Glenlola GCSE Astronomers asked to observe the far reaches of Solar System

In an exciting new research project, schools have been invited to collaborate with the world renowned Lowell Observatory to image small, icy bodies in the far reaches of our Solar System.

The Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona is famous for the discovery of Pluto, once the ninth planet of our Solar System, now one of a handful of dwarf planets since the International Astronomical Union (IAU) reclassified it in 2006.

Faulkes Telescope’s pro-am programme manager, Nick Howes is working as a research associate with the Lowell Observatory on a project to refine the orbits of other Pluto-like objects. As part of this exciting new project, schools using the Faulkes telescopes can collaborate and help the astronomers gather their data.  Our Year 10 pupils will use the Faulkes Telescope to image these faint objects on Friday 16 November 2012.

Centaurs and Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) are icy bodies which orbit the Sun beyond Jupiter. With characteristics of both asteroids and comets, the Centaurs orbit between Jupiter and Neptune and usually cross the orbit of at least 1 gas giant.  KBOs are found beyond Neptune, in an area known as the Kuiper belt (or Kuiper-Edgeworth belt).

We are hoping for clear skies!