From the Internet to the Stars: Colourful hydrogen clouds and star clusters at 2018 Girls' Day at HdA

April 26, 2018
Girls' Day 2018: Observations of stellar clusters via the Internet, in cooperation with the Faulkes Telescope Project using the telescope network of Las Cumbres Observatory 

The best way to learn what it is like to be an astronomer is to go observing. And, thanks to telescopes in other parts of the world that can be controlled via the Internet, observations are even possible during the day. In this case: during Girls' Day, April 26, 2018, the nationwide event in Germany where female pupils get to learn about professions in which women are under-represented.

The 16 pupils participating in 2018 Girls' Day at Haus der Astronomie, Heidelberg's center for astronomy education and outreach, and at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, made use of this opportunity to target clusters where stars are born. These clusters still have residual hydrogen gas, clearly visible as a red haze in the images.

For their images, the girls used 40 cm and 2 m telescopes at the Siding Spring Node of Las Cumbres Observatory (LCO), made available by the Faulkes Telescope Project and LCO as part of a collaboration with Haus der Astronomie.

LCO is a non-profit organization dedicated to building and operating a network of professional robotic telescopes, deployed worldwide, for science and education. The collaboration furthers LCO's goal to provide an inspirational experience of science through the use of their robotic telescope network. Access to the telescopes was provides through the Faulkes Telescope Project, a key education partner of LCO.

Participants then used suitable software to create their own colour images of their chosen target objects and take them home. 

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