This year marks the fourth year that LCOGT has participated in the KITP's annual Teacher's Conference. Teachers from around the country all come to UCSB for this one day conference to meet with some of the world's leading experts in different areas of physics. This year, held on March 27, the theme was Planets Beyond the Solar System: The New Astronomical Revolution and included Alan Boss, Debra Fischer, James Kastings, and Adam Burgasser as the primary speakers with Rachel Ross giving an overview of LCOGT.
The CoRoT satellite, operated by the French space agency CNES, has discovered a Jupiter- sized planet orbiting a star similar to the Sun in the constellation Serpens Cauda at a distance of 1500 light-years from the Earth. The parameters of this gas giant, which has features in common with the majority of exoplanets discovered so far, represents a valuable standard model when it comes to identifying new Jovian-type bodies with moderate temperatures.
With half of the world’s population now living in cities, many urban dwellers have never experienced the wonderment of pristinely dark skies and maybe never will. This loss, caused by light pollution, is a concern on many fronts: safety, energy conservation, cost, health and effects on wildlife, as well as our ability to view the stars. Even though light pollution is a serious and growing global concern, it is one of the easiest environmental problems you can address on local levels.