2013 Student All-Stars One

Another CUIP Schools weblog site

Galaxy Zoo

Written By: Malek Sarhan - Jul• 18•13

Hello all, just finished classifying galaxies in galaxy zoo. Galaxy zoo is an awesome tool for young astronomers to use to help classify different galaxies. You distinguish between galaxies with spirals and bulges. Overall galaxy zoo is an A+ tool that should be used by people all over.


Post your follow-up questions for Dieter Hartmann here

Written By: Julia Brazas - Jul• 18•13

You can put them in as  Comments to this post.

Gamma Eyes

Written By: Brian Tam - Jul• 18•13



Astronomical extremes: forces that shape the universe

Written By: Brian Tam - Jul• 18•13

The most fascinating exciting things I’ve learned in the NASA program thus far are the extremes that occur in space.

Extreme velocities
Jupiter, saturn, other planets and objects: things that move with such velocity that it creates distortions in light wavelengths called redshift and blue shift.

Extreme masses
Black holes. A result from explosive supernovas from massive Red Giants. The insanely large mass of these stars could be compressed into extremely small areas, and that this results in an object so massive that even light itself could not escape its gravitational pull.

Extremely powerful magnets
Strong magnetic fields produces from neutron stars supply the power needed to generate large quantities of gamma rays.
hot interior rotates with plasma= normal magnetic fields.
Core changes for hydrogen to helium etc then to iron core.
Iron core grows bigger until it could no longer sustain itself
Supernova occurs
the core is compressed. This leaves an enormously powerful magnetic field.

(earth controls a magnetic field=1 gales. An exploding Neutron star=10^15 gales. The magnet is strong enough to effect the structure of atoms.)

Extreme frequencies
Gamma beams that could kill people. Cause cells to ionize and be killed. Powerful enough to pierce though lead, and strong enough to scan through metal containers.
(If the one in a million year gamma ray bursts in our galaxy hit wrath directly, all life will end)

Dieter Hartman

Written By: Malek Sarhan - Jul• 18•13

Hello all, we just had an amazing lecture by Gamma Ray specialist Dieter Hartman, here are some facts he enlightened us with.

• Gamma rays help with magnitude of supernova such as brightness.
• There is a large variety of gamma ray sources.
• Sun has magnetic field on its surface same as Earth.
• Sunspot is place on sun where it is higher then rest of sun.
• Gamma ray waves are so small yet have so much energy that instead of reflecting off a mirror it penetrates the mirror and is absorbed.
• It is hard to make a lens or a mirror for gamma rays because of this limitation.
• Gamma rays are harmful to humans. You need a thick shield or protection over your body to protect the gamma rays from penetrating.
• Because of danger gamma rays could be used as a weapon in a gamma beam
• The more complex the organism the more damage done by radiation.


Questions for Dieter Hartmann

Written By: Anton Ulyanov - Jul• 18•13

“Gamma-ray bursts come in two types – long and short. The physics are different depending on the system from which they originate.”

You say GRB’s can be long and short. How long in duration is each type of burst?

“In gamma-ray astronomy, the pictures aren’t very pretty – they’re not even meaningful unless you know what you’re looking at, so it’s hard to get the public excited about the kind of research high energy physicists do.”

Given the relative obscurity of the field, has it been difficult to get funding for some of the high energy physics projects you have undertaken?

And if the mechanism for doing space research were to go away, if we went to a private enterprise model of commercial space exploration, how would that affect research? Is Virgin Galactic going to let me build a satellite? Are they interested in letting me look at x-ray stars or are they just interested in putting a space tourism center in orbit?”

While you would have likely had much less independence at Virgin Galactic, you would have received massive funding for a project that is of interest to them. Would you consider working for a company like Virgin Galactic if space exploration was privatized, or do you value your independence as a researcher more?


Written By: Tania Romero - Jul• 17•13

Today in class we learned about spectra and explored images of spectra. Spectrum is used to find the star age, galaxy distance and chemical composition . One cool fact I learned today is they make a bunch of little holes in the plates to observe the different kind of object in the space . It take about a thousand of plates to observe the space . Which is A LOT !

