ORBYTS – Twinkle Transits 2019-03-26T17:13:06+00:00

Twinkle Transits

Twinkle has a list of target planets it will observe. Ahead of launch, we are offering school pupils the chance to enrich our understanding of these worlds and help us to ensure the target list is the best that it can be. This provides a unique opportunity for pupils to undertake cutting-edge science and to provide a meaningful contribution to a paradigm-shifting space mission.

Structure for Twinkle Transits Project

A researcher (PhD student/post-doc) partners with a local school to deliver a research in schools project. PhD students have ownership of their own project and can take it in whatever direction they think will most benefit the pupils and the research. ORBYTS will facilitate this by providing the following adaptable resourced version of the programme:

Term 1 – Trying Transits

School pupils build familiarity with applying GCSE science and maths to exoplanet detection and characterisation, to test existing measurements of a known exoplanet. Twinkle can provide resources to support this (e.g. below).

Pupil groups deliver:

  • A blog post on the Twinkle website about a planet the pupils have chosen to adopt for the term
  • A school assembly on exoplanets.

Term 2 – Working with real data

Pupils either:

  1. Inherit pre-processed data on an exoplanet
  2. Use Twinkle’s links with robotic observing facilities (UCL Observatory, Faulkes Telescope Project etc.) to organise their own new observations of an exoplanet.

Pupils apply free software (Astro ImageJ or Extrasolar Transit Database tools) to analyse this data.

Pupil groups deliver:

  • A guide document for analysis of their planet.

Term 3 – Interpreting and Presenting Results

Pupils undertake further transit analysis and interpret their results.

Pupil groups deliver:

  • Results (with their name attached) to the Twinkle online catalogue
  • A poster/presentation at the EduTwinkle conference (July).

Existing collaborations: UCL (UCLO archival data and telescopes).

Get Involved

To help provide these opportunities to more school pupils, we’re looking for:

  • Enthusiastic researchers who are looking to extend their skill base and would like to inspire school pupils with exciting, cutting-edge research.
  • Engaged teachers who would like their pupils to have this opportunity and may choose their own level of involvement to improve their CPD
  • Excited partner institutions who would like to join us in delivering the programme (or one of their own design), so that we can improve all of our best practice and encourage the next generation into space.
  • Feedback and thoughts.