NOAO < EDUCATION < ASTRO Chile: Light Pollution

Light Pollution Projects (2003, 2004)

The first two workshops were precursors to a third workshop, which concentrated on light pollution studies conducted in La Serena, using limiting magnitudes of stars. This study was used as a template for two further light pollution studies conducted by students in Tucson toward the constellation Cygnus and subsequently toward Orion. Results were presented at the 4th and 5th videoconferences during the fall of 2003 and spring of 2004, respectively.

After a couple of months of curriculum planning and testing, the ASTRO-Chile team from Tucson held the 5th videoconference with their Chilean counterparts on April 6, 2004 to report student results from a new 4th-12th grade light pollution study of the night sky toward Orion. The curriculum aligned with the efforts of our Chilean counterparts in the program and was designed to provide a similar platform for cross-cultural exchange.

For the light pollution project using the constellation Orion, the Tucson team expanded beyond the city limits to include families from across Arizona who were part of the Arizona Virtual Academy and Family ASTRO-Tucson and also families from the Tohono O’Odham Indian Nation who are partners in both Family and Project ASTRO-Tucson. The team included Thea Canizo, Aida Flores-Castillo, and Glenn Furnier from the Tuscon Unified School District, Liz Alvarez formerly of the International Dark-Sky Association, Ron Probst, Pat Knezek, Doug Isbell, Steve Pompea and Connie Walker of NOAO, Barry Boczar of Baboquivari-Indian Oasis School District, and Rebecca Swegle of the Arizona Virtual Academy.

So successful were the results of the studies and workshops on light pollution, that plans were made for a student-to-student videoconference on joint Tucson-La Serena observations of the October 2004 lunar eclipse. Over 400 students participated in the lunar eclipse study. About 28 of them participated in the videoconference, asking students from the other site questions. (See the section on the Lunar Eclipse Projects.)





Contact the staff of ASTRO-Chile:

Connie Walker, Tucson Site Director

Kathie Coil, EPO Program Coordinator

FAX: 520-318-8451