AAS 201st Meeting, January, 2003
Session 28. Astronomy Education and Public Outreach
Oral, Monday, January 6, 2003, 10:00-11:30am, 613-614

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[28.07] SkyServer: Education and Outreach with Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data

M. J. Raddick (Johns Hopkins University)

The Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) will map 25 night sky down to 23rd magnitude, cataloging more than 100 million objects and taking spectra of over 1 million objects. All SDSS data will be publicly available over the Internet, and the instant access to high-quality data that SDSS offers is already beginning to change astronomy. The same power of data access can likewise change the way science is taught, at all levels, around the world.

The SkyServer web site makes all SDSS data available, free of charge, to students and the general public. We have developed several tools to make the data easier to access and understand, as well as several interactive educational activities that use data to teach concepts from astronomy, physics, and computational science. Students can use SDSS data to make a Hubble diagram and see the expansion of the universe, to connect stars and galaxies to make their own constellations, or to find and study asteroids and supernovae. Each activity includes a teacherís site with background reading, ideas for student evaluation, and correlations to national educational standards. Students can also use SkyServer for independent scientific research Ė they can answer their own questions by analyzing exactly the same high-quality data that professional researchers analyze.

In this talk, I will introduce the tools and projects we have developed for SkyServer, present some preliminary data on SkyServerís distribution and effectiveness, and share the lessons we have learned. We are actively looking for teachers at all levels to help us evaluate our materials, and for other outreach groups to share insights with us.

Our work has been sponsored by an IDEAS grant from NASAís Office of Space Science, by a Small Grant for Emerging Research from the National Science Foundation, and by the Maryland Space Grant Consortium.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://skyserver.sdss.org. 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: raddick@pha.jhu.edu

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