Milky Way Trailblazers is a two week research experience for high school aged campers.
Campers will learn to use a radio telescope to find the composition of a region of the Milky Way and measure the speed it is rotating and moving. They will combine the observations and conclusions made by their team with other teams to form a larger understanding of the galaxy we call home.
Using a radio telescope to measure regions of space doesn’t create pictures like we see with an optical telescope. The methods to turn the data collected into a map that can guide our way require creativity and hard work. Will the results look the same, or different, than what we see through an optical telescope?
Radio isn’t just used for observing space either. Communicating with satellites is a big role that large dishes like the ones at PARI play in human space exploration. Campers will investigate and report on the methods, both historical and contemporary, that are used to accomplish this, and the people who figured out how to do it.