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HOU™ Explorations

Apogee-Perigee ~ SS Cyg ~ Jupiter Week ~ Sky Projects ~ Messier GalleryAsteroids, Comets ~ Moon ~ Constellations ~ Star Finders ~ PlanetsAsteroids and Comets Orbit ~ Multiple StarsStar Color ~ Star Brightness ~ Star Birth ~ Ring Nebula ~ Star Clusters ~ Galaxies ~ Radio Astronomy ~ Tool Box ~ Name Tags ~ HOUtips ~ Links ~ All  these .fts  Images (PC: right click to save.)*

HOU Annual Conference Proceedings 2008

Comet 17P/Holmes imaged with the Yerkes 24 inch telescope View Comet 17P/Holmes in the sky using constellation photos with the comet pictured as your guide.  View time-lapse movies of telescope images of the comet taken with the Yerkes 24 inch telescope.

Mars Opposition 2003  Distance to Mars by Angular Size.  View the changing apparent size of Mars as it moves towards opposition (August 27, 2003).  Distance to Mars by Parallax: Use parallax to determine the distance to Mars.  This parallax activity is a challenge project for HOU Classes.
Mars Profiles: Model Mars by drawing features on a sphere (such as an orange) referring to a set of images.  View your model through a filter card. Mars Animations 2003

  Moon Treks   Mosaic images of the Moon from Crater Grimaldi to the Sea of Crises.  Learn names of craters and seas along the way!

Constellations  View these tours of the starry sky and learn the patterns of the constellations.  Create your own constellation slides/photos using an SLR camera, cable release and tripod.  Notice subtle detail in star patterns, and record the changing positions of planets or comets.

Tactile Moon Phases.  This is a resource page for educators who work with students who are blind or visually impaired.  There are samples of moon phases taken during various moon cycles but numbered by the day in the moon's cycle.  The images are presented in contrast suitable for printing, then copying onto swellform paper which is then heated in a graphics machine to create a tactile image.  The page is useful for students of normal vision as well and includes a link to the moon mosaics in .fts format.

Luna, Earth's Moon  Study the features and create composites of the Almost Full Moon and the Just Past Full Moon.  What phase is the moon on October 10, 2003?  Explore craters, valleys, and the Straight Wall in  Moon Measures.  Open Moon Clips to study how craters such as Copernicus and Tycho change appearance during lunar phases.  Construct a model and Compare Phases.  Explore images of the Lunar Eclipse of March 1997.  Complete the Moon Mosaic for September 21, 1996 or the Moon's Terminator, July 16, 1998.

Apogee-Perigee of the Moon.  How much different will the size of the moon appear as the moon moves from apogee to perigee in its orbit?  Compare mosaics of images taken near each extreme to find out!

Jupiter Week.   HOU students and teachers are watching Jupiter in 2003, just have they have done for the last three years.  You can find image sets for projects involving flipbooks, tracking and predicting moon positions, and for calculating the mass of Jupiter! 

SS Cygni.  Analyze the changing brightness of this cataclysmic variable star. 

Sky Projects is similar to Explorations featuring investigations of Constellations, the Moon, Planets including Saturn, Neptune, Uranus, Asteroids, and variety of phenomena occuring in the galaxy M74.

New Domes for Yerkes 24 inch Telescopes New Domes for University of Chicago's Yerkes Observatory Telescopes!

SN 2002ap in M74SN Search  Looking for SN in Target Galaxies.

messierbtn.jpg (6499 bytes) Messier Gallery   This gallery of Messier images is meant as a reference set of 'fuzzy' objects not to be confused with comets, first cataloged by Charles Messier, in the 1800's.   All of these images are taken at the University of Chicago, Yerkes Observatory 24 inch reflecting telescope in Williams Bay, Wisconsin with our Illinois State Board of Education's SKYWatch project's Apogee-CCD AP7p. Images are taken by/with/for HOU or SKYWatch teachers working at the telescope in person or as remote partners. 

mandeville12345bx02jul2000.jpg (5556 bytes) Tracking Known Asteroids and Comets!  Download image sets taken over one night and/or multiple nights.  Add and subtract frames to make sequences.  Explore images of  random patches of the sky to see if you spot anything.

Star Finders  Make a star finder! Download Uncle Al's HOU Starfinder template.

planet.jpg (4799 bytes) Planets  Investigate images of planets to study their features, observe rotation or the motion of the moons.  Follow Jupiter's red spot in Jupiter Rotation.  Track Jupiter's Moons in Jupiter's Orbiting Moons, Io Mystery and on the SKYWatch page.   Identify Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto by comparing their brightness counts in Jupiter's Bright Moons.   Use the display tools to Find That Moon.  In Saturn's Rings and Moons investigate this beautiful planet's rings and many moons.  Locate distant Neptune and Uranus and Pluto amid star fields.  Look for evidence of rotation of Mars.  View phases of Venus.

