Astronomy 10: Observing Celestial Objects in a Telescope

Observing Celestial Objects in a Telescope

Worth 10 points -- Due Monday, June 17th -- May not be repeated

Throughout the session you will have the opportunity to view some celestial objects through the telescope on the roof of Campbell Hall. All of these "star parties" are optional. However, you can get some lab points as a consequence of attending, if you wish.

Describe what you saw through the eyepiece of the telescope. You must view at least three objects. Draw (to the best of your ability and memory) what you saw. Then write a bit about each observation. These descriptions should be at least a paragraph each. What details did you see? Were you surprised by what you saw? Did the observation arouse your curiosity about anything astronomical? Please seek once source for some basic information on the objects you observed and report on this as well. What kind of object was it (star system, planet, nebula, galaxy, etc.)? How far away is it? How big is it? How long had the light that entered your eye that night been traveling? Be sure to cite your source.

Be aware that May and June are notoriously foggy months in Berkeley. I'll do my best to have a star party whenever it is a clear night. But the possibility exists that we may not be able to have one until after the June 17th due date of this project. With that in mind it might be wise to have a back up project. You do not have to attend my star parties to do this project, however. If you own a telescope or know someone who does you can always drive East a bit until you reach a fog-free area to observe. You might also check out a star party given by a local astronomy club (see the Links page for some info on local clubs). If you do attend an alternate star party be sure to give details about the party in your report.

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