Laboratory Laboratory


NASA's space science researchers control some of the world's most sophisticated space probes and orbiting telescopes to get amazing images of objects in space. Now YOU can join them by operating your OWN ground-based "MicroObservatories" - real robotic telescopes that you command through this website!

MicroObservatory is a network of automated telescopes that can be controlled over the Internet. The telescopes were developed by scientists and educators at the HarvardSmithsonian Center for Astrophysics and were designed to enable youth nationwide to investigate the wonders of the deep sky from their classrooms or after-school centers. 

They are located and maintained at observatories affiliated with the Center for Astrophysics, including the Harvard College Observatory in Cambridge, MA and the Whipple Observatory in Amado, AZ.

  • Quick laboratory facts:
    • Science subject: Astronomy
    • Offered by: Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
    • Language of the interface: English
    • Registration needed: NO
    • Recommended because: #
    • Additional software needed: MicroObservatory Image is needed to process images
  • Guides and material for teachers:
    • Teacher and learning material offered: Here it is possible to download lots of material, such as teacher guide, a student/learner guide, documentations, etc
    • Academic publications on pedagogical lab use: Sadler, P. M., Gould, R., Leiker, P. S., Antonucci, P., Kimberk, R., Deutsch, F., & Hoffman, B. 2001, "MicroObservatory Net: A Network of Automated Remote Telescopes Dedicated to Educational Use," Journal of Science Education and Technology, 10(1), 39.
Activities Activities

Temperature - Kinetic Theory of Ideal Gases and Thermodynamics
In this exercise we will determine the relationship among pressure, volume and temperature of gases. We’ll deal with ideal, real, polar and nonpolar gases. We will learn the relationship between altitude in the atmosphere, pressure and temperature.

Conservation of energy in circuits R and C
In this activity the lab visitor is taken step by step through the first things to do in the remote laboratory dealing with electric circuits.

Moon's Craters
During this activity students will have a look in detail at images of the Moon to determine whether the density, size and appearance of craters vary across the lunar surface.

Is the Moon really larger when you see it on the horizon?
The purpose of this exploration is to design an experiment, using the telescope, to investigate the apparent size of the Moon when it is near the horizon, compared to when it is higher in the sky.

Galaxy Classification and Formation
The following exercise aims to introduce the concept of varying galactic morphologies. Students will look in detail at images of numerous galaxies and you will attempt to classify them according to the Hubble Classification Scheme. Moreover, you  will try to investigate the origin of the shapes of the galaxies that stem from galaxy interactions.

Discuss this activity in the forum

Measuring the Speed of Light
In this exercise we will operate a remote real laboratory of a University in Germany to collect data that will be used to measure the speed of light. Click here to access the activity

UniSchooLabS is funded with support from the European Commission.
This document reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.