Girls Exploring the Universe!

July 8 - 12 2019, University of Virginia

 Telescope Observing

In this activity, you get to control telescopes spread out over the world. Using the MicroObservatory network, you get to select an astronomical object and decide how you want to observe it. Over the next 1-2 nights, these observations will be scheduled at the various telescopes. By observing objects with multiple color filters, we can create a full color image later in the week.

  1. Go to

2. Click the “Observing with NASA” button on the bottom left.  

3. Click “Control Telescope” in the top left menu bar.

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4. Choose your object from the options listed. Note: some objects are greyed out because they not up at night at the current time of year. If you come back to this website in the winter, you can take images of different objects in the sky. 

5. Choose your observing parameters including how zoomed in you want your pictures, and how long of an observing time to set. The app will make suggestions based on how bright or faint your object is. It is best here to choose a star cluster or a galaxy, since you can take multiple color images. Bright objects like the Sun and Jupiter don’t have “color” options. In the “Filter Selection” box, choose “Multiple Filters.” If you don’t have that option, choose another astronomical object to make observations of.

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IMPORTANT: On the next page fill out the email address box with:

Using this email (instead of your personal one) makes sure we get your data and have it ready for you on your computers for Thursday. 

6. Fill out 13-15 for age (the minimum option) and your gender and home state. This information is tracked anonymously, but if you prefer not to, you can just ask us to put ours. 

7. Submit your request. This will tell the telescopes to observe your object in the next night or two.

8. Once you are done, record your name and your astronomical object on our spreadsheet so that we can match you up to your specific data for Thursday’s activity.