Published: March 31, 2006
Mr. Adkins' student Brielle Hinckley, for her project "Microvariability of 4C 29.45 with the Spitzer Space Telescope and Ground Based Telescopes," won 3rd place in the 12th grade division at the Contra Costa Science and Engineering Fair, as well as a 2nd place $75 prize from the Mt. Diablo Astronomical Society, and a $750 scholarship from Chevron.
Mr. Adkins has developed an interactive blackbody curve generator which allows the user to adjust the temperature of the blackbody with an adjustable slider control and see the effects of the change in real time. The purpose of the simulator is to explain the nature of the blackbody radiation and to explain how SEDs are formed by combining several blackbody curves generated by different domains within the black hole's accretion disk.
Since Brielle Hinckley is graduating this year, a new team of student scientists has been assembled to manage the ground-based observations and do the reductions of the Spitzer data as was done before. The new team consists of Thomas Travagli, Alekzandir Morton, John Michael Santiago, and Manutej Malaveesala. All of these students are currently sophomores or juniors at DVHS and expect to join the research class next year to complete the work that is being planned today. Three training meetings with these students have already been held as of this writing. As of this week these students have written a proposal to use the New Mexico Skies remote control telescope for this project, and they were just approved for 8 hours of observing time.