With every passing hour our solar system comes forty-three thousand miles closer to globular cluster 13 in the constellation Hercules, and still there are some misfits who continue to insist that there is no such thing as progress.
– Ransom K. Ferm
- The Barber Research Observatory web page
- Facilities at the Barber Research Observatory
- Past research projects in astronomy by UIS students
- Long-term Monitoring of Be Stars
- NSF Supernova Impostor Project
- Crowd-sourcing light curves of bright extra-galactic transients
- Bright star spectroscopic campaign
- The Epsilon Aurigae Project
- Spectroscopy of Mira-type Variables
- Photometric monitoring of key bright stars and long period variables for the AAVSO
Research Opportunities for Students
Students who have an interest in astronomy are encouraged to take advanced course work in the math and the physical sciences and talk to Dr. John Martin about engaging in a research project. Generally students must demonstrate an academic strength in the physical sciences and a strong interest and commitment in order to participate in a research project at the Barber Research Observatory.
Before joining or initiating a research project students are strongly encourage to enroll in one hour of ASP 410 for a semester to be taken through an astronomy “boot camp.” ASP 410 is offered on an instructor request and approval basis. It is not normally listed in the semester course list. You need to talk to Dr. Martin if you are interested.
In a semester of ASP 410 students become familiar with the research tools available and conduct a small project (that may act as a lead-in to work in future semesters). Talk to Dr. Martin for more information.
There are astronomy research opportunities for UIS students through several avenues:
- CHE 400, credit bearing research for Chemistry majors
- ASP 410 directed open-ended astronomy research (contact Dr. Martin for information)
- The UIS AST internship program
There is a strong tradition of community support for the Barber Research Observatory. A number of dedicated community volunteers regularly support our observing operations. If you live in the Springfield community and you have interest in volunteering at the observatory you need to make yourself known and demonstrate your interest and ability. Not all our volunteers have degrees in math or physics, but all of them have strong analytical skills and are good with learning the use of technology.
To get started you need to demonstrate your interest and ability to Dr. Martin. Community members are encouraged to take ASP 303 Modern Astronomy (occasionally offered now in the spring semester, especially when people express interest). The same ASP 410 “boot camp” route is also available. Contact Dr. Martin if you are interested.