Jul 17

Sun Gazing

The educational camp “Sensing the Cosmos” has been going on the past few days on campus.  Elementary school students from across the South Bend area have come to Notre Dame to learn what they can about the universe beyond Earth.


As would be expected, participating in a program like this involves the use of telescopes.  A lot of telescopes.  Many different kinds of telescopes.  Telescopes that the students working at the NDQC are very familiar with.  Throughout the week, the NDQC Astro group has been participating in a counselor’s role to these children.

Yesterday, for example, the NDQC students led the elementary school students through the process of viewing the Sunsafely and by use of three different telescopes.  One type of telescope, for example, was a solar filter.  In a very basic sense, the solar filter removes all of the dangerous solar rays and enables the Sun to be looked straight at.  It kind of looks like a bowl with a mirror across the surface and is shown in the picture below.  Small sun spots and solar flares can also be seen with this device.  The NDQC students tried yesterday, through use of the solar filter and other telescopes, to instill a basic understanding of the components of the telescope into these students.