Extra Credit

I highly recommend that you be concerned about your grade long before the end of the semester. I provide below a number of opportunities to earn extra points, so I will be unsympathetic to pleas to give away points or to nudge someone’s final grade at the end of the semester.

You may do as many of these as you like for a maximum of 15 points added to your final course score. The value of each activity is listed after the description.

Note:

  • These extra points must be earned, so these items will be evaluated. This is not meant to discourage you from doing these activities, I just want to be clear that simply doing an activity does not guarantee you its full point value.
  • You may not do any one option more than one time, ie. if you attend two shows at the Watson-King Planetarium, you are eligible to earn points for only one of those visits. You may however, do two of the options at zooniverse.org (see below).
  • Feel free to do any of these for just for fun!

Projects with no due date specified below are all due on Friday, May 10 by midnight via Blackboard. See the Extra Credit tab. I do this so that I will not be grading all of the extra credit for everyone at the very end of the semester.

  1. Attend Planetarium Show and Telescope Viewing at Smith Hall.
    • Watson-King Planetarium, Smith Hall Room 521
    • See the webpage for updated information.
    • Write a one page summary, single-spaced, of the astronomical content.
    • MUST be turned in no later than two weeks after the activity
    • Worth up to 5 points
  2. Attend Observatory Open House at Johns Hopkins U, Bloomberg Building
    • Every Friday evening, WEATHER PERMITTING, starting at dusk.
    • Enter the Bloomberg Center for Physics and Astronomy, and take the elevator to the fifth floor. Directions are posted. Observing continues as long as conditions remain good.
    • Observatory telephone “hotline” is: 410-516-6525
    • See the webpage for updated information.
    • Click here for a JHU campus map.
    • Write a one page summary, single-spaced, of the astronomical content.
    • MUST be turned in no later than two weeks after the activity
    • Worth up to 10 points
  3. Attend Public Lecture at the Space Telescope Science Institute (Across San Martin Dr. from the JHU campus, adjacent to Wyman Park)
    • Held on the first Tuesday evening of every month, 8 PM
    • See the website for schedule of speakers and topics
    • Click here for directions
    • Call 410-338-4700 for information
    • Free parking available
    • Write a one page summary, single-spaced, of the astronomical content.
    • MUST be turned in no later than two weeks after the lecture
    • Worth up to 10 points
  4. Attend the Open House at the UMBC telescope.
    • Held on the first Thursday evening of every month
    • The schedule information on the website is not updated regularly. Do not call the “hotline” listed, but instead check the UMBC Observatory twitter feed for information on whether the open house will be held on a particular night.
    • Click here for directions
    • Write a one page summary, single-spaced, of the astronomical content.
    • MUST be turned in no later than two weeks after the lecture
    • Worth up to 10 points
  5. Watch an archived Public Lecture given at the Space Telescope Science Institute
    • See the website
    • Write a one page summary, single-spaced of the astronomical content.
    • Worth up to 5 points
  6. Engage in citizen science at Zooniverse!
    • Make an account at zooniverse.org.
    • Hand in a screenshot showing a summary of your analysis along with a summary (3/4 page minimum of single-spaced text, not including screenshots) of what you did and the scientific goals and purpose behind it. Note that if you do two projects, you must submit a separate write-up for each.
    • Each project is worth up to 5 points each.
    • Choose from among the following projects (you may do TWO of these for extra credit):
      • Moon Zoo- Use real Lunar Reconaissance Orbiter data to do a Crater Survey
        1. Watch the video and read the “How to take part” text.
        2. Label at least 10 images.
        3. Take a screenshot of the summary page which shows the areas you labeled and submit that along with your written summary.
      • Planet Four- Use images from the HiRISE (High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) camera on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter to classify surface features on Mars and help scientists track its climate
        1. Do the tutorial (link at left of page).
        2. Label at least 10 images.
        3. Take a screenshot of the summary page which shows the areas you labeled and submit that along with your written summary.
      • Disk Detective- Use images taken from a variety of telescopes at several wavelengths to search for protoplanetary disks around stars
        1. Do the tutorial and look at some examples if necessary (link at top of page).
        2. Label at least 10 images.
        3. Take a screenshot of the summary page which shows the areas you labeled and submit that along with your written summary.
      • Sunspotter- Use data from SOHO (Solar and Heliospheric Observatory) to classify sunspots to help scientists learn more about their role in solar activity
        1. Do the tutorial and read the example on complexity (link at top of page).
        2. Label at least 10 images.
        3. Take a screenshot of the summary page which shows the areas you labeled and submit that along with your written summary.
      • Asteroid Zoo- Use images from a telescope in Arizona to find asteroids
        1. Do the tutorial read the examples at the bottom of the page.
        2. Label at least 10 images.
        3. Take a screenshot of the summary page which shows the areas you labeled and submit that along with your written summary.
      • Solar Storm Watch- Use STEREO satellite data to search for solar activity
        1. Watch the mission briefing for the “game” you want to play.
        2. Do at least 5 examples of the game you choose.
        3. Take a screenshot of the summary page which shows the areas you labeled and submit that along with your written summary.
      • Planet Hunters- Use Kepler Telescope data to search for exoplanets:
        1. Do the tutorial.
        2. Classify at least 10 stars.
        3. Take a screenshot of the summary page which shows the areas you labeled and submit that along with your written summary.