Activities

Agent Exoplanet

Use the Agent Exoplanet interface to measure changes in the brightness of a star as an orbiting exoplanet transits. Contribute measurements to the Agent Exoplanet community. Describe an exoplanet light curve and its relationship to the physical process causing it.

Astronomical Seeing - How Good are the Observing Conditions?

Have you ever wondered why you see the stars in the night sky more clearly on some nights than on others? You are about to measure quantitatively how the Earth’s atmosphere affects the quality of sky images, and thereby imposes fundamental limitations to ground-based astronomical observations.

As a first task, you will acquire two sets of images with a robotic telescope.

As a second task, you will then pick 3 stars in one of the observed fields, and compare how these look on the different images that you have acquired.

How to Create Stunning Colour Images of the Cosmos (Using GIMP)

This guide will show you how to create beautiful colour images using free software that can be downloaded from the Internet.

How to Create Stunning Colour Images of the Cosmos (Using Photoshop)

This article will tell you how to use Adobe Photoshop to make high quality color images with your astronomical data.

How to Create Stunning Colour Images of the Cosmos (Using Pixlr)

This guide will show you how to create beautiful colour astronomical images, using a free web app called Pixlr. 

How to Find Images Using the LCO Science Archive

There are many thousands of astronomical data files in our archive. We've created an archive search page that lets you limit your search by different attributes. This guide will walk you through the steps to finding the images you want.

Measure the Age of Ancient Cosmic Explosions

In this project you will calculate the age of a supernova remnant using Las Cumbres Observatory and Hubble Space Telescope observations. You will compare the remnant's radius in images taken several years apart to determine the expansion velocity and use this to calculate how long ago the supernova explosion occurred.

Measure the diameter of the Sun

In this activity you will measure how fast the Sun moves to caclulate how big the Sun appears in the sky. All you need are some household items and about 20 minutes on a sunny day.

Measuring the Age of the Universe

The discovery of the expanding Universe was one of the greatest revelations in astronomy. During this activity students will relive Hubble’s monumental discovery by using real supernova spectra to create a famous Hubble Diagram.

Plotting a Supernova Light curve

A supernova is the explosive death of a massive star. Although they only burn for a short amount of time, supernovae can tell us a lot about the Universe. Study of supernova has revealed that we live in an expanding Universe and the origins of all of the elements in the Universe that are heavier than iron, they also provide a tool to calculate distances in space. . Using supernova tracker, members of the public contribute to a series of observations of supernova over time. In this activity you will plot the changing brightness of the object and interpret your data to studying how these objects evolve.

Plotting an Asteroid Light Curve

One of the things we hope to learn through observation of near-Earth objects is their exact rotation rate. We can do by taking a series of observations of the object over time, and plotting the change in brightness. Using Asteroid Tracker you can help collect observations of interesting NEO targets, then plot and interpret your data to measure the rotation period of an asteroid.

Preparing an Observation Request on LCO

Students will carry out an observing session on the LCO robotic telescope network, using astronomical catalogues and planetarium software to determine target objects suitable for observation with the instruments available, within the allotted time window. Students will select appropriate observation parameters including filters and exposure times.

Star in a Box

Have you ever wondered what happens to the different stars in the night sky as they get older? This activity lets you explore the life-cycle of stars.

Star in a Box (Paper-based)

Have you ever wondered what happens to stars as they get older? This activity lets you explore the lifecycle of stars. In this activity you will explore the evolution of stars with different masses.

The Cosmic Distance Ladder: Parallax

Determining the position of a star or other object in space is an important concept in astronomy. During this activity you will learn how the distances to nearby stars can be measured using the parallax effect, and put this method into practise to determine the distance to nearby stars.