AAS 207th Meeting, 8-12 January 2006
Session 67 Reaching Out with Observatories, Planeteria and Activities
Poster, Tuesday, 9:20am-6:30pm, January 10, 2006, Exhibit Hall

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[67.11] Astronomy for All: The MicroObservatory Guest Observer Portal

S. J. Steel, M. E. Dussault, P. M. Sadler, R. R. Gould (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics)

MicroObservatory is a network of robotic educational telescopes that can be controlled via the Web. Initially funded by the National Science Foundation and currently operated by NASA's Universe Education Forum at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, the network has been widely used in both formal and informal education settings. The system is robust, having delivered images to students every night for nearly 10 years, and is accompanied by a powerful yet easy-to-use FITS image processing package. Field-tested, inquiry-based activities for both classroom and informal settings are available. MicroObservatory is now equipped with a Guest Observer Portal, allowing anyone with an email address to request and obtain images of a wide variety of target objects. This new feature provides effectively unlimited access for learners to take their own astronomical images for educational use. This poster describes MicroObservatory and its Guest Observer Portal, and how the telescope network can be used to support and enhance astronomy education at any level.

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