Wheaton College's Automated Parallel Sky Survey Project

April 26, 2000
2:50 pm - 4:00 pm
Halligan 111
Speaker: Spencer Zawasky, MS student in EE, Tufts University
Host: Dr. R. Gonsalves (Tufts University) and Dr. T. Barker (Wheaton College)


Advances in optics, computer technology and CCD imaging are fueling a revolution in small scale Astronomy. Wheaton College, a small liberal arts college in south eastern Massachusetts is doing its part to participate in this revolution by assembling our own automated observatory. Without the means of a large endowment, corporate sponsorship, or large research grants, we have been trying to use off the shelf technology to assemble, and automate a computer controlled sky survey system. Once operational, we will be able to search make meaningful contributions to Astronomy. We plant to start by looking for near earth asteroids, and/or super novae in our galaxy, and in distant galaxies. In the talk I will give you a crash course in telescope optics and CCD astronomy. Then I'll walk you through our goals and progress to date,finishing with a wish list for incremental improvements in the avaiable technology.