Space Physics and the Faulkes telescope
Space Physics at Peebles High School • Space Physics appears in the curriculum at the end of S2 where a short topic allows pupils to see their place in the Universe. • At the end of the Standard Grade Physics course there is a short section on Space Physics. • Space Physics appears lastly in the mechanics section of the Advanced higher. An awareness of Space physics can also be a stimulus for the Advanced Higher project.
The Pupils involved Four pupils were chosen to use the Faulkes Telescope and to share their results with their fellow pupils. Katy Dickinson fromS2 used her observation to introduce the space physics topic to her class last week. Cieran Roche is ready to add his presentation on Galaxies to his S4 class. Lizzie Hynd is an S5 physics pupil who hopes to continue to Advanced Higher and possibly to Astrophysics at University. She has been inspired already to study Asteroids as her project. Thomas Fraser studying physics in S5 is the person currently responsible for publicity and website information for the school Engineering club An extra pupil from S6, Lynda Cameron, has been overseer as she was lucky enough to win a week at NASA last session.
Introduction Now we are able to see into space because there is a new telescope called the Faulkes Telescope which we can control from our classroom. S2 space physics by Katy Dickinson
Aims of the telescope The objectives of the Faulkes Telescope project are: • To provide schools with access to a research class telescope • To allow students to see how science is actually carried out • To provide a real-time experience of astronomy, through live use of a telescope via the Web • Targets The (ambitious) target of the FT programme is to reach 500,000 school children and other users per year. Materials required for teachers and students to use the telescope will be developed, in association with the Royal Observatory Greenwich, Liverpool John Moores University and the National Space Science Centre. Taken from the observatory website
What is the telescope? The Faulkes Telescopes are large telescopes that can see far into space. There are two of them – one in Hawaii and one in Australia. These telescopes are named after a man called Bill Faulkes, who paid for these telescopes to be built. The telescopes are like robots, which can be controlled by people from the U.K. as well as Hawaii and Australia on the internet.
How does the telescope work? The telescope is controlled through the Royal Observatory website. Usually it costs a lot of money to have a turn. You book a slot of half an hour and then in that time, you can tell the telescope what you want it to look for. You can also get a guide that will give you a list of things you can look at and when you click on them the telescope looks at it.
Things we have seen Below are some pictures that we took through the telescope Jupiter Saturn Galaxy NGC 2403 Star Pollux
Saturn • Sixth planet from the sun • Second largest planet in the solar system • Rings are possibly composed of icebergs and snowballs • Three main rings – A,B and C • 33 known moons
Jupiter • Fifth planet from the sun • Largest of the planets • Very faint rings that cannot be seen from earth • 28 moons, 12 of which have only recently been discovered
Pollux • 17th brightest star in the sky • In mythology it is the twin of Castor • Marks one of the heads of the Gemini twins • It is 36 light years away from the Sun
NGC 2403 • A Galaxy 11 or 12 million light years away • Discovered by William Herschel in 1788 • The best time to see it is on the 15th January
Extra slides added by Cieran Roche Reasons this will help for standard grade • In standard grade you are expected to know what galaxies are, with the telescope you can see exactly what they are. • The faulkes telescope lets you use a telescope without the troubles of high altitude. • Even the website itself tells you how the telescope works and you should know that at the end of standard grade
Reasons this will help in 5/6 year. • This will help pupils who want toget acareer in astronomy as it will give them experience of using a telescope. • They will also know exactly what the planets, galaxies, nebulae, etc. look like instead of looking at a drawing in a textbook. <-M64 Jupiter--> (Black hole Galaxy)
Other pictures that we took Pal 4 Globular cluster NGC 3242 Ghost of Jupiter NGC 3115 Spindle Galaxy M 96 M97 Owl Nebula M 95