April 10, 2006

Register Now for Summer Space Institute Workshop

High school and college science teachers will have a chance to expand their knowledge on stellar evolution this summer in a free workshop at Western Nevada Community College's Jack C. Davis Observatory. Space Science XXVII: Chandra and the X-Ray Universe, June 26-30, will provide teachers with activities, materials, and resources that can be incorporated into existing earth science, physics, and chemistry classroom curricula.

"This workshop focuses on the Chandra mission, science, educational materials, and image analysis software," said Donna Young, lead educator for the Chandra X-Ray Observatory Education and Public Outreach Office at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, Mass. "Participants will learn how high energy photons are detected, collected, transferred, and processed into beautiful public release images through a series of activities that focus on the electromagnetic spectrum."

Participants in this two-credit workshop, sponsored by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, will learn how to use DS9, the imaging analysis software used to analyze deep sky objects observed by Chandra. "The software is free and downloadable in a variety of formats," Young added.

The major focus of the science content in the workshop is stellar evolution, the development of stars from formation to destruction. This includes supergiant stars, supernovae remnants, planetary nebula, variable stars, white dwarfs, neutron stars, pulsars, and black holes. Dr. Terry Matilsky, from Rutgers University, and Aaron Price, from the American Association of Variable Stars, will give scientific talks.

Since there is an aspect of art in both the preparation of the public release images of Chandra observations, and in the development of illustrations that explain the complicated aspects of the science involved, the workshop will also have an art component to complement the science, according to Young. Dr. Lydia Dambekalns from the University of Wyoming and other artists will present methods that utilize art to represent scientific data.

Links

For additional information, please contact:
Robert Collier
Director, Jack C. Davis Observatory
E-mail: Robert.Collier@wnc.edu
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