Question Details

(Solved) AST 2011 Descriptive Astronomy Laboratory HOME EXERCISE #1 Naked-Eye Observations of Stars, Constellations, and Planets Updated by Elisabeth Atems,...

can anyone help me with this Astronomy HW? its about the location and the names of plants and stars. i want someone from MI to do that because of the location. Thanks

AST 2011
Descriptive Astronomy Laboratory HOME EXERCISE #1
Naked-Eye Observations of
Stars, Constellations, and Planets
Updated by Elisabeth Atems, January 2014 Lab Objectives
•  To acquaint yourself with using your unaided eye to locate and
observe some of the brighter stars, constellations, and any of the
bright planets that may be visible.
•  To learn how to use planisphere star charts and/or observatory
software to determine what celestial objects will be visible at a
given time and date, and to identify stars and constellations during
and after observing sessions. Materials needed for this experiment
•  Stellarium (free observatory software for desktop computer, also
available as the Stellarium Mobile app for iOS or Android)
•  (optional) Star and Planet Locator by Edmund Scientific,
available at the WSU Bookstore Stellarium
•  Stellarium is a free, open source observatory software package
available for desktop computers running Windows or Mac OS/X,
as well as in a Mobile version for cellphones and tablets.
–  The Mobile version now costs a small fee, something like $2. •  By default, Stellarium will display the sky at your location as it
would appear right now, even simulating daylight when
appropriate. You can set it to show the sky from any point on the
Earth, at any time and date, and you can also adjust the “lighting”
and simulate many other conditions that affect your ability to
observe the sky, including fog, light pollution, and twinkling due to
atmospheric turbulence.
•  The Help screen will guide you in setting up and configuring the
software. In general, for this experiment, you want Star and Planet
labels ON and Nebula labels OFF.
•  See the next slide for a screen shot of Stellarium in action on a
Mac Book Pro. •  Stellarium can be configured to show a great deal of information
about the stars and constellations. It can display constellations as
stick figures or it can show the boundaries around constellations –
this feature will be very handy later in the experiment when you
are asked to identify the constellation a planet is in.
•  To get more information about a specific star, tap or click it. Much
of this information will be overkill for the purposes of this
experiment, but pay special attention to distances – given in
astronomical units (AU) for the Sun, Moon, and planets, and in
light years (ly) for stars – and magnitudes.
•  Magnitude is a measure of a star’s apparent brightness as seen
from the Earth. The magnitude scale is somewhat counter-intuitive
in that larger or more positive magnitudes are fainter; smaller (or
more negative) magnitudes are brighter. Star and Planet Locator
•  The Star and Planet Locator is a type of star chart called a
planisphere, which is nothing more than a circular map of the
sky with an elliptical window that displays the part of the sky
that is above the horizon. By rotating the “map”, you can
simulate the sky as it would appear at a given date and time.
Refer to the included booklet for instructions on how to use it. Introductory Remarks
•  Your naked-eye observations will depend on several factors of
which you should be aware and should record. For each part of this
exercise you should record:
d)  Time and date of the observation
Your location (i.e. which city or where in the country)
Sky conditions (e.g. very clear, partly cloudy, very clear but hazy, etc.)
Moon status (i.e. none, or make a sketch to show the phase) •  Before observing, wait at least 45 minutes after sunset in the fall,
winter, or spring (at least 1 hour in the summer) so that evening
twilight is over. (If you prefer, you may observe before morning
twilight begins instead, the same amount of time before sunrise.) •  Select a location where you have a relatively unobstructed view of
the sky and also where you are away from street lights and other
sources of light pollution. Ideally, the best location would be in the
country away from the metropolitan area. It should be obvious that
you will need to wait for a reasonably clear evening to do your
•  Keep in mind that the Moon can appreciably affect your ability to
see fainter stars. If possible, choose a moonless evening or predawn morning.
•  If you are taking notes with pencil and paper, or using the Star and
Planet Locator in the field, remember to take a flashlight with you
(ideally one that shines red light, so as not to interfere with your
dark adaption). Part A. Sky Orientation
•  The orientation of stars and constellations with respect to our reference
points on Earth (directions, horizon, zenith, etc.) is continually changing
during the course of an evening due to the Earth’s rotation, and throughout
the year due to Earth’s orbital motion around the Sun. P
Time: ________________
Date: ________________
Northern Horizon 1.  Orient yourself so that you are facing northward. Draw a dot
diagram showing the Big Dipper, Polaris (marked P in the
diagram), and the main stars in the W shape of Cassiopeia.
Indicate any background objects such as buildings and trees in
your drawing, and note the time and date of your observation.
a)  If possible, look at the orientation of these constellations a few hours later
from the same observing site to see how they have changed. In what
directions are they moving (show with arrows on the drawing). 2.  By looking straight up, determine which bright star is at or closest
to your zenith. What constellation is it in, and how far away is it?
(Be sure to record the time and date as well.)
