1/30/10

Radio JOVE

We're getting closer to having our Radio JOVE telescope up and running. Our head custodian contacted one of the scientists involved with the program yesterday. They had a good talk about putting up the antenna. It looks like we'll be able to put it up on the roof above my classroom. That will make it easy to connect the coax cable directly to the received. I'm also hoping to get a grant to purchase a laptop dedicated to the telescope. That will allow us to run 24/7. That'll be great because, we're planning to study the Sun (and, obviously, it won't do us much good at night) and we'll be able to study the Sun the entire day from sunrise (when no one will be there to turn it on most of the time) to sunset (when no one is there). We'll also be able to run it during the summer. I'll be able to go down to the school during the summer and analyze the data we receive.

I heard back from Dr. Jan Sojka, Chair of the Physics Department at USU. He has a professor who would like to work with us and Radio JOVE. I'm excited to have this resource. I know a lot about visual astronomy, but radio is new to me. This will be a great learning experience for both my students and me. I also think it's going to be a great chance for me to show my students that I have to learn new things and that learning is a life-long endeavor.

1/24/10

Update

Once again, I'm sorry for not posting for so long.

The school year is moving quickly. We've passed the half-way point and now have less than 18 weeks remaining. That may sound like a lot, but when I look at all we still have to cover, getting ready for state core testing, etc. I realize there's not all that much time left.

Team Eagles, ACYI Radio Telescope team, has had bad luck. We've scheduled two sessions and they were both cancelled. The first (in December) was canceled due to high winds at Goldstone, CA. We had a session last Thursday, but it was canceled because of the rain storms in CA. We've only successfully had one session. We hope our luck will be improving in the future!

Speaking of radio astronomy, we're in the process of setting up our own radio telescope. We have purchased a NASA Radio Jove radio telescope. My goal is to being a long term study of the Sun. I haven't decided exactly what we'll do yet, but that will come. I've received great support from Chris (our principal), Mike (our head custodian), and the School District. It's going to be exciting when we get it up and running.

I'm also building an Itty Bitty Telescope. This is made from a satellite TV dish and some other electronic equipment. When it's done, students will be able to some very simple radio astronomy. It's going to be a great introduction to the electromagnetic spectrum. Here's a picture of the Itty Bitty Telescope.