Published: March 31, 2006
Mr. Blackwell, along with the High-z Star Formation group, has been reading the book Galaxies in the Universe: An Introduction by Linda S. Sparke and John S. Gallagher. They are then sending notes of this reading to Gregory Rudnick for approval and clarification of any misconceptions regarding our Spitzer project. He is also preparing his students and working with the local New Hampshire Astronomical Society and Christa McAuliffe Planetarium to schedule workshops and training events for teachers and the general public.
Mr. Blackwell's students have been given appropriate readings in Seeds' Horizons concerning multi-wavelength astronomical studies and infra-red studies in particular. They have also been reading appropriate materials on photometry which he has written and from sources such as the AAVSO and the book Galaxies in the Universe mentioned above. Also, this past month they completed a photometric study of an open cluster using our observatory and plotted an CM diagram of the cluster to note the main Sequence of the cluster and of the stars in the surrounding galactic arm of the Milky Way. It is not a photometric study of galaxy clusters, but it makes the point that many additional facts can be found in taking data across multiple wavelengths.
Mr. Blackwell's students are very interested in "seeing" in the IR. This is a totally new concept for most, if not all, of his students. He has presented the project to the students and shown them the value of IR studies, not only of galaxy clusters, but of many other astronomical objects: plates, asteroids, stars, interstellar medium, etc. Students have been excited by the prospect of working with real data: something that they always love. They are also more motivated by helping with real science.