InStAR is happy to announce that it has received 200-hours of observing time on the Las Cumbres Observatory (LCO: lco.global) global network of 0.4-meter telescopes to conduct a focused research project to better constrain the rotation rates of a select group of long-period main-belt asteroids. In addition, LCO has designated InStAR as a 2018 LCO Education Partner, which recognizes InStAR's efforts to provide undergraduate students with authentic, immersive, and impactful research experiences.
Awarded to Dr. Paul Hardersen, President, InStAR and Senior Scientist at the Planetary Science Institute, Tucson, AZ, the research project will conduct broadband photometry of seven main-belt asteroids: (1328) Devota, (1347) Patria, (1361) Leuschmaria, (1438) Wendeline, (1450) Raimonda, (1457) Ankara, and (1556) Wingolfia. The observing window is one full year and begins on December 1, 2017, and ends on December 1, 2018. This project should acquire sufficient data for seven Astronomy Research Seminar student teams to gain the opportunity to analyze real astronomical data that will likely lead to student team-led publications.
The Astronomy Research Seminar, created and led by Dr. Russell Genet in California for more than 10 years, is geared toward 2- and 4-year college students to work in a team setting to reduce, analyze, and publish astronomical data in a single academic semester. InStAR is working to promote, conduct, and expand the Seminar across the U.S., is now incorporated in the state of Arizona, and plans to be an official 501(c)(3) non-profit organization before the end of Calendar Year 2017.