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Science project needed for Cape Cod Massachusetts

Started by NotThePainter, 12/15/2007 06:49PM
Posted 12/15/2007 06:49PM Opening Post
I'm thinking of applying for a grant to stay at one of the dune shacks in the Cape Cod National Seashore. Almost all of the shacks are reserved for artists of one media or another (my wife Jeannette was in one 2 years ago on a writing fellowship).

However the Compass Trust also accepts applications for scientists!

This is the shack that Jeannette stayed in.

This is about 2.25 miles from downtown Provincetown, but about a mile from the nearest light source. I've not seen it at night myself but Jeannette says that she was able to see structure in the Milky Way from there. (My clearsky clock for there is ) The Compass Trust shacks are different from this one but you'll get the general idea of my surroundings.

So, what kind of science project can I do?

I've recently purchased a tiny adaptor which lets me piggyback a small camera on my GEM scope. I was thinking of trying to take some very wide field sky shots both from there and from Provincetown and also maybe from Manchester to demonstrate the effects of light pollution on the visible sky.

Note, I will be out there for 1 week (2 if I can get the time off from work, it will be between April and October, and I'll be operating off of field power for the whole time. I may need to get some solar panels to charge up the dew heater battery.)

So, the questions I have for you all are:

1) what are some things I can do with this experiment/demonstration in mind? A set of photographs seems barely sufficient. Are there measurements I can make? What would be a good camera? My Canon A610 does take dark measurements for exposures over 2 seconds but it is limited to 15 seconds max exposure. At 15 seconds of exposure I certainly don't need to mount the camera on my GEM, a tripod would be sufficient.

2) do you have any other ideas for science projects? (Note, I have no desire to take traditional astrophotography shots, aside from my lack of skill and equipment, operating on field power would severely limit the amount of image processing I could do.)

Thanks all!


Posted 12/21/2007 07:17AM #1
Here are some other science project ideas:

1) If you look at the coast line, you can see the effects of longshore currents and beach erosion. You might be able to log conditions (tide, wind, wave height) and measure the current by how long it takes something to drift a certain distance. You could have a hypothesis about how fast current will move under certain conditions or near certain topographical features and bumps in the coastline.

2) You could also use your telescopes & binoculars to do various birdcount projects counting the numbers and types of birds within a given area.

3) You could time occultations, count shooting stars, etc.

I have several telescopes, but none are semi-APO, APO, or in anyway valuable.