Project OBSERVE

Project OBSERVE montage

Morehead Planetarium and Science Center is a 2008 recipient of a North Carolina Space Grant K-12 development grant to continue Project: OBSERVE: Observation-Based Student Experience in Research Via Exploration.

Along with the UNC-Chapel Hill Department of Physics and Astronomy, the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center supports OBSERVE, a robotic telescope program that develops high school science students as astronomers. Students:

  • Plan an observation
  • Submit the observing program via the internet
  • Allow robotic telescopes located in Chile to conduct the observation
  • Download and analyze their data
  • Present their results to their class and post their projects on the Web

The teacher training workshop for OBSERVE will be held in the summer of 2008, from Monday, July 28, 2008 through Thursday, July 31, 2008. Twenty Earth and environmental science and astronomy teachers from across North Carolina will spend four days and three nights in Chapel Hill using Morehead Planetarium and Science Center and UNC-Chapel Hill campus resources to expand their astronomy knowledge and train to implement Project OBSERVE in their classrooms.

Housing and meals will be included in the workshop, and teachers will receive materials and educational tools to take back to their classrooms.

PROMPT Telescopes in Chile

Teachers will be supported throughout the school year through meetings and telephone/e-mail technical assistance. Teachers are invited back to Morehead for two follow-up workshops, one during the fall semester and one during the spring semester. Teachers will be given a $50 stipend for attending these follow-up workshops, and lunch will be included.

For more information about the telescopes that teachers and students use in Project OBSERVE, please visit the PROMPT Web Site

To apply to participate in Project OBSERVE, please click here to download an application. Fill out the form electronically and e-mail it to jesse@email.unc.edu or print it and fax to (919) 962-1238. The application deadline is Monday, June 2, 2008.

For more information about Project OBSERVE, please contact Jesse Richuso, project coordinator, at (919) 962-1237 or jesse@email.unc.edu.

Funding for OBSERVE comes from North Carolina Space Grant.

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Application Form

Download form as a Word document or PDF 100 KB

If you are returning the form by e-mail, please save the completed form with your last name as part of the file name.

Here are some images taken by students at Albemarle High School in Albemarle, NC. They and their teacher, Ben Davis, are currently participating in Project: OBSERVE:


-Galaxy M64, the Black Eye Galaxy, imaged by Sherry


-Galaxy M104, the Sombrero Galaxy, imaged by Steven


-Galaxy M83, the Southern Pinwheel Galaxy, imaged by Nancee


-M1, The Crab Nebula, imaged by Alexandra