Redshift & Blueshift

Written By: Hannah Tomlinson - Jul• 17•13

Today I learned about Redshift & Blueshift.
Apparently redshift is when a wave gets bigger as an object moves away and blueshift is when a wave gets smaller as an object gets closer.


Plate 532

Written By: David Zegeye - Jul• 17•13


Mirror Mirror on the Wall

Written By: Anton Ulyanov - Jul• 17•13

Although difficult to understand because of typical Skype distortions and a British accent we are slightly less accustomed to, Nick Woolf was able to convey a wealth of information about his work building telescopes. More so than inspiring us with stories about superstructures already in existence, such as the Great Magellan Telescope featuring seven circular mirrors that work in conjunction, Woolf gave us his vision of a future where we would be able to get telescopes into space for clear images using light that is not disrupted by the Earth’s atmosphere.
While this scenario is ideal, Woolf’s descriptions of even his smallest projects suggested a timeframe measured in years rather than months. To this end, the astronomer left us with the task of correcting the flawed astronomical theories of his generation.

– Anton Ulyanov

Telescope Plates

Written By: Malek Sarhan - Jul• 17•13

The plate on an aperture on a telescope. Each hole was drilled to look at an object whether a star or galaxy
– Malek



Plates that chart the night sky

Written By: Brian Tam - Jul• 17•13


Nick Woolf

Written By: Malek Sarhan - Jul• 17•13

Hello all, here are some facts about the well celebrated astronomer Nick Woolf

• Designed large telescopes all over the world using mirrors
• Takes lots of time and money for space telescopes
• Better to take advantage and learn ahead.
• Think what is best question. Explain and research how you will approach.
• Believes even with a small telescope astronomers can do many things so the possibilities are endless.
• Favorite project was hot air balloon telescope.
• All mirrors were made of glass. Attempted to make a metal mirror but did not work well because polishing was not sufficient. Have not been able to get good results.
• Telescope project that was most challenging was was getting pictures of planets outside solar system because stars were always brighter and caused problems
• Need very very stable optics to get good view of planets outside our solar system
• People may not understand you or accept you at first but in no way does that mean stop what your doing. No matter what stick with your idea no matter the criticism.


Christianity and Astronomy

Written By: Brian Tam - Jul• 16•13

My whole life I’ve been a Christian. And it always vexed me how science classes have Christianity as playing a major role in people’s obstinacy that the world was flat or that everything revolved around the earth.

Today, through Don York’s explanation, I learned that somewhere along history the church was highly influenced by Greek beliefs that created these false theories. “Angels moved the Greek gods around the earth: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Mercury, Venus, Mars, and Pluto”

Growing up, it was really troubling hearing people blindly think that because the earth is spherical and revolves around the sun that somehow proves that Christianity is false. My whole life I’ve been reading the bible and not once have I come across things that suggests these theories.

I am thankful that I was able to hear today’s lecture


On telescopes and Nick Woolf

Written By: David Zegeye - Jul• 16•13

As one of my peers has been subjugated to us the “3,2,1” system, I figured might as well use it.

3 things that I learned:
– When using telescopes, heat plays and important part on the quality of images you receive.
– The Stratoscope II telescope was an improvement over the Stratoscope I because it was larger and would remain stationary for longer exposures as opposed to Stratoscope I being used for quick exposures.
– Earth-like planets could be discovered in the 10 micron wavelength region since you can find oxygen, carbon dioxide, and water in the planets atmosphere at that wavelength.

2 interesting facts I found:
– Woolf got to be one of the “early infrared astronomers” while in Manchester.
– In old star clusters, heavier, younger stars were often near the center of the cluster while lighter, older stars were farther from the edge. The reason is due to the gravitational interactions, heavier objects would be drawn closer to the center as opposed to light ones.

1 question for Nick Woolf:
– If you could of gone back and continued talking  to Bob Dicke, would you and what would you say?