Astronomy Homepage Fall 2008 - 2009

Course Overview Documents

SHS Astronomy Overview
Alternate Grade Scale for Labs/Projects (html)
Personal Introduction Essay (doc)

Assignments listed in chronological order:

First Quarter

Watched “Powers of Ten” video via Google Video Write a brief reaction paper to describe what you learned from this video. What was the take-home message?
Due this week: your own Personal Introduction Essay
This week we also built a homemade planisphere for use in predicting the constellations that are visible in the night sky.

This week we will work on learning to use the Planisphere and equivalent tools on the internet.
Questions about Sky Motion: An assignment to read a packet and use your planisphere to answer some questions.
Web Assignment: Sky View Café: we will spend time in the computer lab to work on this. The assignment uses an amazing online tool called the Sky View Café
The above assignment is aided by a general reference sheet on the constellations available here.

Questions about the Stars: a continuation of the set of questions begun last week about the Edmund Sky Guide. These questions concern a bit more about the motions of the sky and a little about the stars.

Questions about the Stars 2: covering stellar magnitudes and spectral types
We had a quiz over this material on Wed, 3/19/08.

Activity: Latitude and Longitude: This serves as an introduction to the Seasons topic. Getting familiar with how locations on the globe are specified and with some important lines of latitude will make understanding the seasons lessons easier.

Introduction to the Seasons: an activity with a few questions to introduce students to some of the key issues in understanding the cause of the seasons and the apparent motions of the Sun.

We will begin working on the materials about the seasons found at the Nebraska Astronomy Applet Project site titled Basic Coordinates and Seasons Module. Download and work through the Basic Coordinates and Seasons Student Guide if working at home. The material covers the basics of latitude and longitude, right acension and declination and the basics of why we have seasons on Earth.

This week we will wrap up our work on the seasons with the following activity:
Questions: Motions of the Sun
We will have a quiz on the seasons when we have completed all of this work.

Second Quarter

This week we begin our study of the phases of the Moon with this activity:
Phases of the Moon

We continue our study of the Moon with this activity:
Moon Phases and Rise and Set Times
We will further our study of the Moon using the NAAP Moon Simulator and these questions:
Moon Phases with Simulator

We will end our study of the Moon by summarizing what we have learned in a class discussion.
After this discussion students will make posters to display all that they have learned about the Moon and the Phases of the Moon. The poster is due Dec 1st
There will be a quiz on the Phases of the Moon.

The Size of the Solar System. This activity should require several hours of class time to complete.

Sky View Café Planets activity

A few useful links

An excellent online application to enable users to see the sky from any location on Earth at any time or date:
A fully-functional scientific calculator including a table of useful constants.
A Partial Bibliography of works consulted
And here’s a useful download: a program that will quickly and easily convert units for you. Download and unzip to use.

Teachers and other Professionals:

This material is copyrighted but I grant permission for in-classroom use. Please give the URL and not copies to other teachers. Only pages directly downloaded may be used, do not distribute paper copies. Requirement for use: send me an email and give me feedback on your success with these materials.
a k e l l e r  [at] scarborough . k12 . me . us
You will have to remove the spaces to use this address.

Important note regarding printing

Before printing turn off the optional header and footer information. Also, make the left margin 0.75 in (1.9 cm) and the other margins 0.5 in (1.3 cm) so that the page breaks I built into the pages work as intended.

Some of the files are PDFs and you need the Acrobat Reader available from Adobe. Some files are also MS Word 97 or RTF documents, which just about anyone should be able to view. If you have trouble, try going to to download the Word Viewer.

Last Updated: Aug 19, 2008