YASE - Young Astronomers Summer Experience (Due to a faculty Sabbatical, we will NOT have have a YASE program during the summer of 2018)

YASE 2015 Group Photo

YASE 2015

What is YASE?

The Young Astronomers Summer Experience was started in 2009 by Carleton student Jenny Goetz. It is a free two-week summer program that will take place July 5th - 15th, 2016 at Carleton College's Goodsell Observatory. The program is open to students going into sixth, seventh, and eighth grades who are interested in learning more about astronomy and the night sky. The program meets on weekday nights from 8:30 PM to 11:30 PM, as the sky does not get dark enough in the summer to observe any earlier.

How To Apply

If you would like to apply, please fill out the application form and send it by email to Trenne Fields at tfields@carleton.edu by June 9th. Spaces are limited, so turn in your finished applications as soon as possible! Parents and students will receive emails of acceptance and further details by June 13th.

Outdoor Observing and Imaging

During the program, students will learn how to identify summer constellations and use Carleton’s 8” Meade reflector telescopes to find stars, planets, and celestial objects. Students will then learn to use CCD cameras to image their favorite celestial objects. We will also have observing sessions with Carleton’s 16” refractor telescope. Some images taken by former YASE students can be seen in the right sidebar (click to enlarge).

Exploring Astronomy

We will have short lessons each day covering different topics in the field of astronomy. Topics include how telescopes work, CCD cameras and astronomical imaging, light pollution, the evolution of stars, stellar spectra, the sun and solar system, and black holes, along with any other topics the students wish to learn more about.

On cloudy or rainy nights, students will learn to use the computer program Voyager to learn more about the night sky and the motion of the stars. We will be making spectroscopes with students and conducting indoor and outdoor activities related to the day’s lesson. We will also have many astronomy themed games to play throughout the two weeks.

Setting Up

YASE students setting up the 8" telescopes

Parent Night

The last evening of YASE will be a family open house for students to show their family members what they’ve learned on the telescopes, as well as their images. Students will give short group presentations about one of the celestial objects they have imaged.

YASE Reunions - Perseid Meteor Shower Observing

We invite all YASE and former YASE students back for our YASE reunion in early August—a sleepover on Carleton’s Hill of Three Oaks during which we will observe the annual Perseids meteor shower. We will be playing games, learning more about meteors, and making campfire snacks during the reunion campout. To learn more about the Perseids, you can visit the NASA Science News page on the Perseids.

Students and parents must complete and submit the Permission Form to participate.


Please contact Trenne Fields at tfields@carleton.edu with any questions about YASE.