By Robert Hurt | March 30th, 2021
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to actually fly through a system of exoplanets orbiting a distant star, or float next to a space telescope as it studies the universe?
When stars eat planets, are they messy eaters? Do they leave any crumbs? Our upcoming refereed journal article describes our new research done on this topic – done with high school students!
What started as an exciting opportunity to get a glimpse into the world of astronomical research became a part of our lives that is now incredibly central to our passions and future careers.
Where do you go to reach thousands of people from all walks of life who would love to find out more about what NASA is doing in the areas of astronomy, planetary science, and manned spaceflight? You might want to spend a week in Austin at SXSW! This year NASA had a large exhibit at the South by Southwest interactive trade show opening the way for lots of engagement with people from all walks of life.
If you've been following my blog, you know I was lucky enough to be part of the NASA/IPAC Teacher Archive Research Program, or NITARP. It was an amazing year and the program wrapped up with a trip to the American Astronomical Society meeting with two of my students in January.
Over the years, NASA has released a lot of beautiful space images. Sometimes they're even given cute names based on what they look like, such as a black widow spider, a rose, or a snake. Have you ever looked at them and wished you could find & capture your own unique photos from space?
There are many things I remember from late 2003 and early 2004. I remember on December 25, 2003 I was in my office at Caltech during the morning and early afternoon, staging data. I did the same thing on January 1, 2004, after I returned from watching the Rose Parade on Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena. This was a routine that carried on for the next few months. Somewhere in this time frame, I pulled and staged the first image from the GLIMPSE survey of our Milky Way galaxy. It was taken on December 23, 2003. I don’t remember when I staged it, but I’m guessing it was sometime in early January. At the time, I had no idea of what was to come.
How many high school teachers and kids can say that they have presented their astronomy research alongside professional astronomers at an international conference? These folks can! The NASA/IPAC Teacher Archive Research Program (NITARP) is sending nearly 75 teachers and students to the winter 2014 meeting of the American Astronomical Society, held in National Harbor, MD, just outside Washington, DC, from Jan 5-9, 2014. NITARP partners small groups of educators with a research astronomer for a year-long authentic research project. The educators and their students from the 2013 class are presenting the results of their work over the past year, and the educators from the 2014 class are meeting their teams and getting started on their projects. Several self-funded NITARP alumni are also returning to the AAS to present work they have done after being intensively involved in the program.
This talk on "From IRAS to Spitzer and Beyond: 30 Years of Space-Based Infrared Astronomy" was given as part of the public Von Karman Lecture Series, and was webcast/recorded at JPL on November 7, 2013.
Most blog readers are no doubt familiar with the world of space telescopes. But have you ever gone to your friends and asked them what comes to mind when they hear the word "Spitzer?" Chances are, they will ask if you are referring to a certain politician… Or maybe a carbonated beverage. Now is the time to set them straight! This week is the 10th birthday of the Spitzer Space Telescope, and we are celebrating the wealth of images that it has brought us over the past decade.
I can't believe that my NITARP summer trip is done, but it was SO much fun. I'm exhausted, but I don't think I've ever felt this way after a typical professional development thing for teachers.
If you keep up with my blog, you know that one of my projects this year is NITARP, the NASA/IPAC teacher archive research program. What that means is that my adventure started in January at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Long Beach and has been going strong ever since.
Here at Spitzer, we’ve just spent a fabulous 8 weeks working with Learning Works, a local school for youth in crisis, teaching their 9th grade students about astronomy, and taking our own images of famous astronomical objects with the 2m robotic, professional-grade Faulkes Telescopes.
I've come to the realization (for the second school year in a row) that blogging during the school year is near impossible for me, which isn't the greatest thing. I feel like reflecting on what I'm going through (an awesome experience like NITARP or just everyday teaching) helps me to process and get better.
I very excitedly registered for the AAS meeting, booked a hotel and worked with the JPL staff to book my flights. I shared the news with my students, my family, my friends, and anyone else who would listen!
Today, we are announcing the class of 2013 NITARP educators. We partner professional scientists with (primarily) high school teachers, carry out an original research project, and present the results at the semi-annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society. The teachers incorporate the experience into their classrooms and share their experience with other teachers.
Tonight at 10:35 PM PDT NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope turns nine... measured from the moment it lifted from the launch pad at the Kennedy Spaceflight Center. It's been an amazing ride for everyone working on Spitzer, one that started the moment the Delta rocket launched.
Right now people at the Spitzer Space Telescope are taking a break from the usual day of astronomy to witness a fleetingly rare event: a transit of Venus across the Sun. And while Spitzer can't observe this, it gives us a glimpse of the kinds of transits of planets around other stars that it does study!
Sometimes not seeing something can be as scientifically important a result as seeing it. Consider the case of the exoplanet knows as Fomalhaut b. A recent non-detection of this proposed planet by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope hints that it may not be a planet at all!
Photography has, since its inception, been a staple of the art world. But the artistic significance of astronomical imagery has become increasingly evident in recent years through a variety of exhibitions falling at the intersection of astronomy and art. The latest of these is The History of Space Photography, on display at the Williamson Gallery at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena through May 6th.
If you've ever been curious how one goes from datasets taken by Spitzer and other telescopes to the colorful imagery seen on the gallery here, you can learn more about it online. Dr. Robert Hurt, the visualization scientist for Spitzer delivered a lecture on "The Art of Image Processing" in Pasadena, CA on January 19th, and the full talk can now be viewed online.
Sometimes you get a project so big that one telescope just isn't enough. December is the month that a small army of telescopes on land and in space are all pitching in for a really big study that just can't be done any other way.
On this binary day of 11/11/11, NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has reached another numerical milepost, it's 3,000th day of operation!
NASA/IPAC Teacher Archive Research Program is an effective and inspiring way to get authentic research experiences into classrooms across the United States.
If you find yourself in the Washington DC, why not take a trip to see "The Evolving Universe" at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum? This new exhibit, which opened this past week, takes you on a visual journey from nearby star forming regions to some of the most distant galaxies in the distant universe. It features some of the most spectacular imagery from the current crop of astronomical observatories, including NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope!