Educational topics

Over the years already quite a few topics have been covered by students:

Topics of research in 2022

With COVID behind us we had one student again in 2022. He wanted to know how to detect an exo-planets. Although daylight length restricted the options to do proper research in the observatory, a dataset from a Spanish amateur served this purpose well.

Topics of research in 2020-2021

Due to COVID restrictions no students visited the observatory in the period 2020 - 2021.

Topics of research in 2019

The orbits of Titan and Rhea based on 13 images, covering almost 2 months.
Figure 1: The orbits of Titan and Rhea based on 13 images, covering almost 2 months.
  • Determining the orbital period of Saturn's moon Rhea;
  • Determining the apparent diameter of the sun and the actual size of a solar flare;
  • How to make planetary images using a colour camera and ADC;
  • Determining the diameter and depth of the Tycho-crater on the Moon;
  • Observing an exoplanet transit.
As in 2018 the results of 2019 varied. Having learned from past year I provided the students with a better explanation how to solve the orbital parameters, now based on pictures of Saturn's moon Rhea. As I wanted to be sure that finding a solution was feasible, I did the same myself and included Titan in the calculations. Adjacent image shows my own processing, but that did not differ much from what the students achieved. Correcting for the change in distance between Saturn and Earth during the two months that 13 images were recorded, allowed to calculate the orbital period of Rhea with an error of only 9 seconds (true orbital period is 108.4320 hours, calculated period was 108.4296 hours). That of Titan was less successful, but with an error of 6 minutes, 43 seconds on a period almost 383 hours, still quite reasonable.
Processing an image of the Sun with a solar flare and calculating the Sun's diameter and the dimensions of the solar flare was well done.
The determination of the diameter and depth of the crater Tycho on the Moon, resulted again in an impressive paper with some smart maths. The result only deviated by 0.1 percent in diameter (84.9km vs 85km) and 2.8% in depth (4.57km vs 4.70km).
Due to persistent bad weather ever since the students started the exoplanet project could not be done at InFINNity Deck. Instead a dataset was provided from a Spanish Amateur, but so far no results have been shown.

Educational topics

One of the high school students measuring the GTT60's TFOV using Vega (Alpha Lyrae)
Figure 2: One of the high school students measuring the GTT60's TFOV using Vega (Alpha Lyrae)
Topics of research in 2018
  • Determining the orbital period of Jupiter's moon Io;
  • Determining the distance Sun - Venus and Sun - Pluto;
  • How to make colour images using a monochrome camera;
  • Determining the true and apparent field of view of the Galilean-Type Telescope.
These projects had varying outcome. Determining the orbital period of Io resulted in an incorrect figure as only two images (of 6 provided) were used in the process and the students did not realise that Io was in front of Jupiter instead of behind (it had thus not made a full number of turns).
The distance Sun - Venus, Sun - Pluto project resulted in an impressive paper, even though no actual data was hot due to weather limitations. Observational data was acquired from Stellarium instead.
The group working on the colour image using a monochrome camera managed to produce a pretty image of Saturn.
Finally the last group did a pretty good job, together with myself as third observer, to determine the true and apparent field of view of the Galilean Telescope. Adjacent image shows one of the students behind the GTT60.

If you have any questions and/or remarks please let me know.

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