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Solar Rotation Screen


Required Software

Click Filename to Download  
This  is a zip file that contains an .exe file that will
install itself when you run it on your computer.
  • -Executables and a restricted database covering selected regions of the sky (36 MByte). NOTE: THIS IS A VERY LARGE FILE,, RECOMMENDED FOR FAST INTERNET CONNECTIONS ONLY!  Write us a memo below if you cannot download it conveniently, and we can provide the exercise on CD-ROM.
  • Instructors: Request information on suggested objects for students -A selection of interesting and representative objects is available to qualified instructors of courses. Send us a memo here.. 

Student manual (Acrobat pdf format)

  Student manual (MS Word 2000 format)

Questionnaires and Pre/Post-Tests 
(Acrobat pdf format)

A Description of the Lab: 

Purpose: To allow students to exercise some of the measurement techniques they have learned in earlier exercises to identify unknown objects given their celestial coordinates.  To simulate the open-ended discovery and analysis techniques of research astronomers. 

Students can given the celestial corrdinates of an "unknown", Object X.  Using the techniques of observational astromomy, they are asked to identify the object and find out all you can about its physicial characteristics.   This is similar to the capstone exercise in a chemical analysis course, allowing students to conduct an open-ended inquiry that makes use of what they have learned in earlier laboratory exercises.  There are no "fill-in-the-blanks" procedures, nor a prescribed form for the report.  Students can model their reports along a number of suggested lines, or instructors and prescribe a preferred method of analysis and reporting. 

The lab software contains a variety of optical telescopes of various apertures, equipped with photometer, spectrometer, and a CCD camera capable of taking images and saving them as FITS files for analysis by a program supplied with the software.  It also includes a radio telescope capable of recording incoming signals at three separate frequencies. 

The dataset for this exercise is a subset a more VIRTUAL EDUCATIONAL OBSERVATORY (VIREO) also produced (but not yet released) by Project CLEA which includes over 15 million objects covering the entire sky.  Like the all-sky dataset, the data supplied with the OBJECT X lab includes stars, galaxies, quasars, asteroids, and pulsars in several areas of the sky.  The areas of the sky selected for this exercise were chosen because they contained a wide variety of objects of interest and because they were representative of the sky as a whole.


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