Useful things for RV observers include:
- instructions for using our set-up to observe;
- a target list of M dwarfs;
- and the local observing forecast.
Training Session Activities and Handouts
Telescopes & Optics:
- A Brief History of Telescopes (introductory handout)
- Telescope Interiors and Mounts: A Comparison
- To introduce Alt-Az and Equatorial mounts and explore how they differ, when they are appropriate, etc.
- To discuss different types of telescope models (refractors, reflectors, etc.) with a focus on how light travels through each.
- Magnification and Field of View: An Introduction
- Exploration through the use of eyepieces of the relationship between magnification and field of view.
- Using an Optics Bench to Build a Telescope
- A brief explanation of optics and lenses, and in particular of focal lengths and image inversion.
Navigating the Sky, Coordinates, & Distances:
- Orienting Yourself on the Sky (handout)
- Understanding the Celestial Sphere
- An exploration of celestial spheres that highlights that, while incorrect in their cosmology, they can help visualize the way the sky seems to move as viewed from Earth.
- From the Celestial Sphere to the Planisphere
- A bridge from thinking about the sky motions with the celestial sphere to actually using those motions in a useful way on the planisphere.
- Sky Visualization with Stellarium
- Stellarium is a (free) planetarium for your computer. It can show you a view of the sky from any location on the Earth right now or a few thousand years in the past or future.
- Sky Visualization with Starry Night
- Using the computer program Starry Night, participants explore how the Earth's motions are manifested in the sky we view.
- An Introduction to Parallax
- History of Astronomical Detectors (handout)
- A Guide to CCDs
- A hands-on experiment which treats the CCD as a grid of buckets to be filled with photons (beans).
- Adapted by Liz Castelli for use with middle-school students; available here.
- CCD Images - A Tutorial
- Discussion and manipulation of real CCD images. Review of flats, darks, and images.
- CCD Image Processing - An Introduction
- Short introduction to astronomical data processing.
- The American Association of Variable Star Observers
- The Columbia Astronomy Department Public Outreach
- The Astronomical Society of the Pacific (sign up for The Universe in the Classroom and check out their "Activities" page)
- The University of Washington's Introductory Astronomy Clearinghouse (another good places to find activities and labs)