Discovery within a Week project's resounding success at LANAT summer camp of Moscow University
August 26, 2016
The August 2016 incarnation of the astronomy project of the Foundation Noosfera is gaining momentum. Instead of having two-hour long classes once a week, the participants are involved in the process of research every day from dawn till dusk with only a short break for lunch and some rest. This mode is only attainable during school breaks when children are at summer camps. Moscow University's countryside inn near Zvenigorod is the ideal place for Discovery within a Week project. It is where the scientific camp LANAT has been running for uninterrupted five years.
Nine schoolboys have chosen the Astronomy project this time, with the youngest being 10 years old and the oldest turning 15. They were offered the images of selected sky areas in various constellations obtained with T31 and T32 instruments of iTelescope.Net in Australia. Three fields were chosen in Serpent (Snake), Telescope, and Sagittarius (Archer) constellations. The most recent images had been taken on the 8th of August, just one day before the start of the summer shift at the camp. First three days of the School (August 11-13) were devoted to meeting with tutors and choosing one science. The work on the project itself started on August 14th. And already on August 17th (!!!) a 9th-grade student Sergey Timofeev discovered his first star - a pulsating variable of Delta Scuti type with large amplitude (HADS) in the southern constellation of Telescope. This star has the shortest period among all variables discovered in our project so far - 0.0600 days, or just 86 minutes. That is less than one turn of the International Space Station around Earth! On the next day 8th-grader Raul Karachurin found the new variable star in Serpent. This one turned to be the variable of familiar EW type (eclipsing binary) with the period of 0.319 days (7.6 hours). On August 19th Nikita Zhilinskiy discovered one more Delta Scuti type variable with P=0.0760d in the same field as Timofeev 1. August 20th was devoted to visits by parents, and on August 21st three more of our participants - Andrey Anoshin, Mikhail Lanin, and Evgeniy Simonov each found one new variable star. One of them is a pulsating star and two are eclipsing ones. All in all, our project has brought SIX discoveries in one week! New stars were submitted for registration to the international Variable Star Index AAVSO VSX.