Home Projects - Nova Search - Killer Asteroids - Stellar Spectroscopy - Variable Star Spectra - AGN Spectroscopy - Photometric Z - Making Color Images Software


Nova Search

Discover flaring novae in nearby galaxies! Students search for novae in the nearby Andromeda Galaxy by "blinking" images of Andromeda taken at different times. Apparent magnitudes of suspected novae are measured over time to determine their classification and rate of decay.

Killer Asteroids

Students measure the locations of small Solar System bodies in multiple images to calculate their orbital parameters. If the body will pass near a planet, the odds of an impact are also determined.

Stellar Spectroscopy

Learn how to classify stars by studying their spectra. This tutorial was originally intended as an instructional tool to introduce the concepts of spectroscopy necessary for the RBSE "Variable Stars" and "AGN Spectroscopy" research projects, but it is also useful as a standalone tool to teach spectroscopy in general.

Variable Star Spectroscopy

Students analyze spectra of semi-periodic variables to classify their spectral type. With photomemtry from the AAVSO, they calculate how a star's temperature and radius change over time.

AGN Spectroscopy

Using optical spectra of objects from the FIRST VLA radio survey, students determine the type of object (e.g. quasar, radio galaxy, etc.) and measure its redshift, distance, luminosity, and size.

Photometric Z

Using optical images from the NOAO Deep Wide Field Survey, students use a technique called "photometric redshift" to identify and to measure the distances to high-redshift galaxies.

Making Color Images

This tutorial demonstrates how color images of astronomical objects can be generated from the original FITS data files. These techniques are used by professional observatories such as Hubble, Kitt Peak, Gemini and Spitzer. Students will make an image of M33 (the Triangulum Galaxy), a spectacular face-on spiral galaxy that is relatively nearby.