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March 2001 TOPS Newsletter

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Can you Help?

The second spring meeting for our TOPS 2001 teachers is on Saturday evening, April 7. This year we have two teachers from Kauai and one from Lanai. We would like these teachers to be able to stay for the entire star party. This means they would need to fly home on Sunday morning. Would any of you in the Honolulu area, teachers or students, be able to host one of the teachers overnight? TOPS staff can transport a teacher to your home and take the teacher to the airport on Sunday morning. Please contact Bev immediately if you can help.

Teacher Tidbits

  • The TOPS staff is beginning to work with the Hawaii DOE to cooperate in professional development projects. If you have specific requests for ways the DOE can help you complete TOPS requirements, please send your ideas to Bev. We have already requested recruiting and logistical help with workshops.
  • DOE officials report that teachers cannot receive Professional Development credits for TOPS. However, you can take TOPS for University of Hawaii credit. Then TOPS still counts toward an increased salary level.

Hawaii Strike Updates

For those of you who live outside Hawaii, the big news in Hawaii is that public school teachers and University of Hawaii faculty will most likely be going on strike next month. This is a difficult time for everyone involved. TOPS activities and schedules will proceed as planned.

February Star Party Report

Victor Kim, Sandy Hagstrom, Clyde Kobashigawa, Tom Chun, Alyce Ikeoka, Tiffany Llenos, Serena Dameron, Melissa Ferriera, Dominic Kick, Mary Kadooka, George Bendo, Michael Connelley, and Karen Meech enjoyed beautifully clear skies at the February star party at Dillingham Field. They were able to view Venus, Saturn, Jupiter, M42 (Orion Nebula), Pleiades, the Cone nebula, etc. The group got to try out the new computerized telescope on loan to TOPS from Meade. The new Meade worked admirably, although the computer sometimes got confused.

TOPS Alumnae Report

  • Mary Heaton's Twins - TOPS 2000 teacher Mary Heaton is expecting twins. Congratulations to Mary and her husband.
  • Chad Nishizuka, from Kailua High School and TOPS 2000, won third place at his district science fair with his TOPS project on astrobiology. Chad was inspired by the NASA astrobiologists at TOPS to do an experiment growing penicillin at low atmospheric pressure. Chad will be moving on to the state fair now. Good luck, Chad.

Hawaii Astronomy Developments

Below are two press releases with exciting news about the IRTF and the Keck Interferometer on Mauna Kea. Each article lists Web sites with further information and photos.

Internet Resources

  • Check out the photos at http://www.foranimage.com for some spectacular PC wallpaper. To download the image from the Web to your PC, move your cursor over the photo you want and right-click. Then choose one of the options on the pop-up menu.
  • The Scout Report for Science & Engineering, February 14, 2001, lists Web sites for the Cassini and NEAR missions: CICLOPS Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for Operations. ave you ever wanted to take a close look at mighty Jupiter? Now, images of Jupiter from NASA's Cassini Spacecraft are available from the Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for Operations (CICLOPS). Most recently, Cassini captured images of Jupiter's brightest outer satellite, Himalia. Other dazzling images include Jupiter's red spot, its polar haze, and .gif animations of storms on Jupiter (very large files). A diary of Cassini activities and a description and schematics of the imaging system are also featured.
  • Two on Eros Asteroid Landing: Touchdown on Eros, and Scout Report for Science and Engineering for more Eros-related resources.

Contact Information


Last Updated on April 14, 2001

This page has been visited times since October 1999.
Karen Meech, Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii
meech@ifa.hawaii.edu