Astronomy Lab - Astronomy 2 or 10L or 11L

Astronomy 02 10L 11L (Laboratory) (1 Unit)


CATALOG DESCRIPTION: Hands-on approach to learning astronomical data-collecting methods, reinforcing concepts learned in Astronomy 1, 10, or 11. Methods include use of the Planetarium instrument, celestial globes, Desktop Planetarium software program, homemade instruments such as sundials and spectroscopes, and photographs of planets, stars and galaxies.

TEXT: To be decided by the Instructor 

COURSE OBJECTIVES: To provide the student with the opportunity to learn the methods of science by DOING science, as opposed to learning science by reading about it. This is accomplished by using astronomical instruments as measuring devices, and interpreting the collected data.

BEHAVIORAL OBJECTIVES: At the end of the semester-given the necessary information and equipment-the student should be able to

   1. Identify and name prominent stars and groups of stars (constellation) pointed out on the dome of the Planetarium.

   2. Manipulate and set up a celestial globe for an observer anywhere on EarthÕs surface at any moment in time, and determine local times for sunrise and sunset, planet-rise and planet-set, star-rise and star-set, etc.

   3. Determine the correct time through the construction and use of a sundial.

   4. Determine the chemicals responsible for selected emission spectra as obtained with a homemade spectrograph.

   5. Determine the major chemicals found in Sun through the use of a homemade spectroscope.

   6. Determine the solar constant using a homemade solar collector.

   7. Determine an observer's unknown position on Earth (latitude and longitude) through the technique of celestial navigation.

   8. Determine the past, present, and future configurations of the constellation of the Big Dipper (200,000-year intervals) as a consequence of the rotation of the Milky Way galaxy.

   9. Deduce the nature of the contents of the Milky Way galaxy by location, age, distance, and composition.

  10. Determine the relative sizes and distances of the planets of the solar system using the scale of the West Valley College campus.

  11. Deduce the geological history of the Martian surface through the analysis of satellite photographs.

  12. Determine the lengths of the lunar cycle (sidereal and synodic) as Moon revolves around Earth.

  13. Identify and name planets, prominent stars and groups of stars (constellations) visible in the actual sky at a Sky-Observing Session (Star Party). Identify and sketch selected deepÐspace objects observed through available telescopes, including as much detail as possible.