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Vera (Cooper) Rubin is an astronomer who has done pioneering work on galaxy rotation rates. Her discovery of what is known as "flat rotation curves" is the most direct and robust evidence of dark matter.

Getting Astronomers Involved in the IYA

The University of Hawaii's Institution for Astronomy and Interstellar Studios (the producers of 400 Years of the Telescope) are facilitating an exciting new educational program called Astronomer in the Classroom.

Using Abode Acrobat Connect™, a web conferencing service, Interstellar Studios is hosting three 30-minute webcasts on school days in 2009 beginning in April with astronomers from throughout the world. The webcasts are conducted at the same time each day (starting at 1 pm Eastern), to accommodate time zone differences and grade levels (3-5, 6-7, and 8-12). Educators can drop-in when their schedules allow it.

A calendar of participating astronomers and presentations can be found at the Astronomer in the Classroom website, with brief descriptions of the lectures, allowing both the student and teacher a chance to plan for webcasts in which they would like to participate.

The Abode Acrobat Connect™ web-based interface allows the astronomer to be viewed and heard over the web, as well as run a PowerPoint® presentation live. Students can interact with the speaker by typing questions to the conference from their school computers. A moderator will be provided to help facilitate an follow-up question and answer period.




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