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Paper: Student Color-Magnitude Diagrams from Gaia Data
Volume: 533, ASP 2021: Sharing Best Practices – AstronomyTeaching and Public Engagement
Page: 247
Authors: Piccioni, R. G.
Abstract: The immense catalog of some 1.8 billion stars built by the Gaia space telescope is already playing a critical role in many areas of astronomy and astrophysics. It also a rich resource for students to explore. In this paper, three alternative methods are described by which students can generate color-magnitude diagrams (CMDs) with thousands of data points. The methods are: 1) downloading data from the Gaia Archive and importing the results into a blank Google Sheets spreadsheet; 2) modifying and running a pre-existing Google Colaboratory notebook; and 3) using TOPCAT, a fully-integrated professional-grade catalog searching and data analysis system. Each method is amenable to a variety of implementations, providing for the needs of a wide range of students, teachers and curricula.
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