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August 2005 updates for Mr. Devore

Published: August 15, 2005

At the Hands-On Universe Conference at Yerkes Observatory in mid-August, Mr. Devore presented an overview of the Spitzer Telescope, its instruments and capabilities, and how to use Leopard to retrieve images. He used ds9 software to show samples of MIPS and IRAC images. In addition, he described the Spitzer Teachers Program and gave an overview the ARP102B project. The audience of about 30 people included scientists, astronomy professors, and high school teachers. Most were Teacher Resource Agents (TRAs) -- teacher trainers for HOU. Three of the teachers present were also graduates of the TLRBSE or RBSE programs. The presentation is in power point and is available for other teachers who want to clone it.

Mr. Chapple used Spot to create a list of background flux (in MJy/sr) vs wavelength for our target area. Mr. Devore coordinated with Dr. Chary and got the pixel width of the spectral extraction area from each of our .fits images. He set up a spreadsheet, using platescale to convert the pixel area of each extraction into solid angles (in sr). He then multiplied it by the integration time (in s) and used that to factor the background flux. Unfortunately, the background flux numbers he is getting are still too large - larger than the signal flux. In the next few days, Mr. Devore plans to go over his work again to see if he can figure out what he did wrong. If he can't, he will ask Dr. Chary to review his calculations.

Mr. Devore's student Katie has recently finished identification of lines in a second set of spectra. They are finding quite a few lines that just don't match any of the common spectral lines found in AGNs. They suspect that the lines may be significantly Doppler shifted. If so, the torus region does not seem to be homogeneous because there is not a matching line that is shifted in the other direction for most of these lines.

Mr. Devore's student Brian elected to take his Astronomy class rather than the Research in Science class. As a result, he will be playing a much smaller role in the analysis because he will not have much class time to work on it.

Future Plans

During April 2006, Mr. Devore will be testing ARP 102B spectral analysis modules that he is creating in his Astronomy, Physics, and AP Physics classes. He will also be using components of the SOFIA curriculum with his Physical Science and Physics class as they cover light and electromagnetic radiation curriculum in about two weeks.

In May, Mr. Devore's Research in Science students will be presenting their research projects at the monthly meeting of the Fayetteville Astronomical Society. At that time, Mr. Devore and his students Brian and Katie, will also be presenting the ARP 102B Spitzer project.

Mr. Devore is working on scheduling a system-wide professional development on IR for the school Year 2005-2006 with the help of Jami Inman, the Science Coordinator for their school system. The "IR in the Classroom" training will be combined with other science training sessions as part of the continuing education unit credits.

Mr. Devore is currently working with his school system's science curriculum coordinator to have a Saturday workshop in Feb 06 for science teachers from 11 high schools. One of the sessions at the workshop will be similar to his "Seeing the Universe in Another Light" presentation.

He expects to present the ARP102B project at the NC Section - American Association of Physics Teachers spring convention in Mar 06.

Publicity

On Aug 4, 2005, Mr. Devore's local paper, The Fayetteville Observer published an article featuring his two students--Brian and Katie -- and Mr. Devore and their ARP102B project. The newspaper has a circulation of about 70,000.

The school newspaper, The Hoofbeat, ran a front page article on the ARP102B project in its October 2005 issue. The newspaper reaches about 1500 students and 120 teachers.

The 2023 NITARP application is now available! Go here for the instructions. Applications are due by 3pm Pacific time, Monday Sep 12, 2022. (NOTE: we do not yet know if we will be permitted to travel to the AAS!)