Astrophysics datamining in the classroom: Exploring real data with new software tools and robotic telescopes

Doran, Rosa and Melchior, Anne-Laure and Boudier, Thomas and Delva, Pacome and Ferlet, Roger and de Almeida, Maria L. T. and Barbosa, Domingos and Gomez, Edward L. and Pennypacker, Carlton R. and Roche, Paul and Roberts, Sarah E. (2012) Astrophysics datamining in the classroom: Exploring real data with new software tools and robotic telescopes. arxiv. pp. 1-10.


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Within the efforts to bring frontline interactive astrophysics and astronomy to the classroom, the Hands on Universe (HOU) developed a set of exercises and platform using real data obtained by some of the most advanced ground and space observatories. The backbone of this endeavour is a new free software Web tool - Such a Lovely Software for Astronomy based on ImageJ (SalsaJ). It is student-friendly and developed specifically for the HOU project and targets middle and high schools. It allows students to display, analyze, and explore professionally obtained astronomical images, while learning concepts on gravitational dynamics, kinematics, nuclear fusion, electromagnetism. The continuous evolving set of exercises and tutorials is being completed with real (professionally obtained) data to download and detailed tutorials. The exibility of the SalsaJ platform tool enables students and teachers to extend the exercises with their own observations through the use of robotic telescopes. The software developed for the HOU program has been designed to be a multi- platform, multi-lingual experience for image manipulation and analysis in the classroom. Its design enables easy implementation of new facilities (extensions and plugins), minimal in-situ maintenance and exibility for exercise plugin. Here, we describe some of the most advanced exercises about astrophysics in the classroom, addressing particular examples on gravitational dynamics, concepts currently introduced in most sciences curricula in middle and high schools.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: RTSRE Related Research
Depositing User: Dr Michael Fitzgerald
Date Deposited: 13 May 2017 03:58
Last Modified: 19 Aug 2018 09:25

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