Class started off reviewing what each of us had received back from the Micro Observatory (see previous class notes). A lesson was given how and why astronomers apply colorization to their pictures. Using the software located under Download Software, we used the how-to videos under Tools and Training to show how to manipulate the photos. This day we only worked with nebulae and galaxies. Friday we will see how to put multiple photos together to show movement.
First a correction was made. I had misspoken about the time it takes light to travel to Jupiter from the Sun. It is around 43 minutes or so where the time to reach Pluto is just over 5 hours.
As for class, an introduction to the Micro Observatory website was given showing how to take pictures of night time objects. Students were then assigned to submit 2-3 picture request with the hope of receiving the photos by Wednesday where we will talk more about viewing nighttime objects.
One last note, the ACP1 worksheet was due today.
Last class students completed the ACP1 worksheet. Most failed to read the instructions so we are trying it again this time however, it will be completed at home and due the first of the period on Monday. Also, I noticed misconceptions about our Sun and how far away it is from us so we visited for a few minutes on that as well as discussing the speed of light. I gave examples of how Google searches work pertaining to how fast the results are returned and what happens to get those results. Yes, all related to the speed of light.
In order to download the ACP1 worksheet at home and access it, here are a couple of ways of doing it:
- Save the download, then upload it to Google Docs and from there print it so you can hand write the answers
- Save the download, then upload it to Google Docs making sure the conversion application is on so you can edit in Google Docs.
- Download and use the RTF version of the document. Most any document editor will work with this file.
If you have any issues, you can email me (rsanchez) and I will get back to you within 24 hrs.
Starting today, students will be required to keep a journal of the day’s happenings. The journal will need to answer at least 2 of the questions listed here each day keeping in mind you must use different questions each day. The length of the journal entry must be at least 3 sentences with correct spelling, punctuation, and capitalization. The journal entry must be completed by midnight each day of class.
A new aspect of the astronomy class will also be a periodical check for understand. Today there were a few questions I asked. Each questions will be given a score between 0 and 2 where 0 means no understanding of the concept and 2 means evidence given the student has a pretty good understanding.
The remainder of the class, students looked over a website about the Hubble telescope.
We started the class today discussing how a basic telescope works and what the differences are between reflective (and mirror sizes) and refractive. I then showed the class some pictures the Hubble telescope had taken and then went over the Hubble Ultra Deep Field and what the picture means.
Students watched the rest of the video tutorials for Eyes on the Solar System. They were then assigned to find an object or topic of interest to study either in the program or elsewhere. A future assignment will be to do a presentation on this topic. More to come on this later.
Students spent the class period watching at least 2 of the 5 videos for Eyes on the Solar System website. The videos will help explain how to used the interactive portion of the site. The rest of class they were asked to explore the site.
Class time was spent watching a video on size comparisons of objects not only in our solar system compared to other stars in our galaxy. After a brief discussion about how big things are compared to us, students were introduced to Eyes on the Solar System interactive website for the last few minutes of class. We will go over how to use the site next class period.
First part of class, we went over how the class would be conducted and why I was teaching astronomy as an elective. We also watched a video of an interview with Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson and why mathematics, science, and engineering are important not only to an individual, but also for society.
Most of class today was given to an activity exploring the size of our solar system. Below are the steps to perform the exercise.
First, take a length of paper (receipt paper works great) that measures about your height.
Label one end Sun and the other end Pluto.
Fold the paper in half and crease it. Unfold and label this crease Uranus.
Now fold the paper again in half and then in half again. Unfold and you should now have creases halfway between the Sun and Uranus and Uranus and Pluto. Label the crease nearest Pluto – Neptune and the one closest to the Sun – Saturn.
Fold the paper so the Sun and Saturn meet and label that crease Jupiter.
Fold so Sun and Jupiter meet and label that crease Asteroid Belt.
Fold Sun to Asteroid Belt and label Mars.
Now fold Sun to Mars and keeping that fold, fold again. When you unfold this you should have 3 creases between Sun and Mars. Label them from in order Mercury, Venus, and Earth from the Sun.
Taken from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific – www.astrosociety.org