Ready, set, launch!

The effect of impact craters

The effect of impact craters

| Categories: Astronomy Camp, Learning, Space Science

Day two in Astronomy Camp is now complete, but not without us getting thoroughly hands-on with our lesson of impact craters!

Thanks to George Cobb, we learned how debris from asteroids form large, complex depressions, or craters, into celestial objects like moons and planets. Using measurements of angles we were able to use our observational skills to learn how our different surface materials react from objects with varied mass and volume, being thrown by different measurements of force, and before long, we began to see impact craters we recognize on our very own moon.

Students had a lot of fun exploring all the different ways we may understand about the evolution of our own solar system, especially when parents were in the way of projectile materials!

After, we ventured just up the hill to the highlight of our visit to Peacham, the Northern Skies Observatory. While some students had been to the Observatory before, it was a lot of firsts for students and parents to see the impressive 17” Planewave Dahl-Kirkham reflector telescope.

We were fortunate to have NSO Operator, Damon Cawley, to provide us a great history of why NSO was created – to engage students in science and space exploration. Students were introduced to other types of telescopes the Observatory owns, and were encouraged to join NSO for their monthly star parties.

Utilizing the technology at hand, Damon also showed us the amazing astronomy apps available out there, such as Stellarium, which is just like having a planetarium in your hands. Students also learned how the Planewave Telescope is robotically controlled, viewing for example, the amazing 50 image-composite of the recent asteroid 2014 JO25’s fly-by of Earth.

To view Brad Vietje’s capture of this fly-by asteroid click here.

It was a rainy, somewhat chilly wrap-up of day two. We look forward to a slightly warmer, more dry, day three for gearing up with our rocket launching! We’ll be learning much more before we get to the closing of Astro Camp, so check back again for one last update!

View slow-motion videos of us launching craters:

 

 

 

Tags: astronomy camp, craters, Fairbanks Museum, natural world, northern skies observatory, Science, space, STEM, vermont