Astronomy (and other Space Sciences)

| May 19, 2015

You should make it clear and Make part 1 and part 2 also you must to answer each qoustion and add picture ..
1.You can receive extra credit (5 points) for this assignment, if you submit it by May 19th. You will only receive full credit if you complete both parts 1 and 2. You can double the extra credit if you repeat the exercises in part 2 after another hour or two. You only need to answer the final set of questions once.
You can get a free sky-gazing app such as “Stellarium” (there are many good ones out there) for your phone or tablet to help you navigate the sky.
PART 1
On a clear night, take a notepad and a pencil and step outside. Find a spot where you can see a large part of the sky, but focus on the eastern sky (if you’re not sure which way is east, use a compass in your cell phone).
1. Make a sketch of the outline of the horizon, including buildings, trees etc. Look into the sky and locate a bright star or a star grouping fairly low over the horizon. Mark its position on your sketch.
2. On the ground, mark the location where you’re standing while making this sketch, so you can later come back to exactly the same spot. We’ll call it spot 1.
Look at the sky in other directions. If you need to you can move to a different locations that would allow you to look south, west and north.
3. Do you see the Moon in the sky? If so, what is its shape (phase)? Make a sketch of the Moon.
4. One of the most easily located and recognized groupings of stars in our night sky is the Big Dipper
(see photo below). It should be directly overhead.
Can you locate it?
Here are these stars names:
2
Alcor Mizar
Alioth
Alkaid
Megrez    Dubhe
Merak and Dubhe are often referred to as pointer stars, because if you draw a line from Merak trough Dubhe and continue it for about the distance equal to three time the distance between Dubhe and Megrez (measuring from Merak), then you happen upon another very interesting star in our night sky: Polaris or North Star (see diagram below).
Phecda
Merak
Merak Dubhe
Megrez
5. Can you locate the North Star?
6. 7. 8.
The North Star, as the name indicates, shows you due north. Now that you know where the north is, can you confirm or not that you were looking at the eastern sky before from spot 1? If you did not, redo that part of the exercise.
Make a second sketch: this time of the horizon on the North and mark the North Star’s position on that sketch. On the ground, mark the location where you’re standing while making this sketch, so you can later come back to exactly the same spot. We’ll call it spot 2.
Do you see any other stars that make up the Little Dipper?
3
Polaris
Kochab
Pherkad
This maybe hard to observe with the light pollution in our area, so do not despair if you can’t, just give it a good old try.
9. Are there any other star groupings (constellations or their parts) that you can identify? If yes, then list them or sketch them.
PART 2
Return to spot 1 and spot 2 after about an hour and again after about two hours since your original observation. Each time mark the position of a star or a star grouping that you originally observed in the eastern sky on your first sketch. Each time mark the position of the North Star on your second sketch. Note the time of each observation. Each time observe the Moon, the Big Dipper and anything else of interest in the sky. Record your observations.
In your report summarize what you observed and, based on your observations, answer the following questions:
1. Do objects such as stars and Moon remain affixed in the sky or do they move?
2. If you think that they move, can you tell in what direction?
3. On your first sketch predict where your first object would be after another hour or two have
elapsed.
4. On your first sketch predict where the North Star would be after another hour or two have elapsed.
5. Do the pointer stars still point to the North Star? Has the big Dipper moved? How?
6. Is there anything else that is interesting that you’ve observed? Can you identify any planets,
prominent stars, constellations or asterisms (star groupings that are not constellations) or anything
else of interest.
7. Do stars really “twinkle”?
Submit your responses together with the sketches in class.

 

 

 

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