AAS 199th meeting, Washington, DC, January 2002
Session 23. Astronomy Education
Display, Monday, January 7, 2002, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall

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[23.15] The School of Galactic Radio Astronomy: An Internet Classroom

M. W. Castelaz, J. D. Cline, C. S. Osborne (Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute), D. A. Moffett (Furman University), J. Case (Brevard High School)

The School of Galactic Radio Astronomy (SGRA) takes its name from the source SGR-A, the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. SGRA is based at the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI) as an experience-based school room for use by middle and high school teachers and their students. Their scientific educational experience at SGRA relies on Internet access to PARIís remote-controlled 4.6-m radio telescope which is equipped with a 1420 MHz receiver. The 1420 MHz signal may either be recorded as a spectrum over a 4 MHz bandpass, or mapped over extended regions.

Teachers, classes, and Independent Study students access the 4.6-m radio telescope via the SGRA webpage. The SGRA webpage has four components: Radio Astronomy Basics, Observing, Guides, and Logbook. The Radio Astronomy Basics section summarizes the concepts of electromagnetic waves, detection of electromagnetic waves, sources of astronomical radio waves, and how astronomers use radio telescopes. The Observing section is the link to controlling the radio telescope and receiver. The Observing page is designed in the same way a control room at an observatory is designed. Controls include options of source selection, coordinate entry, slew, set, and guide selection, and tracking. Also within the Observing section is the curriculum which presents eight modules based on relevant radio astronomy topics and objects. The Guides webpage contains atlases of the astronomical sky, catalogs, examples of observing sessions, and data reduction software that can be downloaded for analysis offline. The LOGBOOK page is primarily a guestbook, and evaluation form.

We acknowledge support from the Space Telescope Science Institute IDEAS Program, and the South Carolina State University PAIR Program.

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

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: mcastelaz@pari.edu

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