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Every week more than 7,000 households in Scarsdale, Edgemont and Hartsdale enjoy the award-winning reporting and photography of The Scarsdale Inquirer. No other source in print or online provides more thorough coverage of local government, schools, sports, arts and business. Our readers have been in the know for more than a century since The Inquirer was founded in 1901. Subscribers enjoy convenient and reliable home delivery to their mailboxes every Friday for only $39/year.

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SPOTLIGHT

November 13, 2015

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January 22, 2016

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February 12, 2016

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March 11, 2016

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March 11, 2016

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Special Section

The universe is his oyster

SHS student has a passion for astronomy

By VALERIE ABRAHAMS

School’s out for the summer, but some kids just can’t leave the classroom behind. Scarsdale High School senior Zack Gelles spent his summer chasing asteroids at the Summer Science Program at Colorado University at Boulder.

He and 35 other students from around the world took college-level classes in math, astronomy, physics and computer programming during the intensive, six-week program.

“One focus was learning how to determine the orbit of an asteroid,” Gelles said of the work he did using a research-grade telescope. He also wrote software to measure the asteroid’s position and calculate its orbital path — including the chance it would impact Earth in the future.

“Near-Earth asteroids could pose a threat,” he said. “That’s not likely but scientists do have to monitor them because an impact could be disastrous.”

A Fox Meadow resident who moved to Scarsdale from San Francisco with his family in 2011, 17-year-old Gelles has spent most of his free time pursuing his interest in celestial science. Along the way he managed to teach himself how to operate a planetarium.

Opportunity knocked after Gelles saw a show with his father at the Hudson River Museum’s planetarium in Yonkers. Gelles, a ninth-grader at the time, contacted the museum to ask about opportunities for high school students to work at the facility.

Gelles became an intern, collecting tickets, carting boxes, organizing planet tutorials for young students with Play-Doh and doing other volunteer work.

He asked questions about the planetarium and observed its operators during live shows, hoping he might get more involved.

“It was not very clear how I could do that,” he said. Read more >

April 15, 2016

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July 1, 2016

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August 26, 2016

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Zack Gelles spent his summer chasing asteroids at the Summer Science Program at Colorado University at Boulder