Field Trip to MIT Haystack Observatory!

Field Trip to MIT Haystack Observatory!
The Haystack Observatory was founded in 1970 and occupies 1,300 acres of hilly woodlands
in the towns of Groton, Tyngsborough, and Westford, about 40 miles northwest of the MIT
campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts. A group of 100 scientists, engineers and technical
personnel conducts the Observatory's research programs and operations. The Observatory
is a center within MIT's overall research structure, and the Observatory Director reports to
the MIT Vice President for Research.
Haystack Observatory offers tours to middle school and high school teachers and students
throughout the year. Each tour consists of a short lecture on radio astronomy or atmospheric
science by one of Haystacks research scientists, followed by a tour of the 37-meter
telescope. Total time is approximately one hour. To arrange a trip to the Observatory
contact Susan Davis 781-981.5400.
On a field trip to a radio observatory, students will see an impressive array of technology in
a short amount of time. You can prepare them to better understand what they will see and
hear by introducing some concepts in class ahead of time. In particular, the more students
understand about the electromagnetic spectrum and the behavior of electromagnetic
waves, the more they will get out of a trip to an observatory.
Image courtesy of Kathryn Haughn