SEASS Frequently Asked Questions

Need help? Look here for some resources!

What is SEASS?
How do we communicate?
When and where does SEASS meet?
I’m new to astronomy or need a refresher on some concepts. Where can I find resources to help me?
I want to observe with SEO!

What is SEASS?

SEASS (or SEAS Survey) stands for the Stone Edge All-Sky Survey. We are an international partnership between Geneva Lake Astrophysics and STEAM (GLAS Education), a STEM non-profit in Wisconsin, and the West African Regional Office of Astronomy for Development (WAROAD), an International Astronomical Union (IAU) initiative to facilitate the use of astronomy as a tool for socioeconomic and technological development in West Africa. 

We aim to provide an immersive and supportive experience for West African students in college and beyond that will provide them with the opportunity to learn and develop skills in observational astronomy. Students learn how to plan observing sessions, operate the remotely-controlled Stone Edge Observatory (SEO), reduce images, analyze astronomical data using Python and various other software tools, and receive mentorship in applying for grants and continuing their astronomy education.

The broad goal of the SEAS Survey is to complete a survey of the entire night sky accessible to SEO, thereby creating a legacy database of robustly reduced observations, and also use this as an opportunity to study large scale galactic structure, time series analyses, and enable follow-up of transient objects.

SEASS is led by three mentors: Amanda Pagul, a graduate student at the University of California, Riverside, Katya Gozman, a graduate student at the University of Michigan, and Adam McCulloch, the planetarium and outreach specialist at GLAS Education. You can find more information about them in our About Us Page!

If you want more information about the project, here is a short document outlining the goals in more detail.

How do we communicate?

We use Slack and Whatsapp as our primary means of communication to send messages, notifications, reminders, and chat about the project outside of meetings.

Slack

All SEASS students should join two Slack workspaces. 

GLAS Education: https://join.slack.com/t/glaseducation/shared_invite/zt-oa9f69b5-Du9FBw6eQLKz9FNmtBV8Tg
GLAS Education is for internal communication about the survey and meetings. We post reminders, meeting recordings, files, links, and other important information here. When you add yourself to the workspace, please add yourself to the #all-sky-survey channel.

Stone Edge Observatory: To join this workspace, please send a message to Amanda Pagul either on the GLAS Education Slack, Whatsapp group, or email her at [email protected] with the email you’d like to use for your login.
Stone Edge Observatory is the workspace we use for observing 🔭. You should be automatically added to any pertinent channels, but the most important one for us is #ixchel. This channel is how we control the observatory’s telescope and CCD camera. You can learn more about Stone Edge and using #ixchel here.

If you need help installing Slack, you can watch a video tutorial below:

Whatsapp

This is a free messaging app and calling app for Android, iPhone, Windows PC, or Mac. We have a Whatsapp group where we send reminders about meetings and can chat about anything related to the project. To be added to the group chat, please contact Kate Meredith at [email protected] or via Slack with your phone number.

When and where does SEASS meet?

As of July 30, 2021, the general SEASS group meeting is every Friday at 2pm EST/7pm WAT

We meet on Zoom at this link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/9523602893?pwd=Y1JJbkRLV2I5cDVLcSs1MkNUYjNFZz09

We also have individual meetings for working groups that are doing various mini-projects. These are scheduled on a one-on-one basis. If you would like to get involved in either a) creating a supernova lightcurve or b) creating color-magnitude diagrams of globular clusters and plotting variable star lightcurves, please reach out to us on Slack or Whatsapp!

A Google calendar of all our upcoming events and meetings can be found here: https://calendar.google.com/calendar/u/1?cid=Y18wc2p1cWJ2ZzM4b2lodGIwb3RraXZpbWg2b0Bncm91cC5jYWxlbmRhci5nb29nbGUuY29t.

I’m new to astronomy or need a refresher on some concepts. Where can I find resources to help me?

Not to worry! Have a look at our Astronomy and Observing Basics page (coming soon!) for walkthroughs, presentations, videos, and tutorials.

I want to observe with SEO!

Fantastic! The first thing you want to do is request time on the telescope. Unlike major observatories (think Hubble or Magellan), you don’t need to write any long-winded explanations about why you deserve to get telescope time and compete with thousands of people for access. Anyone can use SEO: all you have to do is ask!

There are two main ways you can ask for time:

  1. Contact Amanda Pagul either through Slack, Whatsapp, or email ([email protected]) and tell her when you’d like to observe.
  2. Fill out this form, which you can also find linked on the sidebar on the right anywhere on the Stone Edge website. Don’t forget to put the time you want to observe in UTC (i.e. Greenwich Mean Time)!

Once you’ve been approved to observe, whether you’re a first-time observer or a seasoned Stone Edge veteran, take a look at our Hitchhiker’s Guide to SEO Observing where you’ll be walked through every step, from figuring out what’s in the sky to how to download the beautiful images you take.

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