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Last Post 10/8/2009 10:44 AM by  Kris Sigsbee
Teachers - Please Read "Opportunities For All"
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Jim Stryder
Basic Member
Posts:105 Basic Member

10/8/2009 8:37 AM

    telescopeHello teachers, scientists, in my more than 25+ years of involvement in EPO/informal outreach in astronomy, space sciences, one of the toughest parts of this engagement has been how to approach, or work with I should say with those students who are less fortunate. Its a challenge that now can be successfully achieved to help students better understand the world on which we live, and the Universe around us.

    During this 25+ years, I've probably worked with more than 100,000 students, the general public, boy & girl scouts, etc. I've since lost track of the numbers, but I know they're way up there! I've attached two (photos) here. One, showing a young lady, who has muscular dystrophy, getting ready to peer through the eyepiece of a telescope, the other picture, is of Noreen Grice's "Touch the Sun", a NASA braille book on the Sun.

    Rather your in a wheelchair, or cannot see, doesn't exclude you from learning, it challenges you! For those of you who may have, or know students who are sight impaired, the book is an excellent reference tool on the study of the Sun, and challenges students to put their "sense" of touch to work for them, to feel what "size" is all about! I often fielded questions about the Sun's size, or how many Earths could fit inside it, or across its equator, etc.

    I've known many students over the years, two examples, one Noah, who is now on a United States Navy submarine, and Pammy, who just this past year did an internship at the United Nations in New York City. Pammy in fact is a graduate from UC-Berkeley. While they were both students in middle and high school, they were always "involved" in our astronomy activities, often helping others. Their success, can be your "success" as well, so aim for the stars, and go for it!

    Jim Stryder

    Kris Sigsbee
    Basic Member
    Posts:415 Basic Member

    10/8/2009 10:44 AM

    The radio waves observed by space science missions can be translated into sounds that can be enjoyed by visually impaired students. Other space science data sets have also been interpreted musically. Here are a few resources:


    These sounds from space are more than just fun and games. Before the dawn of the space age, radio operators on Earth heard strange sounds which they called whistlers and chorus. We now know that the whistlers are associated with lightning and the chorus emissions may play a role in accelerating electrons in the Van Allen radiation belts. Although most researchers today would use a kind of graph called a spectrogram to visually identify plasma waves in space, scientists still sometimes find that it is easier to use "space sounds" in their research. I recently read a scientific paper published in 2009 where the authors listened to spectrum channel data played over a loudspeaker to identify chorus emissions.

    To the best of my knowledge, this is the first paper which used the term "chorus." These waves were given the name chorus because they sound like birds chirping:

    Storey, L. R. O., An investigation of whistling atmospherics (1953), Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series A, Mathematical and Physical Sciences, 246(908), 113-141.

    Note that the above paper was published in 1953, before the first satellite was launched. It's very technical, but here is the reference to the paper published this year that used space sounds:

    Tsurutani, B. T., O. P. Verkhoglyadova, G. S. Lakhina, and S. Yagitani (2009), Properties of dayside outer zone chorus during HILDCAA events: Loss of energetic electrons, J. Geophys. Res., 114, A03207, doi:10.1029/2008JA013353.

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