AAS Meeting #193 - Austin, Texas, January 1999
Session 91. Computers in Education
Education, Oral, Friday, January 8, 1999, 2:00-3:30pm, Room 9 (C)

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[91.05] Lessons from the MicroObservatory Net

K. Brecher (Boston U.), P. Sadler, R. Gould, S. Leiker, P. Antonucci, F. Deutsch (Harvard-Smithsonian CFA)

Over the past several years, we have developed a fully integrated automated astronomical telescope system which combines the imaging power of a cooled CCD, with a self-contained and weatherized 15 cm reflecting optical telescope and mount. Each telescope can be pointed and focused remotely, and filters, field of view and exposure times can be changed easily. The MicroObservatory Net consists of five of these telescopes. They are being deployed around the world at widely distributed longitudes for access to distant night skies during local daytime. Remote access to the MicroObservatories over the Internet has been available to select schools since 1995. The telescopes can be controlled in real time or in delay mode, from any computer using Web-based software. Individuals have access to all of the telescope control functions without the need for an “on-site” operator. After a MicroObservatory completes a job, the user is automatically notified by e-mail that the image is available for viewing and downloading from the Web site. Images are archived at the Web site, along with sample challenges and a user bulletin board, all of which encourage collaboration between schools. The Internet address of the telescopes is http://mo-www.harvard.edu/MicroObservatory/.

The telescopes were designed for classroom instruction by teachers, as well as for use by students and amateur astronomers for original scientific research projects. In this talk, we will review some of the experiences we, students and teachers have had in using the telescopes.

Support for the MicroObservatory Net has been provided by the NSF, Apple Computer, Inc. and Kodak, Inc.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://mo-www.harvard.edu/MicroObservatory/. 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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