Assignments listed in chronological order:
Stars and the Night Sky Basics
Watched “Powers of Ten” video. This is a classic in the world of science videos and gives an overview of the entire universe seen at different distance scales.
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 build a homemade planisphere for use in predicting the constellations that are visible in the night sky. A list of constellations
will be provided as well.
Next we will begin to learn to use the Planisphere and equivalent tools on the internet.
The following activities require information in the The Edmund Sky
by Terence Dickinson and Sam Brown, which was handed out in class.
Questions about Sky Motion
: An assignment to read a packet and use your planisphere to answer some questions.
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 will have a quiz over the previous material before moving on to another topic.
We will spend one or two days in the computer lab Exploring Astronomy Online
Before moving on we will take some time to learn to use the Sky View Café
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
, which allows you to see what’s in the sky at any time from the remote past to the distant future from any place on Earth.
The above assignment is aided by a general reference sheet on the constellations
Latitude, Longitude and the Seasons
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.
After the above in-class activities 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
Observe the Phases of the Moon
We will have a quiz on the seasons when we have completed all of this work.
Exploring Astronomy Online
: Visit some great sites and learn what the Internet has to offer when it comes to learning about Astronomy!
Phases of the Moon
We begin our study of the phases of the Moon with these activities:
Moon Phases: Hand-held Simulator
Phases of the Moon
We continue our study of the Moon in class with this activity:
Moon Phases and Rise and Set Times
Activity: The Size of the Sun
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.
Here is an illustration that helps to explain why the cycle of the Moon’s Phases is 29.5 days but the time it takes for the Moon to orbit the Earth is only 27.3 days.
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 will be counted as a quiz grade. The grading rubric for the poster
Activity: the Size of the Sun
This page includes an in-class activity with questions to complete for homework and a separate homework assignment.
The Solar System
The Size and Scale of the Solar System
View this page before doing the activity below
The Size of the Solar System
. This activity should require several hours of class time to complete.
Asteroids, Part I
Asteroids, Part II
Asteroids, Part III
Asteroid Facts Worksheet
Asteroids: What should be done about Apophis?
Activity: Orbits and Ellipses
Activity: The Planets
an on-line research activity
All students are required to take the final exam: the exam will be comprehensive.
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