Stars

Use these free online resources before or after your visit to further explore themes presented in the Journey to the Stars space show.

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Online Resources

Interferometry

Science Bulletin

Interferometry: Sizing Up the Stars

If technology, cost, and terrain permitted, scientists seeking key data on stars in our galaxy would have loved to construct a behemoth 330 m wide telescope atop Mount Wilson, just northeast of Los Angeles. Instead, they arranged six smaller telescopes over an identical area, synchronizing the light to achieve an equally superlative resolution. Called the Center for High Angular Resolution Astronomy (CHARA), the array uses the technique of interferometry to spot details the size of a nickel seen from 16,000 km away. Hear from project astronomers why the labyrinthine engineering required for CHARA's renowned precision is a small sacrifice for the valuable data it gleans on the properties and life cycles of stars.

Sloan Digital Sky Survey Thumb

Science Bulletin

Sloan Digital Sky Survey: Mapping the Universe

Taking a census of all the luminous objects in one-quarter of the visible cosmos is a hefty accounting job. It takes a specially-built telescope on task every clear night for eight years, wielding one of the biggest digital cameras on the planet. Over a hundred million stars, galaxies, and quasars have been tallied so far. Meet the astronomical observers and theorists set on divining the three-dimensional structure and origins of the Universe from these unprecedented scores of data.