For tonight's talk, I thought I'd focus on supernovae -- stars which explode at the end of their lives. I've been studying supernovae since my graduate student days, and I try to keep up with the field.
For quite a long time, the Hands-On Universe project has given high school students both access to telescopes and guidance in what to do with them. One of their major efforts has been to train students to search for supernovae.
Back in 1994, when a star flared up in the galaxy M51,
one of the very earliest images showing the supernova was taken by students at the Oil City High School in Pennsylvania.
Just a few weeks ago, high school teacher Harlan Devore, who was leading a group of HOU students, discovered a supernova himself:
If you are interested in joining the HOU effort, please contact them at
Now it's time for me to talk about The SDSS-II Supernova Survey
Celestia is a free program that runs under Windows, Mac OS and Linux. It shows you a view of our universe from just about anywhere you want to be.
Copyright © Michael Richmond. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.