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Collaborations

Image of Plymouth Public Schools Logo
Insight Observatory's first astronomy and science education collaborative venture utilizing remote robotic telescopes was with the Plymouth Public Schools in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Insight Observatory worked with the school district's science coordinator and faculty with planning research projects that students could  participate in by utilizing the remote robotic telescopes located in New Mexico, California, Spain, and Australia. Here are examples of the projects that students participated in using Insight Observatory, that enhanced their learning experience.

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Insight Observatory's most recent collaboration was with the Sacred Heart School located in Kingston, Massachusetts. Our task was to search out, locate and install a suitable new telescope and mounting system for their school observatory located on a hill in the back of the school's campus. The instruments located and installed were a Celestron Schmidt-Cassegrain 11" (C11) Telescope Optical Tube Assembly (OTA) that is mounted on a Losmandy G11 Equatorial Mount. After the installation was complete, Insight Observatory was contracted by the Sacred Heart School to manage and operate the school's observatory. Insight Observatory will be responsible for organizing and running the schools stargazing and observing sessions for the school's science classes and the astronomy club. In addition, Insight Observatory will be collaborating with the science teachers in pursuing astronomy education projects utilizing remote robotic telescopes as well as the telescope system installed in the school's observatory.

Image of Camp Bournedale Logo
Camp Bournedale, Summer Camp for Boys, is a legendary Massachusetts science and environmental summer camp that is located at the gateway to Cape Cod in historic Plymouth Massachusetts.  A foundation is known as S.T.E.P (Science, Technology, Engineering of Plymouth) also based in Plymouth, MA raised funds and generously donated a complete setup for a remote robotic observatory for astronomy education to be housed at the camp. The equipment consists of a 3 foot in diameter domed observatory, 10" Meade Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescope, SBIG CCD Camera and a computer in which the equipment is operated and controlled from a building nearby the observatory's location on the campus. Insight Observatory was contracted to install the observatory and all of its components.The purpose of this equipment is to allow students and faculty attending the camp to monitor real-time solar activity (such as sunspots), the moon and brighter planets such as Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. There will also be opportunities for smaller groups to learn how to image deep-sky objects like galaxies and nebulae.

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The Cotuit Library is a public library located in the historic village of Cotuit in Massachusetts. The library provides resources, both physical and digital, with services and programs for the needs of today and the challenges of tomorrow. The collaboration between the Cotuit Library and Insight Observatory formed in February of  2015. Insight Observatory staff members Michael Petrasko and Harry Hammond gave a presentation entitled "A Pilgrims Progress" of amateur astronomy for the general public at the library. Since then, the Cotuit Library and Insight Observatory have teamed up to host observing and stargazing sessions that are also open to the general public free of charge at a local baseball field starting in the spring months going through late fall. For dates and times of scheduled observing and stargazing sessions, please contact us.

The Harwich Observatory
The Harwich Observatory serves as a location for the community and interested parties to view the wonders of the skies; as a science lab for students to engage in cosmic discoveries and log data with other observatories; and as a satellite facility for college students who need to conduct research in a dark-sky, light- pollution-free environment. Insight Observatory had the opportunity to upgrade the observatory's 32" Tectron Dobsonian telescope with a GOTO system that would allow the telescope to track the astronomical objects. This way observers can view astronomical objects without the need to continuously move the telescope due to the rotation of the earth. This upgrade will also allow students to image to astronomical objects through the telescope so they may participate in astronomy education projects such as tracking near earth asteroids.