Capturing the Cosmos: Teaching Astronomy (and more) through Astrophotography in Middle School


  • Saeed Salimpour


The Universe provides a canvas for exploration, it sets the stage waiting to be captured and explored by imagination and science. Its capacity to provide innate aesthetically pleasing visuals and the mysteries they hold, piques the curiosity of everyone. This paper provides an overview and results from an astronomy elective as implemented in a middle school classroom over the course of 11 weeks, at a non-governmental school in regional Victoria, Australia. Students who previously had no exposure to astronomy or image processing used the Las Cumbres Observatory (LCO) network of robotic remote telescopes to capture images of astronomical objects and processed them to create colour images. The preliminary Learning Progression (LP) focusing on inquiry skills and the results of the student project are highlighted.