AAS 201st Meeting, January, 2003
Session 88. Undergraduate Astronomy Instruction, Labs and Research
Poster, Wednesday, January 8, 2003, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall AB

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[88.11] SOLAR ROTATION: A Laboratory Exercise from Project CLEA and the GONG Project

L.A. Marschall (Gettysburg College), J.J. Sudol (National Solar Observatory), G.A. Snyder (Gettysburg College)

Digital images from the GONG Project provide a nearly continuous record of sunspots that are ideal for determining the rate of rotation of the Sun. A new laboratory exercise from Project CLEA provides students with the capability to access an archive of 368 images of the Sun obtained at GONG solar telescopes between January 1, 2002 and April 30, 2002, during a period near solar maximum when large numbers of spots were daily visible on the sun. The resolution of each image is about 2.5 arcsec per pixel (or about 0.25 degree in longitude and latitude at the center of the solar disk). Because these images have such exquisite spatial and temporal resolution, they are the best images to date from which students can determine the solar rotation rate. CLEA software for this exercise allows students to select images by date and time, to overlay a coordinate grid on the image, and to record the latitudes and longitudes of sunspots. This data can be tabulated and analyzed with the software to determine solar rotation rates. The expected precision in the solar rotation rates is +/- 3 hours. Students will also have the ability to combine their chosen images into a digital movie showing the solar rotation. The exercise includes a student workbook and a technical manual, as well as a CD-rom of the data and the software. This exercise was produced with funding from the National Science Foundation and Gettysburg College and with the support of the GONG Project at the National Solar Observatory.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://www.gettysburg.edu/academics/physics/clea/CLEAhome.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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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 34, #4
© 2002. The American Astronomical Soceity.