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CUREA 2004 at Mount Wilson Observatory now accepting applications

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Old February 27th 04, 02:40 AM
Mike Simmons
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Default CUREA 2004 at Mount Wilson Observatory now accepting applications

P.O. Box 70076
Pasadena, CA 91117



Dr. Paula Turner
CUREA Director
(740) 427-5367

Robert L. Eklund
MWOA Programs/Publications Chairman
(310) 333-3478


The Consortium for Undergraduate Research and Education in Astronomy
(CUREA) will repeat its highly successful in-residence educational program
at Mount Wilson Observatory for the 15th time this summer, from August 8
through 21, 2004. The program is aimed at undergraduate physics and
astronomy majors, with junior or senior standing, who are considering a
career in science or science teaching.

Staff and students will pursue a short on-site course in astrophysics and
observational astronomy using the historic facilities at Mount Wilson.
Instruments available to the students will include the Snow Horizontal
Solar Telescope, used in conjunction with a high-resolution spectrograph
and a unique atomic-beam solar oscillation spectrometer; a 16-inch Meade
LX200 Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope with CCD camera and SBIG stellar
spectrograph; and the historic 60-inch reflector, used by Harlow Shapley
to discover the size of the Milky Way Galaxy.

The CUREA program will emphasize how our present understanding of the Sun
has been achieved and how it relates to the astrophysics of all stars.
The emphasis will be on hands-on experience, using the horizontal solar
telescope and the other instruments. Attention will be devoted to many
observable solar phenomena, such as sunspots, granulation, limb darkening,
important spectral lines, Zeeman splitting of solar lines, the measurement
of solar rotation using the Doppler shift of a spectral line, and
observation of the solar 5-minute oscillations. Nighttime observing will
extend to celestial objects such as the Moon, planets, variable stars,
clusters, galaxies and other deep-sky objects. Students will learn how to
process CCD images and spectra from the 16" telescope. Discussions led by
staff members will deal with topics in astrophysics as well as the design
and use of the available telescopes and their accessories. During the
second week of the program, each student will work on a special project
she or he has chosen.

Additional activities will include an introduction to ongoing Mount Wilson
research projects, short presentations on important contemporary and
historical astronomical topics, special lectures by distinguished
astronomers, tours of research facilities on the mountain, and field trips
to JPL, Caltech and Palomar Observatory. The tuition fee of $1550 covers
all expenses during the two weeks of the course, including room and board
on the mountain. Students will reside in Mount Wilson’s famous
“Monastery,” home of resident astronomers since the days of Hale and

Mount Wilson Observatory is the home of a group of telescopes that have,
for many decades, made important contributions to astronomy. The Snow
Telescope was the first major solar telescope in the world and the first
telescope to be installed on Mount Wilson when George Ellery Hale founded
the Observatory in 1904. The 100-inch telescope was used by Edwin Hubble
to discover the expansion of the Universe. The 60-inch telescope for many
years explored how other stars that look like the sun also behave like the
sun in its 22-year-long magnetic activity cycle. The 150-foot and 60-foot
solar tower telescopes are still in daily use to study the magnetic field
and atmospheric motions of the Sun. Following the early tradition of
Michelson and interferometry at Mount Wilson, scientists from the
University of California at Berkeley have built an interferometer for very
high angular resolution studies of bright stars at infrared wavelengths,
and Georgia State’s Center for High Angular Resolution Astronomy (CHARA)
has built the world's largest optical interferometer array at Mount Wilson.

For more information about CUREA 2004, see http://www.curea.org or
contact: program director Dr. Paula Turner. E-mail: ,
phone: (740) 427-5367. The application deadline for the 2004 program is
May 1.


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