This week is intended to show students how day-to-day scientific research is done. The students will work in small groups, using the maths and physics they have learned in school to investigate meteors (shooting stars). They will then make a poster with their findings and present this to the staff of the DIAS astrophysics section on Friday.
We have two meteor cameras and a radio antenna at the Observatory, funded by SFI, which are automatically searching the sky for meteors and recording any that they find. The detectors are part of the NEMETODE network in the UK and Ireland. The week has a strong citizen science emphasis through the NEMETODE network and members of amateur astronomy societies.
Participating students should have a keen interest in maths, space and science. Students should bring their own laptop with them, if possible, and would ideally have some experience in computer programming. The week will consist of 4 days at Dunsink Observatory (10am to approx. 6pm on two days, until 7pm one day and later for a parents evening on Wednesday) and the last day, Friday, at DIAS (at 31 Fitzwilliam Place, Dublin 2) for a poster session and discussion with other researchers at DIAS.
Students should arrange transport to and from the Observatory each day (Monday to Thursday), see here for directions. If necessary, arriving a bit earlier in the morning is not a problem. There are also no shops within walking distance, so students should bring a pack lunch each day, and some extra food for the evening on 2 days. A microwave is available to heat food, and tea and coffee will be provided.
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