Exploring Telescopes and Different Wavebands

In this lab, you will pick a telescope/waveband, investigate its properties, and then make a short (about five minute) presentation on what you and your group found. Don't panic about the presentation - it will be less a presentation than a group discussion, as everyone else should have questions for you (and you should have questions for other people).

So, here's the drill. We'll pick projects and groups in class, and then you'll have about an hour to find information. If you want to look up a telescope before class, that's great - but be aware that not everyone can report on the Hubble Space Telescope. After you investigate your telescope, we make our short group presentations. The only thing you have to write for this lab is a conclusion - what you learned from your and other people's presentations.

There are a large number of optical telescopes that you could possibly talk about. There are also some very interesting projects going on in wavebands other than visible light: think radio, infrared, Xray, even gamma ray. If you would like to cover more than just one single telescope and bring other telescopes from the same waveband into your presentation, that's fine. You could tell us about why we should want to look at the universe in that waveband (what is there to see?), what difficulties there are, any interesting history of the telescope, how it works, or anything else you think is relevant.

Here are some links to help you get started. If you find something else that you would rather talk about, ask me about it.

That's a lot of possibilities. Also remember that NASA/JPL/Goddard might have some information, and you can always do a web search to look for webpages put up by people who are working on these projects.