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).
  • Spring 2020: You may do three of the Zooniverse projects or any combination of online options for the full 15 possible points.
  • Feel free to do any of these for just for fun!

Projects with no due date specified below are all due via Blackboard under Extra Credit, on the date posted on the Course Schedule

  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 Friday 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):
      • Supernova Hunters: Find exploding stars in PAN-STARRS1 survey data.
        1. Read the background of the project in the “About” sections.
        2. Classify at least 15 images
        3. Take a screenshot of the summary page which shows the areas you labeled and submit that along with your written summary
      • Milky Way Project: Use real Spitzer Space Telescope data to draw bubbles and describe sites of star formation in our Galaxy or use Herschel Telescope data to identify and classify interstellar clouds.
        1. Read through the “Take Part” and “Tutorial” sections.
        2. Label at least 5 images.
        3. Take a screenshot of the summary page which shows the areas you labeled and submit that along with your written summary.
      • Galaxy Zoo: Use real data to characterize galaxies
        1. Read “How Do Galaxies Form?”.
        2. Classify at least 15 images
        3. Take a screenshot of the summary page which shows the areas you labeled and submit that along with your written summary.
      • Radio Galaxy Zoo: Help astronomers discover supermassive black holes using data from radio telescopes.
        1. Read the background on the project under “Why do astronomers need your help” and “What do astronomers hope to learn?”
        2. Classify at least 15 images
        3. Take a screenshot of the summary page which shows the areas you labeled and submit that along with your written summary
      • Poppin’ Galaxy: Use real data to characterize galaxy warps
        1. Read the background of the project in the “About” sections.
        2. Classify at least 15 images
        3. Take a screenshot of the summary page which shows the areas you labeled and submit that along with your written summary.