May 13, 2011: Indoor Astronomy -- focus on exoplanets

Michael Richmond
May 11, 2011
May 13, 2011

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We originally scheduled an Open House at the RIT Observatory for Friday, May 13, but bad weather forced us to provide a set of indoor activities for the visitors. Let's hope for better weather in September for our next Open House!

In order to provide extra room for our activities, we moved the event from the RIT Observatory to the Carlson Center for Imaging Sciences (Building 76) on the main RIT campus. AST graduate students Ian Ruchlin and Sravani Vaddi, and Imaging Sciences major Meghan Dorn, welcomed visitors with schedules and snacks.

Michael Richmond (Physics faculty) gave a short lecture on the latest results from the Kepler satellite mission.

Richmond and Stacey Davis (NTID faculty) explained how astronomers can use spectra to determine the chemical composition of celestial objects. Visitors had a chance to see for themselves, with the aid of some silly-looking glasses with diffraction gratings.

We then gave the visitors a choice of two activities: they could play "Name that Astronomical Object," with hosts Valerie Rapson and Billy Vazquez (AST graduate students) ...

... or participate in a discussion of "Life in the Universe," led by Dave Principe and Prabath Peiris (AST graduate students).

Thanks to all who contributed their time and efforts to this event!

Last modified 05/18/2011 by MWR