Blue Dot’s Astronomy Research Project is the original work which launched our organization. There may be no other human endeavor which quite captures people’s imagination, regardless of age or background, quite like astronomy. It is fully inclusive and a celebration of human discovery. Whether you are eighty years old or eight, we have found that looking up at the stars in the night sky is a wondrous experience which leads to fundamental questions about why we are here, where we came from and where we are going.
The Astronomy Research Project has several facets including visual observation, photography and astronomical research in the form of published papers. Blue Dot has access to several telescopes including an eight inch newtonian reflector, a 102 mm refractor, an elevel inch Rowe Ackermann Schmidt Astrograph, and a fourteen inch research grade reflector. We are currently working closely with the San Diego Astronomy Association in order to get a permanent, robotic observatory built east of San Diego.
Blue Dot offers courses for students and adults in wide field, deep field and planetary astrophotography.
Students and participants who work with us will begin with the basics of wide, deep field, and planetary astronomy and astrophotography. They will learn how to navigate the night sky by locating important objects and understanding how astronomers map it out. They will then move on to understanding how optics work and how a telescope mount is used for seeing deep into the night sky. Following these basics, students move on to working with an array of camera equipment from basic DSLRs to CCDs with narrow band filters built in. Many students will continue to work on getting better at astrophotography for many years. The challenge inherent in collecting excellent data and processing it appropriately is no small task. For those interested in the most rigorous challenge, we can support students in making an observation for a published science article in a reputable journal going back to Isaac Newton.
Along the way students learn content across the sciences including cosmology, astrophysics, energy, light, electromagnetism, optics, chemistry, stellar nucleosynthesis, motion, Newton’s Laws, Kepler’s Laws, planetary science, and astronomy.
Check back for updates and archived student work.