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SB150 Young Astronomers

Connecting youths to research-grade telescopes around the world.  


SB150 Young Astronomers (SB150YA) is a program that allows local youths to operate a global network of research-grade telescopes in partnership with Skynet Junior Scholars (SJS).  An inaugural team of youths from Michiana are training to capture and to process images of deep space wonders.  Recognizing 75 years of South Bend's incorporated history have occurred between sunset and sunrise, the SB150YA program celebrates the city's First Midnight of May 22, 1865.

Funded by the National Science Foundation, Skynet Junior Scholars is designed to engage youth in the study of the Universe using the same tools as professionals. In SJS, young people can be aspiring astronomers, controlling research‐grade telescopes around the world to acquire and process images of celestial objects, ranging from near‐by planets to distant galaxies. Middle school and high school youths who become Skynet Junior Scholars will learn valuable skills in problem‐solving, math, science, and communication as they complete a set of astronomy Explorations.  


Riverbend Community Math Center is generously providing meeting space and computer access for the SB150 Young Astronomers team. The Summers Group, LLC , Project Impact South Bend, and NAACP South Bend Branch are co-sponsoring the SB150 Young Astronomers program.   Enrollment of participants began at the 29th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration on January 19, 2015, at the Century Center.  Participants were also solicited during the Discover...Science event at the Kroc Center.


Applying to SJS on behalf of SB150 Young Astronomers and providing instructional guidance is Chuck Bueter.  Bueter, Bruce Miller, and Chuck (Chas) Rupley attended the SJS training workshop at Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay, WI, in March 2015.  Supporting the program with professional guidance in South Bend is astronomer Dr. Kate Rueff.  The SB150YA educators will complement the SJS elements with local astronomy attractions, including a visit to the Kennedy Planetarium, hands-on use of telescopes with Michiana Astronomical Society Inc. members, and connection to South Bend's sesquicentennial celebration like First Midnight.  


The SB150 Young Astronomers program, which is free for the young scholars, expects a participant's commitment through November 2015.  However, youths will set up their own online account with Skynet, and will be able to access telescopes and continue research independently beyond that first year.  

Thanks to American National University South Bend Campus for allowing the SB150YA team to use their computer lab.

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Pluto: 3 Hours of 248-Year Orbit

Sequence of images reveal Pluto's motion; taken with Prompt3 telescope of Skynet Junior Scholars.


Skynet is an NSF-funded inititative to train individuals to control telescopes and process celestial images through an online network of global telescopes. 


Skynet Junior Scholars

Skynet Junior Scholars is a parallel program that targets youths in after-school settings.


Skynet Junior Scholars Workshop

Invitation to participate describes the program and links to forms for the local SB150 Young Astronomers leaders.


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