What is Hands-On Universe?

Hands-On Universe (HOU), based at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and the University of California at Berkeley, is a national program that allows students to analyze astronomy data just like astronomers do.

HOU provides:

  • image processing software: Image processing, and data analysis techniques, available in the HOU software, are the same as those used by research astronomers.
  • teacher training
  • access to telescopes
  • astronomy curriculum text: The HOU curriculum units integrate science, mathematics and technology in the context of exciting astronomical explorations. In addition, activities developed for informal science are great middle school activities. Go to the HOU Web Site for these informal investigations.


The West Virginia Department of Education endorses HOU as a means of integrating relevant technology into the science curriculum, and as a way to add astronomy to your courses. The HOU curriculum supports the National Science Education Standards.

Informal Science Connection

In 1997, NRAO joined HOU as an Informal Science Site and have used HOU Informal Activities in our Special Events Series during the summer tour season. Many HOU activities we use can be found on the HOU Informal Web Site.

NRAO-HOU Radio Astronomy Investigations

The Radio Moon

To Be a Star or not a Star? That is the Question!

From Hubble to Hubble: Measuring the Age of the Universe.

Resolution: It's not just for New Years 

NRAO Archive of 16 bit radio images

**Special Service for HOU Teachers

Many FTS images available on the web are 32 bit files. And as you know, 32 bit FTS images don't work with the current version of HOU software. (You can find out if an image is 32 bit by checking image info within HOU.) But, thanks to Ron Maddalena, we now have a program that converts 32 bit images into 16 bit images! Click to download zip file which includes houcvt.exe, instructions, and a 32 bit FITS file to try.

Radio Image Files

 HOU Activities

HOU Convert Software

Image Processing Links

Link to HOU site

Education home