|June 28, 2016||ASDC participation to high-school outreach program|
In mid June 2016, twenty high-school students from Liceo Classico "Aristofane" and Liceo Classico "Giulio Cesare" of Rome, spent one week at the Headquarters of the Italian Space Agency (ASI) to participate to the "Alternanza Scuola-Lavoro" (School and Work synergy) project, according to the new indications of the Italian Ministry for Education, University and Research (MIUR) aimed at giving a real work experience to high-school students.
On June 17, 2016, the students used ASDC tools to analyze data coming from both Solar System exploration and Universe observation missions, under the guide of Stefano Ciprini, Dario Gasparrini, Fabrizio Lucarelli, Carlotta Pittori and Angelo Zinzi.
After a brief introduction by Ciprini and Pittori on the astrophysical observations of the Universe, and by Zinzi on the exploration of the Solar System, the students were divided into four groups of five persons each. The students chose their preferred field of analysis, so that two groups used planetology ASDC tools and the other two groups used Universe observation ASDC tools.
Stefano Ciprini and Carlotta Pittori introducing the subject of Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) observations.
Angelo Zinzi talking about the use of infrared spectra for mineralogic analysis on asteroids.
The planetological analysis was carried out by looking at data acquired by VIR spectrometer onboard NASA Dawn mission over the asteroid Vesta. The search for the data was conducted using the ASDC tool MATISSE, whose output (in FITS format) was then passed on to the JS9 tool to evaluate the 1.98 μm band depth, on the basis of the work by Palomba et al. (2015) devoted to the characterization of dark units on Vesta.
Students working with planetological data
The groups of students who chose to use the Universe observation tools from ASDC had to replicate the analysis of a couple of exceptional bright flares seen in gamma-rays from the AGILE satellite from the two AGNs PKS 1510-059 and 3C 279. Starting from the AGILE Astronomer's Telegrams (ATels) #6366 and #7631, announcing the dramatic gamma-ray enhancements, they identified the period of AGN activity and searched the correspondent AGILE data from the MMIA Archive. For this special occasion, we provided the students with access to the AGILE LV3 online analysis tool accessible through the ASDC web pages (the tool will soon become public). They very easily familiarized with the tool and, by means of that, they were able to produce a sky map and a light curve of the two sources, showing the rapid increase in gamma-ray flux observed in correspondence of the period reported in the ATels.
At the end of the day, the students compiled a "Daily Log" with all the capabilities acquired during the work.
Students analysing AGN data