Boston Leadership Institute: Astrophysics

Contact: (617) 283-4825

Overview

It is a perfect program for teens interested in physics and astronomy. They will learn about and explore SETI signals by using data streaming online to search for radio signals in space that could, in theory, come from extraterrestrial intelligence. The students will work with data streaming in from Pluto through the Bright Horizons project.

During the Astrophysics program, the Boston Leadership Institute teaching team, which includes physics scholars from Harvard and Princeton, will explore questions such as: How do we know the distances to various stars and planets? What is dark matter? Why do we need it? Is a black hole a hole? Do pulsars pulse? Venus is hotter than mercury, Sirius is hotter than our Sun – but wait, how do we know that? The human species has gazed into the night sky and its glittering stars and galaxies with wonder and curiosity for centuries and pondered these questions.

During this course, students will get an electrifying view of the fundamental physics of the universe and why we need to understand the laws of physics that allow astronomers to understand the sky above. Cassini, which is a satellite that orbits Venus, streams the data that students can analyze on their own computers.

Students will also learn about stellar nurseries that ultimately make new galaxies. Students will find out how light that wobbles while streaming in from faraway stars could be a sign of orbiting planets that exist. This data will be analyzed during lectures on astrophysics as well as during a field trip to a local observatory.

Formal dates and session length for 2021 will be announced shortly! Be sure to check out our website for the latest information.

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