The Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA), NASA, and the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) are collaborating on the "Capture the Colorful Cosmos" astrophotography project. This program will give members of the public online access to the CfA’s MicroObservatory robotic telescopes, to take and colorize their own images of stars and galaxies the same way that professional astronomers do. Participating museums, nature centers, libraries, and other informal education organizations will run public workshops that result in exhibitions of original visitor-created astrophotography displays. These images and displays will be featured not only at the participating institutions, but also on ASTC, IYA, and NASA websites.

Are you a museum or astronomy educator interested in sharing the excitement of astrophotography with your audiences? From July 20 through 24, take part in an ASTC Connect online workshop for museum and astronomy educators. Registered workshop attendees can also become one of 33 participants to apply for a “micro-grant” to their organization - an award of $1000 US to support the hosting of a visitor-created exhibition or display. Download the full program announcement (148k PDF) or email for more information.

WORKSHOP: Explore MicroObservatory

Participants will learn how to access robotic telescopes, take photographs of planets and stars, and use image processing tools to bring out detail in these photos the same way that professional astronomers do. Inspire your visitors to take and manipulate their own astronomical photographs and create original displays and exhibits to Capture the Colorful Cosmos!

Observing With NASA robotic telescope portal

MicroObservatoryImage data processing software
Capture the Colorful Cosmos Flickr Pool
ASTC Connect


MINI-GRANTS: How to Apply

Micro-grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis to the first 33 applicants that have:

1) participated in the workshop;
2) filled out the online application form; and
3) submitted a signed letter of commitment.

Steps 2 and 3 can be done electronically. The necessary links and documents will be emailed to everyone enrolled in the course; electronic timestamps will be used for order of receipt. Please note that NASA and the Center for Astrophysics are particularly interested in strategies
for using MicroObservatory with audiences traditionally underserved by space science education programs.

Send an email request for enrollment to by July 15, 2009

Website last updated: June 22, 2009