IYL2015 Post: SDSS Plates (in Retirement!)

As part of Dresdner Lichtjahr 2015 [Dresden Year of Light 2015], you can now see a previously-used SDSS plate on display at Technische Sammlungen der Stadt Dresden, a museum located in a former Dresden factory. The exhibit will run through June of 2016, and has some really awesome demonstrations of how light propagates, and how much today’s technology depends on light.  Technische_SammlungenThe SDSS plate (below, designated plate 4385) is suspended above a table illustrating principles of how light propagates, what we can do with light of different wavelengths, and a demonstration of fiber optics. If you’re curious why our telescope might need need a metal plate, read this previous post.

Technische_Sammlungen2Used SDSS plates are available for educational purposes by schools, museums, astronomy clubs, and other educational & community organizations. Just contact someone at your nearest SDSS member institution to get started!

Technische_Sammlungen3Elsewhere in the exhibit and the museum, you can find a working infrared camera (selfie-compatible!), a very challenging puzzle involving prisms and laser light, and other neat activities suitable for children of all ages.

While you’re in Dresden, make sure to also stop by the Mathematische-Physikalische Salon [Royal Cabinet of Mathematical and Physical Instruments], at the Zwinger Palace in the center of Dresden, to have a look at old telescopes, clocks, and surveying tools. Of special interest to telescope enthusiasts are two very early reflector telescopes (i.e., telescopes that use a mirror to focus the incoming light, rather than lenses). You can also see them online in a panoramic view (upstairs in “Instruments of Enlightenment”).


This post is part of the SDSS Celebration of the International Year of Light 2015, in which we aim to post an article a month in support of the celebration of light. 

One thought on “IYL2015 Post: SDSS Plates (in Retirement!)

  1. Pingback: SDSS Celebrates the International Year of Light 2015 | Science Blog from the SDSS

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