About the Exoplanet Program
High school students often view science as a subject where you learn about what we know about our world and universe. They don’t often get to experience science the way it truly is: as a series of questions that need to be answered.
In this program students can learn from real data taken by our robotic telescope, as it would be in university, even watching as the data is collected live. They will learn how to pull scientific data from an image and, by the end of the program, will have results showing an exoplanet transiting in front of its host star.
Involve your students in the scientific process and show them what academic astronomy is really like! Join in our forums to allow your students to discuss with others and solve problems with their teammates and students from other schools.
Both basic and advanced programs can be done entirely virtually or in-person.
Note: The software (AstroImageJ) used in both programs is NOT compatible with Chrome OS. See our Technical Requirements Page for more details. See our Essentials Program to learn how your can complete a modified version of the analysis with Chromebooks (teachers still need access to a computer that can run AstroImageJ)!
Get your data pre-calibrated.
Choose from one of our already-imaged exoplanet transits and receive data taken by our robotic telescope. The data will already be calibrated, removing a step in the process for your students. Your students will learn how to analyze data in an image, and how to plot that data following analysis. They will also have the chance to sit in on a live session with our robotic telescope, as we explore the night sky and prepare a night of data acquisition.
This program is ideal for high school classes and large groups.
Classrooms who only have access to Chromebooks can participate in a modified version of our Basic Program – called the Essentials Program which uses Google Sheets to plot the exoplanet transit!
Do it all yourself.
Learn how astronomers choose exoplanets to image, and choose one for yourself. Fill out a data acquisition form as you would at a university, and watch live as your run is entered into the telescope. Following the run, we will send you your data and calibration files, so you can prepare the data for analysis yourself. Finally, you can process the data and analyze the results to determine if you captured an exoplanet transit.
This program is ideal for individual or small groups of students with a teacher supervisor, e.g. personal projects, extended essays, end-of-year projects, or clubs.
Student & Teacher Experiences
“It was pretty thrilling to get to watch how the robotic telescope is operated and actually be able to image the transit of an exoplanet.”
“There are so many areas of interest in astronomy and I hadn’t really landed on a specific area of interest. I have now found my focus with exoplanets!”
“My students and I enjoyed all aspects of the program. The students really enjoyed the experience with real data and live observations.”
The best part of the program was “being able to collect and analyze real astronomical data.”
I loved this [the virtual field trip] last spring and can’t wait to do it again!