Volume 8 Number 3 Fall 2008
EMC provides data storage for preservation efforts
EMC Corporation, the world leader in information
infrastructure solutions, donated to PARI a networked
storage system and software that will store and analyze
more than 100 terabytes of research data. The
technology and support services provided by EMC will
be used in the Astronomical Photographic Data Archive
(APDA) at PARI.
“At EMC, we’re dedicated to advancing science,
technology, engineering and math education in North
Carolina and around the world,” said Bob Hawkins,
EMC’s Vice President, North Carolina Operations.
“We’re pleased that the information infrastructure
technology we donated will not only serve as the EMC Corporation donated data storage equipment to
foundation for PARI’s datacenter, but will support the PARI that will be used to preserve historic astronomical
institute’s research and education initiatives.” photographic data. Shown here with the equipment are
PARI’s Lamar Owen and Don Cline, with EMC’s Bob
“We are immensely grateful for EMC’s generous support Hawkins and Brent Taylor.
of our mission,” said Lamar Owen, PARI’s Chief Information Ofﬁcer. “EMC’s suite of information
infrastructure technology provides a much-needed foundation for this important work.”
PARI selected for earth PARI Calendar
science project September 12 Friends of PARI Annual Meeting and Symposium
September 13 PARI Board of Directors Meeting
September 26 NC OPT-ED Alliance Meeting in Greensboro
October 10 Evening at PARI
October 17-18 NC Astronomers’ Meeting at GTCC in Greensboro
October 30-31 NCSTA in Charlotte
November 14 Evening at PARI
November 21 Homeschool Day at PARI
December 12 Evening at PARI
PARI site engineer Ben Goldsmith inspects the UNAVCO GPS station recently constructed on the PARI campus. PARI is
one of ﬁve locations in the eastern U.S. streaming live data measuring movement of the Earth’s crust. The PARI station is
part of the Earthscope Plate Boundary Observatory (PBO) being constructed by UNAVCO, a university research consortium
funded by NASA and the National Science Foundation. Information obtained by the PBO will be used to determine how
and where the Earth’s crust changes shape, how magma moves in the Earth and how to reduce hazards from earthquake
Students participate in R.O.B.O.T.S. Symposium
Funded by the National Science Foundation, the R.O.B.O.T.S.
program is part of the North Carolina Mathematics and Science
Education Network (NC-MSEN) to engage middle school students
in science and math curriculum. The students participated in
summer-long activities at college campuses across the state where
they learned about careers in math and science and built robots.
The program concluded with the R.O.B.O.T.S. competition at PARI.
Students celebrate their graduation from
One of the competitions was to get the
robots to clutch a can and race across the
ﬁnish line. Trophies were awarded for six
different competitions. Nearly 200 students participated in the R.O.B.O.T.S. program.
NCCU students visit PARI Grassroots Day at the Legislature
Students from The Initiative for Transforming and PARI participated in the 2008 NC Grassroots Science
Sustaining Science, Technology, Engineering and Museum Collaborative Day at the Legislature. Senator John
Mathematics (ITSSTEM) program at NC Central Snow stopped by the PARI table to hear updates about
University came to PARI to explore the opportunities our many programs.
that PARI offers as a research laboratory for
NCCU students participate in roundtable discussion with Dave Clavier (left) and John Avant (right) pictured with Senator
PARI staff. John Snow, a valued PARI advocate.
PARI Hosted Duke TIP for the Seventh Straight Year
Twenty-nine high school students from across the country
participated in the two-week Duke TIP (Talent Identiﬁcation
Program) at PARI. This was the largest and most exciting to
date. This year’s TIP program was titled, “Above and Beyond:
Astronomy, Physics & Astrobiology.” With help from PARI
staff and on-site scientiﬁc instruments, students researched
chosen topics and presented their ﬁndings.
Burroughs Wellcome Fund sponsored Space Science Lab
The Space Science Lab (SSL) is a program for high school students to participate in observations of the Sun at
radio and optical wavelengths. The students begin their observations as resident scientists at PARI during the
summer, and then continue their observations remotely during the school year. SSL students learn and develop
skills in electronics, computer sciences, astronomy, physics and earth sciences. As part of their weeklong studies,
students built radio receivers.
What's In A Name? Dr. Bob Hayward, Astronomer/Educator
Solar System Objects
Wanna be famous? Easy, just discover a new planet and then name it after yourself. Wrong! It’s not that
simple. There are rules in the astronomical community which govern the naming of astronomical objects. The
accepted authority is the International Astronomical Union (IAU), the worldwide society of professional astronomers.
In 1922 the IAU made a list of acceptable constellation names and it has grown from there. In the example above, the
discoverer of a planet would be invited to submit a proposed name to the IAU. The IAU would then assign it to its
Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature (WGPSN) which would make a ﬁnal decision on what that planet
would be named. And even the WGPSN has some guidelines to follow. For example, planets are named after the
ancient Greco-Roman gods. Therefore, you would not get away with naming a newfound planet after your dog
(unless you are Mickey Mouse). Once a name has been approved it is entered into the Gazetteer of Planetary
Nomenclature and posted on its website at http://planetarynames.wr.usgs.gov/ and in the Transactions of the IAU.
