Posted by: D. Rand | December 20, 2011

Connecticut Kids Turn Massive NASA Telescope Toward Distant Black Hole!

NASA Goldstone Apple Valley Radio Telescope (GAVRT)

Connecticut Kids Turn Massive NASA Telescope Toward Distant Black Hole!

On Dec. 14th E. Hartford-Glastonbury Elementary Magnet School (EHGEMS) students took over the controls of a massive NASA telescope dish located in California’s Mojave Desert—part of NASA’s Deep Space Network Goldstone Complex– from a computer in their school science lab. 

Scientists in California handed over mission control of the 34-meter (110 foot) dish, nine-story tall, 850,000 pound NASA Goldstone Apple Valley Radio Telescope (GAVRT) to allow eager students the opportunity to collect and record new information from a distant Black Hole. 

At the request of NASA/JPL scientists the EHGEMS student team is measuring the variability of radio emission powered by enormous black holes in distant quasars.  The young astronomers learn antenna operations and basic principles of radio astronomy. During their time on the telescope they calibrate the antenna, direct it to specific targets in distant galaxies, they collect the data and share it with NASA astronomers. 

Scientists at the Jet propulsion Laboratory (JPL) ultimately validate and incorporate the data into their research. Through this process, students learn that they can make valuable contributions to the world of science. 

The GAVRT project offers EHGEMS children the unique experience to use the telescope to seek new knowledge and share scientific discovery with the world.

They join other scientists and explorers who have gazed into the night sky since the beginning of time in an attempt to understand their place in the universe.

Live video feed from the GAVRT can be seen by clicking this link:


  1. LOVE IT! We are telling everyone we know about it!

    Great job “Explorers of the Universe and BEYOND!”

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