AAS 197, January 2001
Session 120. Innovations in Teaching Astronomy III
Joint Oral, Thursday, January 11, 2001, 10:30am-12:00noon, Pacific One

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[120.05] The Pine Mountain Observatory Outreach Program

G. D. Bothun (University of Oregon), R. Kang (Friends of Pine Mountain)

The Pine Mountain Observatory is located in Central Oregon at an elevation of 6700 feet. Three scopes of size 16, 24 and 32 inches are located there. Throughout the last decade we have run a robust summer visitors program which educates about 3000 people per year.

Recently we have finished a Prime Focus CCD system for the 32-inch telescope. This system reads out in 5 seconds and has a shutter that can time as short as 10 milliseconds. The field of view is 36 x 36 arcminutes.

We are currently engaged in a number of K12 teacher education projects. The biggest obstacle facing these teachers was their ability to handle FITS data. To solve this problem we have developed a robust JAVA applet for doing image analysis and automatic photometry on FITS data. In this talk we will demonstrate how a teacher can construct an HR diagram for the open cluster M39 where the root data are Blue and Red filter exposures each of duration 10 milliseconds. In such exposures, only the stars that are actually in M39 register on the detector.

This flexibility allows Pine Mountain to be a unique resource for teachers as we can take custom data through a variety of filters which can then all be reduced inside a Web browser.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://pmo-sun.uoregon.edu/index.html. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

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