Asteroids and Comets also orbit our SunFind Asteroids by adding or subtracting images that were taken 15 minutes apart. Asteroids and comets appear to change position in comparison to the stars as viewed from our rotating, revolving Earth.  Become a Comet Astronomer with activities featuring Comet Hale-Bopp.

alcormiz.gif (1636 bytes)Binary and Multiple Star Systems  Mizar and Alcor are in the handle of the Big Dipper and you can see the pair with your eyes.  However, Mizar itself is a telescopic binary star.   Another binary star in our HOU collection is Albireo which is the beak of Cygnus the Swan.  Alcyone is a multiple star system in the Pleiades.   Using an image of Castor in Gemini you can study Right Ascension and Declination.

Star Color   Discover the color of stars by comparing the brightness counts of the same star in images taken with red, green and blue filters.  You will collect data from images taken of a mystery star and from images taken of the Trapezium stars in M42.  Use star color to detect star temperature.

Star Brightness  Compare the brightness of stars using image processing.  Relate star brightness to star magnitude by comparing brightness counts of  the stars in the Pleiades star cluster.  Star Hop to the Pleiades.    Penny Magnitudes is a hands-on activity designed to help visualize the magnitude scale.  

m8button.jpg (2195 bytes)Star Birth Regions in the Milky Way.  Some nebulae are regions of gas and dust in space where new stars are born.  The dust prevents us from seeing all the stars in the nebula.  The bright stars in these nebulae cause the thin gases to glow (fluoresce).   A favorite astronomy research target is M42, the Orion Nebula.

ringbtn.jpg (2195 bytes)The Ring Nebula is an example of a Star Death Region in the Milky Way.  Some nebulae are regions of glowing gases and dust which have been puffed off by dying stars.  By imaging these regions with different color filters we can see separate views of glowing gases. Explore images of the Blue Snowball, NGC7662.

ngc884bn.jpg (6212 bytes) Star ClustersOpen Star Clusters  (Galactic Clusters)  contain hot, young stars.  Open clusters originally formed in the same star birth region and continue to be bound together gravitationally.  Open clusters are found in our galaxy's spiral arms.  Pleiades (M45) and the Double Cluster (NGC884 and NGC869) in Perseus are two such clusters.  Analyze and tally the color of the stars in NGC884.  Globular Clusters, such as M56, are very old star clusters found in a spherical halo around our Milky Way Galaxy.

galaxybn.jpg (3477 bytes)Galaxies are huge islands of stars in space and are seen in shapes called Spirals, Ellipticals and Irregulars.  The stars we see in our sky belong to our own Milky Way Galaxy. We live inside this galaxy, so it is hard to know what it looks like.  However, with telescopes we can see beyond our Milky Way to other galaxies in our Universe.

fornaxi_btn.jpg (6299 bytes)Radio Astronomy  The National Radio Astronomy Observatories, like Greenbank, West Virginia, explore the Universe with radio telescopes that detect radio waves instead of visible light waves.

Watch our Sun with these links to Solar Observatories.  Download prepared .fts images of the Sun.  Follow instructions on how to download .fts images from Big Bear Solar Observatory.


   HOU Image Processing Tool Box. This guide is useful as you explore the images with the HOU image processing software.   HOU Image Processing Help is a more complete help file.  HOU™ Tips for Teachers

Personalize HOU Name Tags  Or, use prepared Pleiades, the Moon, or Clouds blank nametags!  
Print Universe Explorer Certificates for star parties and special events!

*Questions? Email Viv, vhoette@yerkes.uchicago.edu*  *Purchase HOU software or materials*

*Top of this Page*
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Prepared for HOU™ by Vivian Hoette.

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Links to Many Partners, Collaborators, and NSF, and Yerkes Observatory http://astro.uchicago.edu/yerkes/
Hands-On Universe™ http://handsonuniverse.org/ receives major funding from the National Science Foundation, http://www.nsf.gov/.    NASA IDEASHOU™ collaborates with many institutions including the Lawrence Hall of Science http://www.lhs.berkeley.edu/ and TERC http://www.terc.edu/; Univ. of Chicago's Yerkes Observatory

Links to: NASA Saturday Academy for Space Science (SASS) 
Optical Powers: Telescopes and Imaging
funded by NSF Center for Adaptive Optics,and Near and Far Sciences for Illinois


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