In Cygnaeus High School our students had taken one course of astronomy before participating in the meeting in Sweden.
The first get-together of the whole group took place in Stockholm in 17-18 November 2010. The theme of the meeting was the sun and Thomas Aidenhag had planned an interesting programme for us for two days. The participants of the project came from Finland and Sweden and in this meeting there was also one teacher from Luxemburg. After getting to know each other a bit better, the students worked in pairs (one Swedish and one Finnish student) and prepared a presentation for the others on one of the following themes: Solar interior, Surface, Sunspots and solar cycle, Solar wind and Auroras, Energy production. The presentations took place the following day and they included demonstrations, slide shows, models and calculations.
On the second day we were doing some research on the spectrum of the sun, e.g. defined the surface temperature of the sun.
The second meeting will be held in the observatory in Tuorla in 9.-10.3.2011. The Finnish and Swedish students will be working along with students from Estonia and Luxemburg there. There will be lectures, workshops on the equipment and video shows. Possibly we will also do some group work on our own solar system. In the evening, weather permitting, there is an opportunity to explore space with the biggest telescope there is in Finland.
During the study periods, we will keep in touch via e-mail.
Tuesday 8th afternoon/evening
Arrival of the guests from Sweden and Luxemburg
Get-together with the Finns
Observing the stellars
Free time together
---11 Welcoming the Estonians
12-12.30 Lecture in the observatory Elina Lindfors
12.30-13.15 Cosmology 1 Pasi Nurmi
13.30-14.15 Cosmology 2 Pasi Nurmi
14.30-15.15 ESO(=European Southern Observatory)
15.15-16.00 Summary of the day, students together (with the help of teachers)
20 -22 Programme for the evening: planetarium, telescope etc. Kari Nilsson
22 - Campfire
8.30-10.00 Stars and Galaxes Laura Portinari
10.15-11.00 Preparation of Optics Perttu Keinänen
12.15- 13.00 Gamma Astronomy Elina Lindfors
13.00- 13.45 Research on Exoplanets Andrei Berduygin
13.45 - Summary of the day, further instructions for writing a report (via e-mail)
Our guests from Luxemburg will stay for one more night and perhaps visit Turku.
- Before the lessons the students will get some special English vocabulary on astronomy to help them follow the lectures and work on the themes.
- To prepare themselves for the lectures and discussions in advance, the students could work out some questions on the themes.
- Short reports on the themes will be written for each school to be used e.g. in lessons. The topics will be given out to the groups in Tuorla. (These groups are all mixed, meaning they will be build up of students from different countries). The teachers will send the reports to all the participants during spring 2011.
Groups and subjects:
I Sara, Deborah, Erich and Ida: Kosmology
II Mimmi, Catherine, Mikk and Linnea: Eksoplanets
III Lilli, Kelly, Mihkel and Helena: Gamma-rays
IV Sonja, Wiivi, Vanessa, Ben and Carl: Stars and Galaxies
Stars and galaxies (8.6.2011 by group IV)
Stars are born when gas cloud and dust become tighter. The gas cloud collapses under its own gravity. This leads to an increase of the pressure and temperature at this place. When the pressure is high enough to balance the gas gravity, a proto star (baby star) is born. The cloud continues to heat up and after a long while the fusion begins.
time 100000 yr 10 Myr 10 Gyr
event gravity proto star star
Stars exist because they convert light elements into heavier elements in the process of thermonuclear fusion. In a first state, stars are transforming hydrogen into helium. In course of their life, suddenly they have no hydrogen anymore. In this case, if the mass of the star is bigger than the mass of the Sun multiplied by 8, the star produces heavier elements up to iron.
Stars which have a mass less than 8 solar mass, collapse because their own gravity will be bigger than the pressure and the balance no longer exists. In this case, the star contracts and its outer most layers expand and its core heats up. We see them as red giants in the sky. In the death the final state of the star will be planetary nebula, supernova or black hole. The core of the star contracts to white dwarf. Our Sun is now in the middle age, about 5 billion years.
A galaxy is a massive system that consist of stars, star clusters, clouds, stardust and dark matter (mostly?). Galaxies can be elliptical, spiral, other morphologies or dwarfs. There (may) exist super massive black hole at the center of many galaxies. There are at least 200 billion galaxies at the Universe. Our own galaxy is Milky Way, where are 200 billion stars. It is a spiral galaxy, 100000 ly in diameter and 10000 ly in thickness. In our neighbourhood (nearest large spiral) galaxy is Andromeda, distance 2,2 million ly.
Cygnaeus High School
Teachers: Irma Aroluoma and Eerik Viitala
Teachers: Urve Mölder and Vello Mägi
Teacher: Thomas Aidehag
Lycée Hubert Clément
Teacher: Rupert Kraushofer