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Initiating a Bold New Generation of Astronomical Surveys at the Wyoming Infrared Observatory University of Wyoming/NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Science Mission Directorate

Interior night dome photo of the Wyoming Infrared Observatory (Photo credit Matt Bryant)

Students from Colorado College using the new Prime focus imaging camera and examining themselves in the 2.3 meter primary mirror (Photo credit Shane Burns, Colorado College).

Adam D. Myers, Science PI, University of Wyoming

Dr. Matt Greenhouse, NASA Technical Monitor, Goddard Space Flight Center, STMD

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NASA EPSCoR Stimuli 2014 -15

Upgrades to the University of Wyoming’s 2.3 m telescope at the Wyoming Infrared Observatory (WIRO) have launched a new generation of science and outreach programs. A new 4096x4096 pixel ultravioletsensitive camera images a 39.1 arcminute square field, enabling graduate and undergraduate students to conduct thesis projects across large portions of the sky. Ancillary upgrades to the Observatory’s internet link to campus allows astronomers to transfer hundreds gigabytes of data per day even while supporting fast video links for remote telescope operation and public virtual participation with astronomers on site. The project has enabled new collaborations for teaching and research throughout Wyoming and nationwide. WIRO hosted a week-long observing run for the junior/senior observational methods class at Colorado College taught by Prof. Shane Burns. WIRO provided observing experience for four students and Prof. Bill Welsh from San Diego State University while delivering spectroscopic data in support of NASA’s Kepler spacecraft science goals. WIRO was featured in a documentary chronicling a science investigation of close binary stars involving faculty Prof. Larry Molnar and several students at Calvin College. Five high school students and their teacher from a Lander, WY astronomy club visited WIRO to take data with the large-format camera. Secondary science teachers from Wyoming and New Hampshire visited WIRO as part of a 24-participant summer teacher’s workshop co-hosted by Prof. Adam Myers in collaboration with UW education professor Andrea Burrows. Eight undergraduate observed 28 nights on WIRO as part of a summer research experience for undergraduates (NSF-REU) program coordinated by UW Profs. Danny Dale and Chip Kobulnicky. Forty eight junior high students from Wyoming and three surrounding states used WIRO as part of a team-based research project during the 10-day ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp at UW directed by Prof. Kobulnicky.

EPSCoR Stimuli 2014-15  

NASA Office of Education’s Aerospace Research & Career Development (ARCD) is pleased to release NASA EPSCoR Stimuli, a collection of univers...

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