You might do better ﬁnding a new comet. The guideline for naming comets is that they be named after their
discoverer(s). If they are discovered nearly simultaneously by more than one individual, they can have up to three
names. For example, we have had Comets Shoemaker-Levy 9 (1993-1994), Hale-Bopp (1997) and Tago-Sato-Kosaka
(1969). Incidentally, Sir Edmund Halley was not the discoverer of Comet Halley. That comet was seen many times
before Sir Edmund was even born. His claim to fame is that he was the ﬁrst to recognize that the many historical
sightings of this comet were of a single comet in a periodic 76-year orbit. It was probably discovered by a caveman
whose name is lost to history but Halley gets the credit due to his insightful analysis.
Various types of objects have different themes. For example, originally satellites of Jupiter were named
after Zeus/Jupiter’s lovers and favorites. Then with modern technology and space probes, many more satellites were
discovered around Jupiter and even the king of the gods had a limited supply of lovers. So now Jupiter’s satellites
include his descendants. Satellites of Saturn are named after the Greco-Roman Titans and their descendants along
with the names of giants and monsters from other mythologies (so far Gallic, Inuit and Norse). There are also rules
for naming features on these satellites.
Minor planets are even more complicated. While some are named in honor of individuals or organizations,
there are some themes. For example, objects outside the orbit of Neptune are given mythological names associated
with creation. The third largest Kuiper Belt object (after Eris and Pluto) was initially known as 2005 FY9 when it was
discovered. (It was nicknamed “Easterbunny” by its discoverers, Michael Brown, Chad Trujillo and David
Rabinowitz, since it was discovered near Easter 2005.) When its orbit became well determined it was designated
136472 by the Minor Planet Center. On July 17 the IAU announced it will be known permanently as Makemake
(pronounced MAH-keh MAH-keh) after the creator of humanity and god of fertility on the island of Rapa Nui
in the Paciﬁc.
Bob Hayward's column is a regular feature of our newsletter. For additional information, or if you'd like to ask Dr. Bob a question,
e-mail askDrBob@pari.edu or, write Dr. Bob at One PARI Dr., Rosman, NC 28772.
Friends of PARI Volunteers
Friends of PARI volunteers, John Boehme (left) and
John Halsey (right), were very active during the past
year supporting PARI’s many programs. Both will be
recognized as Distinguished Supporters of PARI at the
Friends of PARI Annual Meeting and Symposium on
"PARI relies on the support of our many volunteers,"
said Dr. Joe Phillips, president of the Friends of PARI.
"These two gentlemen are among the very best."
PARI needs your help!
PARI is a public, not-for-proﬁt foundation. Financially, we are dependent upon contributions and grants for our educational
and research programs, and for the many operating expenses associated with maintaining the campus and our facilities.
If you have recently contributed, we thank you for your support. If not, please help support PARI and our mission with a
contribution. PARI is a 501 c(3) organization and all donations are tax deductible to the full amount allowed by law.
A ﬁnancial contribution automatically makes you a member of Friends of PARI. Membership levels and beneﬁts include:
Student Member $10. Member level for full time students. E-mail copy of the PARI Newsletter.
Associate Member $50. Receive Quarterly Issues of the PARI Newsletter.
Member $100. All of the above plus a PARI key chain with light.
Family Member $200. For a family of 4, all of the above plus a PARI coffee mug. Use of the PARI Astronomy Library.
Supporter $500. All of the above plus a PARI hat and a PARI lapel pin.
Mentor $1,000. All of the above plus an invitation to one of the quarterly night astronomy sessions at PARI.
Advisor $2,000. All of the above plus use of the Internet controlled remote optical imaging Space Observatory.
Benefactor $5,000. All of the above plus “Guest Astronomer Program.” Spend a day working with the astronomy
staff, learning how to operate a radio telescope.
All donors at the level of $5,000 and above will receive recognition on a plaque at PARI.
Please provide the requested information below and mail it with your contribution to:
Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute
One PARI Drive
Rosman, North Carolina 28772
City State Zip _______________________________
email address _______________________________
Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute
One PARI Drive, Rosman, NC 28772
Phone: (828)862-5554 Fax: (828)862-5877
Don Cline President firstname.lastname@example.org
David Clavier, PhD Vice President of Administration and Development email@example.com
Michael Castelaz, PhD Director of Astronomical Studies and Education firstname.lastname@example.org
Bob Hayward, PhD Astronomer/Educator email@example.com
Christi Whitworth Science Educator firstname.lastname@example.org
Lamar Owen Chief Information Ofﬁcer email@example.com
Ben Goldsmith Site Support Engineer firstname.lastname@example.org
Thurburn Barker Director of the Astronomical Plate Data Archive email@example.com
Derek Dennis PARI/CISCO Kenan Fellow firstname.lastname@example.org
John Avant Communications Director email@example.com
Ann Daves Accountant & Assistant Treasurer firstname.lastname@example.org
Thad McCall Facilities Manager email@example.com
The Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI) is a 501 (c)(3) not-for-proﬁt foundation established in 1998. Located
in the Pisgah Forest 30 miles southwest of Asheville, NC, the PARI campus is a dark sky location for astronomy and was
selected in 1962 by NASA as the site for one of the ﬁrst U.S. satellite tracking facilities. Today, the 200 acre campus houses
radio and optical telescopes, earth science instruments, 30 buildings, a fulltime staff and all the infrastructure necessary to
support STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education and research. PARI offers educational programs at all
levels, from K-12 through post-graduate research. The institute is afﬁliated with the 16-campus University of North Carolina
system through PARSEC, a UNC Center hosted at PARI, and is a member of the NC Grassroots Museum Collaborative. For
more information about PARI and its programs, visit www.pari.edu.
Newsletter via e-mail:
Help us help you. Get your PARI newsletter faster and in color by sending your e-mail address to: