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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Monday, December 9, 2013

Those Eccentric Planets

Complete the Those Eccentric Planets  Activity and answer the questions in the survey below.

Those Eccentric Planets Survey Activity

Retrograde Motion & Planetary Orbits

Simulator 1 Orbit Simulation (Play with this)

Simulator 2  Planet Orbit Simulator


  • Complete the Orbit Simulation Questions
  • Complete the "Those Eccentric Planets" activity on paper and hand in.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Sun Research Questions

Sun Research Questions

Answer the following questions in preparation for a Sun test on Wednesday 12/4.

You may find the answers to the following question in several sources including your in the Comparison Activities, the Sun Movie, or many internet files.

1) Draw a sketch of the sun showing the important layers.

2) During what time of the year is the sun the highest in the sky in Holliston?

3) During what part of the year is the sun to closest to the earth?

4) Show in a sketch, the aphelion and perihelion of the earth’s orbit around the sun

5) How far away is the sun from the earth (give average value)?

6) How far away is the sun in real terms? Assume that a spaceship could travel at 500 miles per hour, how many days would it take to get to the sun?

7) Which part of the sun is referred to as the surface of the sun?

8) In reality the sun does not have a surface as we think of a surface on earth.  What is the element that makes up most of the sun?  What is the only other major element on the sun?

9) The corona, which is visible during solar eclipses, is extremely hot but a spaceship flying into the corona would not get hot. Why?  

10) Explain what happens in the core of the sun

11) What are granules?

12) How do solar storms differ from the storms on earth?

13) What is meant by the ecliptic?

14) Why are we so concerned about coronal mass ejections (CME’s) on earth?

15) The energy of the sun is produced in the sun’s core and passed along through  high energy photons. These photons get banged around in the highly energized radioactive and convection zones. How long does it actually take a photon to move from the core to the sun’s surface?  How long does it take this same photon to go from the sun’s surface to the earth?

16) If the sun is so massive with a huge gravity, why is there no solid matter within the sun?

17) Why do sunspots seem dark when viewed from earth?

18) How is the earth’s magnetic field vastly different than the magnetic field of the sun?

Friday, November 22, 2013

Stanford Comparison and Sun Worksheet Questions

1. Stanford Survey

Please read these questions and complete this survey.

The link describes several properties of the sun then asks you to compare sun properties, such as mass, to objects that you are familiar with.  Go through the each section. As you answer the questions check to see if you are correct in ‘Am I Right?’

Answer the question on the worksheet already handed out.

3.  Zoom Astronomy File

Read over this site.  When you get to the end of the page, you will notice three activities. The questions for the following activities are included in your worksheet.

A quiz about the sun
A puzzle about the sun
Label the Planet-Sun Orbital Diagram

Please answer these questions in your worksheet and when done hand in your worksheet.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Friday, November 15, 2013

Altitude and Azimuth


Build Astrolabe

Find altitude and azimuth of the top of the flagpole

Find altitude and azimuth of the sun

Moon Research Questions - Paper

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Moon Musings Survey

Complete and submit the following exercise.

Submit by 11/19 for Credit

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Bing Bang Essay

Write an essay addressing the following topic.  Be sure to include in your response supporting evidence for your conclusions.  It is expected an appropriate  response will be  2 or 3 typewritten pages long.

What does the history of mankind's understanding of the universe tell you about how scientific thought evolves, and what ramifications does this hold for the future?

This essay is due by midnight on Sunday  November 17.

Introduction to the Moon

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Introduction to Astronomy

Perseid over Albrechtsberg Castle
Image Credit & Copyright: Sebastian Voltmer
Explanation: Medieval Albrechtsberg castle is nestled in trees near the northern bank of the river Pielach and the town of Melk, Austria. In clearing night skies on August 12, 2012 it stood under constellations of the northern summer, including Aquarius, Aquila, and faint, compact Delphinus (above and right of center) in this west-looking skyview. The scene also captures a bright meteor above the castle walls. Part of the annual perseid meteor shower, its trail points back toward the heroic constellation Perseus high above the horizon in the early morning hours. Entering the atmosphere at about 60 kilometers per second, perseid meteors are swept up dust grains from the tail of comet Swift-Tuttle.

Introductory Presentation
Course Syllabus

Course Units:
  1. The History of the Universe
  2. The Moon
  3. The Sun
  4. The Solar System
  5. Stars
  6. Beyond our Solar System
Video on an overview on the evolution of man's understanding of the universe: "Beyond the Big Bang"

Beyond the Big Bang Survey Questions.