a100 solar system

A100 Solar System Today’s APOD Today: Backyard Astronomy Review session in class on Wednesday Review questions on Oncourse – Resource tool 1 st Exam on Friday The Sun Today Monday, Sept. 15

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Monday, Sept. 15. A100 Solar System. Today: Backyard Astronomy Review session in class on Wednesday Review questions on Oncourse – Resource tool 1 st Exam on Friday. Today’s APOD. The Sun Today. Backyard Astronomy. Finding your way around the sky Planetarium software - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


Page 1: A100 Solar System

A100 Solar


Today’s APOD

Today: Backyard Astronomy Review session in class on Wednesday Review questions on Oncourse – Resource

tool 1st Exam on Friday

The Sun Today

Monday, Sept. 15

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Backyard Astronomy

• Finding your way around the sky

• Planetarium software• Binocular astronomy• Small telescopes• Astronomy organizations• Astronomy magazines• Astronomy on the WEB• Light pollution • Participating in research

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Finding your way around…

• Use prominent constellations to help find your way around the sky

• Line up two or more stars in constellations • They act as pointers to other stars and constellations

The Big Dipper in the evening sky

(but a complete circle each night!)

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The BD points to more than Polaris!

• Note: they don’t always line up precisely because of the “curve” of the sky, while sky charts are flat

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Orion works the same way

Stars within Orion (the Hunter)Orion’s belt – Three stars in a lineBetelgeuse – Upper left side

(shoulder)Rigel brightest star in Orion – Lower

right side (leg or foot)

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Orion’s Belt points to the Pleiades

A beautiful star cluster (the Seven Sisters)

Right of Aldebaran about 15


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Sky Measures Measuring apparent

distances between stars at arms length 1 = width at the

end of little finger 5 = width of three

middle fingers10 = one fist width

15 = space between first and little finger spread out

25 = entire span of hand – thumb to little finger

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Orion points to more

bright stars

Sirius (Canis Major – the Big Dog) – brightest star in the night sky – Left of Orion’s belt about 20

Aldebaran (Taurus, the Bull) – Right of Orion’s belt, about 20

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Procyon and Capella, too!

Procyon (Canis Minor – the Little Dog) – Left of Betelgeuse about 30

Capella (Auriga, the Charioteer) – second brightest star in the night sky – Directly above Orion about 45

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The Gemini


Pollux (Gemini, the Twins) – Above, on a line between the right side of Orion’s belt and Betelgeuse, about 40

Castor (Gemini, the Twins) – the same as above, right of Pollux

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The Big Dipper is always up – Orion is a fall/winter constellation

p. 34

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Online Star Charts

• www.skymaps.com• www.space.com • www.accuweather.com• www.weatherunderground.com• lots of others

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Using Star Charts1. Determine which direction you are

looking (north, south, east or west).2. Rotate the star chart so that

direction is at the bottom of the chart.

3. Look at the lower curved quarter of the chart to identify the stars that you are seeing in the sky.

4. Zenith, or straight above, is in the center of a circular star chart = 90

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Planetarium Software• The Sky• Starry Night (with your text)• Stellarium (freeware)• Skymap Pro• Lots of others

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Double Stars!

Binocular Astronomy

Get the largest objective (front lens) you can affordGet the highest power that you can hold steady by hand (up to 10-power) Use tripods and stands for heavier ones Prices vary from relatively inexpensive to several $K for large astronomical binoculars

Meade and Celestron dealerstelescopes.com, Camera and sporting-goods stores

See the the lunar surface

See the Galilean Moons!

Double Stars!

Star Clusters –The Pleiades!

Check out the Orion Nebula!

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Buying a Telescop

e• Aperture (diameter) is king. The larger the aperture,

the more light is collected and the brighter an object will appear

• Get advice from your local astronomy club• Refractors (lenses), Reflectors (mirrors), Catadioptics

(combined)• Prices – few x $102 to a few x $103

• Meade, Celestron, other manufacturers• New, computer controlled “goto” telescopes make it


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Astronomy Organizations

• Local – Indiana Astronomical Society www.iasindy.org– Stonebelt Stargazers– Finding clubs everywhere - Astronomical League

• National– Planetary Society planetary.org– Astronomical Society of the Pacific

www.astrosociety.org– American Association of Variable Star Observers

- www.aavso.org

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Magazines StarDate Magazine

stardate.orgAstronomy Magazine

www.astronomy.comSky and Telescope


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Astronomy on the WEB• Skymaps.com - FREE Sky Maps -- updated each

month • Astronomy Picture of the Day • StarTrak (also available in Spanish ) - Check out

upcoming celestial events in Hal Kibbey's monthly article

• Astronomy Now  - Breaking news, night sky info• Satellite Visibility - Satellites viewable from

Bloomington• Space.com  - News, photos from Hubble

Telescope and more..... • NASA Image Archive - NASA's central image

distribution page• Solar System Simulator - NASA's solar system

simulator page

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Light Pollution

• International Dark-Sky Association– www.darksky.org– “To preserve and protect the nighttime environment and

our heritage of dark skies”

• Environmental effects– bird migration– sea turtle nesting– fireflies

• The beauty of the night sky

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What to do…• Choose appropriate

lighting and fixtures• Avoid glare• Shield lights• Good lighting saves


Need Less

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Participating in Research

• AAVSO• On the Web

– Find ET with SETI@home setiathome.berkeley.edu

– Find planets with Systemic - oklo.org– Find comet grains with Stardust@home


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One question I’ve always had about astronomy is…

How can you tell the difference with your naked eye of different stars?What is the next time that a comet could be viewed?Why do some stars look like they are blinking?Where and when are the best times to see the northern lights?Why can you see planets in the sky on some nights but not on others?

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Review Session on Wednesday

Review questions on Oncourse

1st Exam on Friday, Sept. 19

Dates to Remember