On Wednesday was a very special day for the Science Club at Canberra Girls Grammar School.
Ten happy and enthusiastic students had the opportunity to remotely control a radio telescope all the way in California to scan the skies for super massive black holes. For the first time in Australia, the students were able to establish a live session with the radio telescope in the Mojave Desert from the comfort of their own school.
The session was part of the CSIRO’s STARS Project and the girls had the opportunity to experience first-hand some of the exciting daily routines in radio astronomy. After operating the antennae and collecting the data, the students had the opportunity to add their own, brand-new, point to the NASA graph of Flux Density vs time.
The Club would like to thank Mr Len Ricardo, the STARS Project coordinator, who expertly connected the School with the radio telescope; Ms Kelli Cole in the United States, who skillfully guided our students in the operation of the forty ton antennae of the radio telescope; and Dr Shinji Horiuchi, the world-renowned NASA astronomer who explained the mysteries of super black holes to our students.
Photo above: Students collecting data, Rhea Chopra (Year 10), Ariel Lawson (Year 9, Rowena Stening (Year 11), Cassandra Linares (Year 8) and Yi An Lai (Year 11) with teacher Ricardo Veloso and Mr. Len Ricardo of CSIRO looking on.