Citizen Science

Cheap Radio Astronomy for Education and Public Outreach

David Fields with his IBT and a group of students in Memphis TN. Image Courtesy of NRAO

One thing that astronomers performing education and public outreach (EPO) sometimes struggle with is how to get the “wow” factor when doing presentations. Often times we have to do presentations during the day, so without a solar telescope, the best we can do is show a telescope without actually using it. That being said, we have access to a wealth of interactive computer technologies and demonstrations to get people (and kids) excited about astronomy.

Being a bit of a hardware tinkerer myself, I always love small and inexpensive projects that provide a BIG BANG for the buck.

Keep reading to learn how you can assemble the “Itty Bitty Telescope” for your outreach efforts.
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Carnival of Space #247

Carnival of Space

Carnival of Space #247 is available at Next Big Future!

This edition features great articles about:

  • Proxmia Centauri.
  • Supernovae.
  • Commercial Asteroid mining.
  • Exoplanet imaging, Variable stars, zero-g coffee, and more!
  • Check it out at:

    Remember, if you’ve got a space-related blog, you really should consider joining the Carnival. It’s easy to participate – just email an entry to [email protected], and the next host will link to it.

    By participating, your writing will get more exposure, and you will also meet other bloggers in the space/astronomy community. You can also sign your blog up to host the Carnival of Space by sending an e-mail to the address above.

    Target Asteroids!

    Not quite what NASA has in mind when they ask people to target asteroids.

    Many of you know by now, I’m quite the citizen science junkie. Any way that people can make contributions to real science is a major “win” in my book. Recently, NASA announced a new outreach project that aims to enlist the help of amateur astronomers in discovering near-Earth objects, and study their characteristics. The project is aptly named, “Target Asteroids!” and will help support NASA’s Origins Spectral Interpretation Resource Identification Security – Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) mission.

    Scheduled for launch in 2016, the OSIRIS-Rex mission will help our understanding of near-Earth objects by studying the properties of asteroids, measuring their non-gravitational forces and provide observations that can be compared with data obtained by telescope observations from Earth. In 2023, OSIRIS-REx will return back to Earth at least 2.11 ounces (60 grams) of surface material from the asteroid.

    “Asteroids are a rich and accessible historic archive of the origin of our Solar System and life, a valuable source of mineral resources, and potentially hazardous Earth impactors that civilization must learn to deal with,” said Dante Lauretta (University of Arizona). “Our mission will address all these issues.”
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