Phillips Academy is a leader among the nation’s high school astronomy programs. The Phillips Academy Observatory is a state of the art facility equipped with a computer controlled 16 inch telescope, a scientific camera, and a full set of photometric filters. Students have used the facility to pursue a variety of research projects, most notably asteroid rotation studies. Since January 2012, ten submissions (with a total of fourteen student co-authors) have been published in The Minor Planet Bulletin, a professionally reviewed science journal. Students engaged in the astronomy program have collaborated with professional astronomers in variety of contexts including exoplanet detection, gravitational lens identification, and variable star discovery.
As the astronomy research program continues to evolve, opportunities abound to strengthen collaborations and begin new ones. Phillips Academy serves as a model program for schools interested in making research opportunities available to students. As the astronomy research program continues to evolve, opportunities abound to strengthen collaborations and begin new ones.
This summer, Caroline Odden will explore and map possibilities for developing a web-based forum for astronomy research. The goals of such a forum might include presenting the science we currently do, facilitating new collaborations and strengthening existing ones, and inviting like-minded schools to join in this work. The summer work will serve as an opportunity to explore possibilities and to sketch a plan for the future.