21 May 2010

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Poem by Jack Morgan, Yr9

Big, old, big, old asteroid belt
How I wonder how it felt
Round and round our fiery sun
Wouldn't that be a lot of fun

Magnetic field, it's a powerful force
It made solar wind go off course
That's how Mars got fried
If we were there, we'd have died

When the Earth got hit it went-a-flying
But not the substence called iron
That is how the moon was made
Ever since then, it has stayed

That's the day the Earth was born!

Jack Morgan (Yr9) Badge Winner

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19 May 2010

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College Newsletter article from St Richard's, Bexhill

In an invitation to Mr Pert to return to St Richard's College for an up-and-coming conference on 12th July, Dr Durkin said of the previous visit ".... my Year 8 Astronomy potentials were absolutely buzzing and I hope to have a full class come September"

The 12th July conference will be aimed at the Yr8s from eight schools local to St Richard's as well as a few students selected from Uplands Yr8, and will feature
Johny Ball , presenter of the popular science and technology television programs for children in the 1970s, 80s and 90s (eg. "Think of a Number" and "Think Again"), doing lectures in the morning. Mr Pert's Faulkes Telescope demonstration will be one of the practical activities in the afternoon. Sounds like a fun day.

This is the College Newsletter article from St Richard's (Thank you so much, Dr Durkin...It's always great to get feedback, especially when it's so positive!):

Year 8 Stargazing ‘taster’ lesson

On Wednesday 5th May, Year 8 pupils interested in starting the new GCSE Astronomy course in September, were treated to a visit from visiting Astronomy teacher, Mr. Iain Pert from Uplands School.
The pupils had prepared for the visit by identifying faint inter stellar objects, visible in the night sky over the Southern Hemisphere, using the newly installed (and free to download at home) stellarium software on the notebooks.

Guided by Mr. Pert, pupils identified binary star systems, nebulae and galaxies to observe and take images of, using the Faulkes Telescope in Hawaii.
At our allotted time, we were given remote control of the telescope and were able to aim it towards our chosen regions of space. Pupils observed and imaged three different galaxies, M98 (bottom right), M101 (middle right) and M64,the ‘Black Eye Galaxy’ (top right)’.

The ‘Black eye’ galaxy has been studied extensively by the Hubble Deep Field Telescope, in orbit around the Earth, and its distinctive appearance is thought to be due to an absorbing dust cloud which was produced as two star systems merged. First catalogued in the 18th century, it is located roughly 17 million light years away from Earth.

Congratulations to the pupils who took these amazing images.

Dr. Durkin

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15 May 2010

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Maynard's Green Primary School

Sky Object Name: M8
Taken By: Uplands Community College
When taken: May 13, 2010 13:58:28 UTC
RA: 18h03'41"
DEC: -24°22'49"
Filter: RGB
Exposure time: 40 secs.
Instrument: EM01

The Lagoon Nebula (catalogued as Messier 8 or M8, and as NGC 6523) is a giant interstellar cloud in the constellation Sagittarius. It is classified as an emission nebula and as an H II region.

The Lagoon Nebula was discovered by Guillaume Le Gentil in 1747 and is one of only two star-forming nebulae faintly visible to the naked eye from mid-northern latitudes. Seen with binoculars, it appears as a distinct oval cloudlike patch with a definite core. A fragile star cluster appears superimposed on it.

Sky Object Name: ngc 6530
Taken By: Uplands Community College
When taken: May 13, 2010 13:52:03 UTC
RA: 18h04'48"
DEC: -24°20'00"
Filter: RGB
Exposure time: 40 secs.
Instrument: EM01

Discovered by Hodierna before 1654.

NGC 6530 is an extremely young open cluster which was formed from the material of the Lagoon Nebula M8, and it is situated well within this diffuse nebula.

As the light of its member stars show little reddening by interstellar matter, this cluster is probably situated just in front of the Lagoon Nebula. Its brightest star is a 6.9 mag hot O5 star, and Eichler gives its age as 2 million years.

Sky Object Name: triffid Nebula
Taken By: Uplands Community College
When taken: May 13, 2010 13:45:46 UTC
RA: 18h02'42"
DEC: -22°58'19"
Filter: RGB
Exposure time: 60 secs.
Instrument: EM01

Sky Object Name: Eagle Nebula
Taken By: Uplands Community College
When taken: May 13, 2010 13:37:52 UTC
RA: 18h18'52"
DEC: -13°49'00"
Filter: RGB
Exposure time: 60 secs.
Instrument: EM01

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5 May 2010

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Saint Richard's School, Bexhill

These images were taken by Yr 8 students of St Richard’s School, Bexhill, who are going to take GSCE Astronomy next year there.

Sky Object Name: M98
When taken: May 5, 2010 11:22:31 UTC
RA: 12h13'48"
DEC: 14°54'00"
Filter: RGB
Exposure time: 55 secs.
Instrument: EM01

Messier 98 (M98, NGC 4192) is one of the faintest objects in Messier's catalog. It is a beautiful spiral galaxy seen edge-on, and a member of the Virgo Cluster of Galaxies, situated in the southern part of constellation Coma Berenices.

Pinwheel Galaxy
Sky Object Name: M101
When taken: May 5, 2010 11:15:28 UTC
RA: 14h03'12"
DEC: 54°21'00"
Filter: RGB
Exposure time: 60 secs.
Instrument: EM01

Spiral galaxies, like M101, have well-defined spiral arms that wind around the galaxy within a rotating pancake-shaped disk of material. In this Hubble telescope “face-on” view of M101, bright blue areas of star formation pepper the spiral arms, which look like the arms of a pinwheel. Dark, thin dust lanes follow the spiral structure into a yellowish central bulge containing older stars.
In fact, M101’s disk is so thin that the Hubble telescope easily sees many more distant galaxies lying behind it. Seeing these background galaxies shows that a galaxy’s disk is really mostly empty space.

Sky Object Name: Black eye galaxy
When taken: May 5, 2010 11:08:04 UTC
RA: 12h56'44"
DEC: 21°40'58"
Filter: RGB
Exposure time: 60 secs.
Instrument: EM01

The Black Eye Galaxy (also called Sleeping Beauty Galaxy; designated Messier 64, M64, or NGC 4826) was discovered by Edward Pigott in March 1779, and independently by Johann Elert Bode in April of the same year, as well as by Charles Messier in 1780. It has a spectacular dark band of absorbing dust in front of the galaxy's bright nucleus, giving rise to its nicknames of the "Black Eye" or "Evil Eye" galaxy. M64 is well known among amateur astronomers because of its appearance in small telescopes. It is a spiral galaxy in the Coma Berenices constellation.

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