The Rothney Astrophysical Observatory is operated by the Department of Physics and Astronomy and is the Dept's principal Teaching and Research Facility for Observational Astrophysics. The links below offer more information. Also, visit the Department of Physics and Astronomy to learn more about studying with the University of Calgary.
2011 was a banner year for undergraduate astrophysics with RAO telescopes and detectors playing an important role in astrophysics courses from the 200 level to the 500 level. In the lower level courses, students observed 1420 MHz emission from neutral hydrogen in the interstellar medium to study the rotation of the Milky Way. They observed narrow band H-alpha emission from the Sun to study the dynamics of sunspots and prominences. They observed open star clusters to study the affect of the ISM on star light. And they observed stellar spectra to study the properties and characteristics of stars.
In Asph 507 many ...
The RAO participates in the Quark Nova Project
The Quark Nova Project (QNP) is a group of scientists based out of the University of Calgary who are dedicated to the investigation of quark novae (QNe). A quark nova (QN) is the violent explosion resulting from the conversion of a neutron star core to quark matter through a process known as quark deconfinement. The result is a star made entirely of quarks; the quark star.
A Quark Nova is theorized to take place days or weeks after a small fraction of ”normal” Type II supernova events. The Quark Nova signature is the delayed brightening of the new object by about 5 magnitudes. The proposed careful long-term monitoring of Type II supernova events should reveal the presence or absence of the signature double-hump of a Quark Nova and allow us to estimate the frequency or upper limit to the rate of such events.
For assistance in making, and keeping, the 0.4 m Clark-Milone Telescope useable over the internet the University of Calgary and the Rothney Astrophysical Observatory acknowledges NSERC's PromoScience program. The remote operation of the CMT is central to the RAO's "Universe in the Classroom" educational program. If you would like to find out how your students might be able to use the CMT from your school, contact the RAO's Educational Program's Manager.