Message from Lisa Wells:
CFHT Community Outreach
Recent Past Events
January 9th, 29th & March 16th, 2012: Observatory staff gave Outreach Tours to the summit for those events where CFHT donated a summit tour (for 4 people) to charities for silent auctions.
January 16th, 2012: Several CFHT astronomers went to Hawaii Prepatory Academy to judge their science fair which was held from 3:30pm to 5pm at the Village campus dining room. The projects were set up for several days for students to view. Some of the students were invited to the state competition as well.
January 21st, 2012: CFHT astronomer Daniel Devost gave the public lecture at the 'Imiloa Astronomy Center in Hilo at 7pm.
January 28nd, 2012: CFHT participated in the Ellison Onizuka Science Day at the University of Hawaii, Hilo from 8am to 3:15pm. Astronaut Mike Fincke hosted a session. Interactive workshops were held for students grades 4 - 12. Click on the images below for an enlargement.
January-March, 2012: Over the past few months, CFHT has given meeting space to the Hawaii Island Festival Management Committee for planning of the upcoming events on the Big Island.
February 19th, 2012: Several of our staff helped in the judging at the East Hawaii Division Science Fair held at the 'Imiloa Astronomy Center in Hilo.
March 8th, 2012: CFHT sent several staff members to the Kohala Middle School Science Fair to help with the judging. Some of the students were treated with a trip to Washington, DC.
April 13th, 2012: CFHT hosted a teleconference with the Anne Fitzgerald Catholic Elementary School in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. CFHT staff members answered questions from 6th grade students about the observatory, space, and astronomy. Click on the images below for an enlargement.
May 5th, 2012: AstroDay will be held at Prince Kuhio Plaza in Hilo from 10am-4pm with the highlight being on the Venus Transit which will occur on June 5th this year and will be visible from Hawaii. There will be many booths set up in the Mall so come and join us.
June 5th, 2012: Venus Transit: This will be your opportunity to view an event which happens in pairs once every 112 years on average. The last transit of Venus was June 8, 2004, but before that, it occured on December 6th, 1882. CFHT plans to have observational opportunities downtown in Kamuela, at 65-1238 Mamalahoa Highway. The transit begins at 12:10 pm and will go almost until sunset. This will be your last chance until December of 2117. We will have telescopes set up for viewing, hopefully on a big screen, and we will be playing the "Transit of Venus March" written by John Phillip Sousa in 1883. We will have calendars for sale and refreshments will be provided. We will not be hosting any events at the summit of Mauna Kea for this event and it is likely to be very crowded at the summit.
CFHT Welcomes New Executive Director
The term of the CFHT Executive Director, Christian Veillet, ends at the end of April. On May 1st we will be welcoming a new ED, Doug Simons. Doug is a former staff member and director of the Gemini Observatory and was a former resident astronomer here at CFHT. He received his undergraduate degree in Astronomy from CalTech, and his Masters and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Hawaii, Manoa. Welcome Doug.
Venus Transits Sun in June 2012
There are many preparations going on island wide for the upcoming Venus Transit on June 5th, 2012. CFHT will have viewing at its Waimea office, as will the W.M. Keck Observatory. The summit of Mauna Kea will have many people but the NASA Edge group will be doing their podcast of the event from just outside the IRTF building. Many of the observatories in Hilo will be hosting viewing as will the 'Imiloa Astronomy Center. There are events also on Oahu hosted by the Institute for Astronomy with viewing at Waikiki beach for example. Keep an eye on the newspapers as the event approaches and pick your place for viewing. Remember that weather may be a factor so you will want to keep an eye on the sky. Here's hoping the sky will be clear over the islands.
The Universe in the Classroom This site has a great many links at the end of the page to other sites with information about the Venus transit.
NASA Edge Group's PodCast Site You will find their promo at the top of the page
Forming Organic Compounds for Life in the Early Solar System
"Complex compounds, including many important to life on Earth, were readily produced under conditions that likely prevailed in the primordial solar system. Scientists at the University of Chicago and NASA Ames Research Center came to this conclusion after linking computer simulations to laboratory experiments." If you are curious about how the building blocks for life may have been formed in the early solar system, here is a great article from Science Daily.
Astronomer's Search for Life's Ingredients in Space
"Many of the organic molecules that make up life on Earth have also been found in space. A University of Michigan astronomer will use the Herschel Space Observatory to study these chemical compounds in new detail in the warm clouds of gas and dust around young stars."
Rocky Planets Around Nearby Stars
"A new result from ESO's HARPS planet finder shows that rocky planets not much bigger than Earth are very common in the habitable zones around faint red stars. The international team estimates that there are tens of billions of such planets in the Milky Way galaxy alone, and probably about one hundred in the Sun's immediate neighborhood."
NASA's Space Biology Outreach Program
NASA's Web of Life is tasked by the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate with imparting the relevancy and results of NASA's research. Here you will find many resources for learning about experiments which went up in space, mining and construction on the moon or Mars, and topics like how the human body is affected in space. There are many resources for helping in the teaching of these and many more topics.
Here is a website written by Ricky Leon Murphy. He has compiled a great deal of information about many different topics which I think many will find useful. It also has many useful astronomical equations and some examples of how they are used. I hope you have fun using this website.
Pathways to Science
Pathways to Science is a project of the Institute for Broadening Participation (IBP). It supports pathways to the STEM fields: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. This is a great site to find science camps, undergraduate summer research opportunities, and much more for those considering going on to graduate school. They also have a resource which could help find funds for students and teachers to attend camps, work in a summer program, or attend a conference.
Tools for Educators
Here are some tools which may be useful for anyone. These are only suggestions and before spending your money on those things which have a price, you may want to investigate it for yourself before buying and make sure they have a return and refund policy.
Upcoming Astronomical Events
All times listed above are HST unless otherwise indicated. The link below contains many calendars and includes a nice section on astronomical events. Check it out!