Advertisement

Big Glass on a Silicon Chip: The CLEA Project in the 21st Century

  • Laurence A. Marschall
Part of the Astrophysics and Space Science Library book series (ASSL, volume 287/8/9)

Abstract

In the 1990’s, the confluence of personal computing and digital data acquisition made it possible to produce realistic simulations of astronomical instrumentation for classroom use. Since its inception in 1992, Project CLEA (Contemporary Laboratory Experiences in Astronomy) has taken advantage of these developments to introduce a series of PC-based exercises that simulate a wide variety of astronomical research techniques including spectroscopy, CCD imaging, and radio astronomy of pulsars. Project CLEA materials have been widely adopted by astronomy educators because they make it possible to involve students in hands-on investigations that would otherwise be difficult because of time, weather, and financial constraints on real telescopes.

In recent years, Project CLEA software has been developed to take advantage of vastly increased computer power and data base resources as well as the Internet. It is now possible to offer access to tens of millions of objects covering the entire sky, using a variety of simulated observing instruments that span a wide range of wavelengths. As research astronomers plan “virtual observatories” — huge research databases fed by automated survey instruments — the experience provided by well-designed instructional simulations gains additional importance. In the future, it may be only through simulations that most students develop an intuitive understanding of the observational basis of astronomy.

Key words

Education laboratory exercises introductory astronomy computer simulation 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Bruck, M.T. 1990, Exercises in Practical Astronomy Using Photographs (Bristol, UK: Adam Hilger)Google Scholar
  2. Caton, D. 2001, The Physics Teacher, 39, 382ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Deming, G., & Hufuagel, B. 2001, The Physics Teacher, 39, 268CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Ferguson, Dale. 2001, Introductory Astronomy Exercises, (2nd edition, Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks-Cole)Google Scholar
  5. Hoff, D.B., Kelsey, L.J, & Neff, J.S. 1992, Activities in Astronomy (3rd Edition, Dubuque, IA: Kendall-Hunt Publishing Co.)Google Scholar
  6. Huchra, J.P, CfA Redshift Catalogue, (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 1990.) Available from the Astronomical Data Center (http://adc.gsfc.nasa.gov)
  7. Langley, S.P. 1888, The New Astronomy (Boston: Ticknor)zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  8. Lockman, F. 1993, in Observing at a Distance, eds. D.T. Emerson and R.G. Clowes (Singapore: World Scientific)Google Scholar
  9. Marschall, L.A. 1995, Sky and Telescope, 90, 92Google Scholar
  10. Marschall, L.A. 1998, in New Trends in Astronomy Teaching, eds. L. Gouguenheim, D. McNally, & J.R. Percy., (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press), 79–87CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Pasachoff, J. M. 2001, The Physics Teacher, 39, 381ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Russell, H.N., Dugan, R.S., & Stewart, J.Q. 1927, Astronomy; a revision of Young’s Manual of Astronomy (Boston: Ginn and Company)Google Scholar
  13. Szalay, A, & Gray, J. 2001, Science, 293, 2037ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Young, C.A. 1902, Manual of Astronomy; a textbook (Boston: Ginn and Company)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laurence A. Marschall
    • 1
  1. 1.Gettysburg CollegeGettysburgUSA

Personalised recommendations