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and Homes around the World!

Saturday, December 5, 2020

5th-Grade Students Image and Study Nebulae

Insight Observatory had the pleasure, for the third straight school year, of collaborating with Ms. Christine DeSantis' 5th-grade class at Plymouth South Elementary School located in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Ms. DeSantis' students were given the assignment of imaging and studying the different types of nebulae that exist in our universe. Here is her summary of the assignment for her students...

A 5th-grade student in Ms. DeSantis class reviews Insight Observatory's Educational Image Request (EIR) online application before submitting an image request for his nebulae research assignment.
A 5th-grade student in Ms. DeSantis class reviews Insight Observatory's Educational Image Request (EIR) online application before submitting an image request for his nebulae research assignment.

"We are very excited to have been able to benefit from Insight Observatory’s educational outreach program, especially during this challenging process of hybrid learning! As an at-home assignment, students first visited Insight Observatory's website to learn more about the remote telescope and its location. They discussed why New Mexico was an ideal location for deep space photography and learned about other Insight Observatory remote telescope locations around the world. After this research, students choose a nebula to have photographed.

Insight Observatory's 16" f/3.7 astrograph reflector (ATEO-1) remote telescope that was used by Ms. DeSantis' 5th-grade students to image supernova remnant known as M1, the Crab Nebula, IC 2118, the Witch Head Nebula, and IC 1805, the Heart Nebula.
Insight Observatory's 16" f/3.7 astrograph reflector (ATEO-1) remote telescope that was used by Ms. DeSantis' 5th-grade students to image supernova remnant known as M1, the Crab Nebula, IC 2118, the Witch Head Nebula, and IC 1805, the Heart Nebula.

They then did a research project on their assigned nebula that included information about the three main types of nebulae, how nebulae are formed and how far away and large the nebula they chose was. This project was completed from home and then presented in class using Google Slides. The students were thrilled when their images arrived as they already knew so much about their subject.

5th-grade student researching her nebula image assignment virtually from home along with images of Westerhout 5, an emission nebula and NGC 7635, the Bubble Nebula in Cassiopeia.
5th-grade student researching her nebula image assignment virtually from home along with images of Westerhout 5, an emission nebula and NGC 7635, the Bubble Nebula in Cassiopeia.

After seeing their images, students discussed the immensity of distances in space and reviewed the variety and beauty of these deep space objects. Students said that the things that they loved most about this project were the discovery of how different their own nebula could appear depending on the telescope used and the time of year it was photographed. They also were impressed that energy, gas and dust could create such astounding beauty.

5th-grade students selecting a nebula to image on ATEO-1 with NGC 7662, a planetary nebula located in the constellation Andromeda and NGC 7023, the Iris Nebula, a bright reflection nebula in the constellation Cepheus.
5th-grade students selecting a nebula to image on ATEO-1 with NGC 7662, a planetary nebula located in the constellation Andromeda and NGC 7023, the Iris Nebula, a bright reflection nebula in the constellation Cepheus.

Many thanks to Michael Petrasko and Insight Observatory for providing us with the astrophotography and information for this motivating and inspiring project!"

If you are an educator and would like to participate in a classroom and/or virtual project similar to this one utilizing Insight Observatory's Astronomical Telescopes for Educational Outreach (ATEO) remote telescope network, please contact us.

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