .fts images, Salsa J image processing, and Stellarium software (both French softwares). We have a particular focus and have found huge resonances for this work in developing nations, including nations in Africa, Asia, and South America. In addition, we have developed good after school programs that teach astronomy and use of real images, again which can benefit by astronomy community cooperation and collaboration. A substantial GHOU program is now being mounted in Chile, for instance, with a 30-teacher workshop held the first week of this January, good participation by Chilean and International Universities, research, and education organizations. Our GHOU educators are selfless and share everything, including curricula, software, training, other materials, and themselves. For example this spring, teachers from France will fly to Paranal with their students, and train Chilean teachers on Black Holes in galaxies and measuring exo-planets, all with real .fts image, on their way to the VLT! Finally, I describe a collaborating group with GHOU, the International Asteroid Search \"IASC\" (led by GHOU\'er Patrick Miller of Hardin Simmons University) -- IASC has found phenomenal success with enabling students to discover asteroids, with approximately 50 to 100 asteroids a year being discovered by this group of international teachers and students.