Star name: _________________ Distance (ly): _________
Constellation name: ____________________
Time: ________________ Date: ________________ Part B. Bright Stars
•  Using Stellarium or the Star and Planet Locator, determine which of the
stars in the table on the next slide are currently found in the sky (above
the horizon) during the early evening. Then go outside and try to find
each of the stars that you believe should be visible. Record whether you
were able to observe it, and the star’s color if you did. (If the star is near
the horizon, put an “H” after the color.) Also record the time and date of
your observation, and your location and observing conditions including
moon status.
•  Using Stellarium, fill in the rest of the information in the table. (For the
magnitude, be sure to give the sign, positive or negative, as at least one
of the stars in the table has a negative magnitude.) Time: __________ Location: _________________ Date: __________ Observing conditions: _____________________ Star Constellation 1. Sirius Canis Major 2. Arcturus Bootes 3. Vega Lyra 4. Capella Auriga 5. Rigel Orion 6. Procyon Canis Minor 7. Aldebaran Taurus 8. Antares Scorpius 9. Spica Virgo 10. Fomalhaut Piscis Austrinus 11. Regulus Leo 12. Polaris Ursa Minor Magnitude Distance
(ly) In the sky?
(yes or no) Did you observe
it? Color? Part C. Constellations
•  Using Stellarium or the Star and Planet Locator, determine which of the
constellations* in the table on the next slide are currently found in the sky
(above the horizon) during the early evening, and try to observe them.
Where it asks how many stars, record how many you were able to see, not
the total number of stars in the constellation (which is generally extremely
large!). Again, record the time and date of your observation as well, and
your location and observing conditions including moon status.
•  Note that because a constellation has extent, i.e. is not a point object, it
may only be partly above the horizon. In that case, put “part” in the
middle column. * One of the “constellations” in the table, the Summer Triangle, is actually not a constellation
at all but an asterism, an officially recognized grouping of stars. The three stars that make up
the Summer Triangle are in three different constellations. Time: __________ Location: _________________ Date: __________ Observing conditions: _____________________ Constellation
1. Ursa Major (contains the Big Dipper)
2. Ursa Minor (contains the Little Dipper)
3. Cassiopeia (W-shaped)
4. Orion
5. Taurus
6. Cygnus (contains the Northern Cross)
7. Leo
8. Bootes
9. Sagittarius (contains The Teapot)
10. Gemini
11. Pegasus (contains the Great Square)
12. “Summer Triangle” (Vega, Deneb, and Altair) In the sky?
(yes, no, part) Did you find it?
How many stars? Part D. Planets
•  Use Stellarium to determine in which constellations the four planets in the
table (the easiest ones to observe) are currently found and which ones are
currently visible (above the horizon) in the early evening. Also fill in their
current magnitudes and distances from Earth, using Stellarium.
•  Try to observe the ones that should be visible, keeping in mind that
planets shine with a steady light, unlike stars which often “twinkle”.
Planet Magnitude Constellation Distance
(AU) In the sky?
(yes or no) Did you observe it?
Color? Brightness? Venus
Saturn Time: __________ Location: _________________ Date: __________ Observing conditions: _____________________ Part E. Limit of Visibility
•  In order to determine the limit of your ability to discern the
faintest stars, pick two constellations from part C, and using the
Greek letter (Bayer) designations from the pop-up info in
Stellarium, list as many stars as you can observe from these
constellations. Try to pick constellations in which there are
several stars with a range of magnitudes, such as Ursa Minor.
Constellation Stars Observed Time: __________ Location: _________________ Date: __________ Observing conditions: _____________________ •  Now determine the faintest star(s) that you were able to see in
these constellations, and give its magnitude.
Star and magnitude: __________________________ Part F. (optional) Other Interesting Observations
•  While observing the sky during this exercise, did you observe any
interesting objects or phenomena, such as meteors, satellites,
aurorae, or the Milky Way? If you did, describe your observations.


Solution details:

This question was answered on: Sep 05, 2019

PRICE: $18 (25.37 KB)

Buy this answer for only: $18

This attachment is locked

We have a ready expert answer for this paper which you can use for in-depth understanding, research editing or paraphrasing. You can buy it or order for a fresh, original and plagiarism-free solution (Deadline assured. Flexible pricing. TurnItIn Report provided)

Pay using PayPal (No PayPal account Required) or your credit card . All your purchases are securely protected by .

About this Question






Sep 05, 2019





We have top-notch tutors who can do your essay/homework for you at a reasonable cost and then you can simply use that essay as a template to build your own arguments.

You can also use these solutions:

  • As a reference for in-depth understanding of the subject.
  • As a source of ideas / reasoning for your own research (if properly referenced)
  • For editing and paraphrasing (check your institution's definition of plagiarism and recommended paraphrase).
This we believe is a better way of understanding a problem and makes use of the efficiency of time of the student.


Order New Solution. Quick Turnaround

Click on the button below in order to Order for a New, Original and High-Quality Essay Solutions. New orders are original solutions and precise to your writing instruction requirements. Place a New Order using the button below.


Order Now