The meridian is an imaginary line stretching from the south point of the horizon to the upward pointing arrow at the top of your planisphere.

 

  1. a) What is the right ascension of the meridian?  This is also called the sidereal time.

 

 

  1. b) What four constellations are located on the meridian?

 

1.

 

2.

 

3,

 

4.

 

  1. What is the right ascension and declination where the ecliptic intersects the celestial equator?

 

R.A. ____    Dec _____

 

  1. a) What star is at the following coordinates?      R.A.        Dec                                                                                                                                    5h 15m     -10o

______________________

 

 

  1. b) What constellation is it in?________________

 

  1. Name one constellation rising in the east.__________________________

 

  1. Name one constellation setting in the west.__________________________

 

  1. Locate the following stars and give their approximate coordinates and constellations.

 

            Star                             R.A.                Dec                              Constellation

 

Sirius

 

Betelgeuse

 

Procyon

For the next set of questions, set your star finders to 12 Midnight on January 24, facing south.

  1. a) What star is at the following coordinates?     R.A.          Dec                                                                                                                                10h 10m      +10
  1. b) What constellation is it in?________________

For this next question, keep the same date, but look north.

  1. Locate the following stars and give their approximate coordinates and constellations.

 

            Star                             R.A.                Dec                              Constellation

Capella

 

Pollux

  1. Suppose you want to view the following stars on the meridian (look South). What time would this occur, on January 24?

Star                                 Time

 

  1. a)                                Regulus
  2. b)       Sirius
  3. c)                                 Rigel
  4. What would be the local time on January 24, when the sidereal time is:

Sidereal Time                  Local Time

 

  1. a)     9h
  2. b)                               11h
  3. c)     7h 30 min
  4. d)     5h

Change the date to February 18 at 11 PM.  Now, face north.

  1. Locate the Big Dipper. This is not really a constellation, but an asterism.  What constellation

is the Big Dipper a part of?  _________________________

  1. What constellation is located between Ursa Major and Ursa Minor?
  2. The Big Dipper allows you to locate four stars. For these stars, fill out the info below.  One star is partly filled in.

 

                   Star                             R.A.          Dec                       Constellation

Polaris N/A    

 

       

 

       

 

       

 

 

Learning to Use the Observer’s Sky Atlas

 

  1. 14. Bayer Names: A way of naming stars is to designate the brightest star in a constellation with the Greek letter alpha and the first 3 letters of the constellation name, the 2nd brightest star in a constellation beta and the first 3 letters of the constellation name, etc. Look at p. 9 of the Star Atlas to review your Greek letters.  Arcturus is also known as a  Using the Star Names page in your Sky Atlas, find the Bayer names of the following stars.  Using the Constellations page, find their constellation.

 

Star                                          Bayer Name                     Constellation

 

Diphda                 

           Suhail Al Wazn                       

          Alkaid                              

Elnath                    

  1. Look at the back of the sky atlas and go to p. 159, the Constellation page. Go to the maps, on which Orion appears and answer the following questions.  Also, look at p. 21 for more explanations of how to read the maps.
  2. a) For the following stars, write the map used, V mag (how bright they appear in the sky), their distances and what they are also known as.

 

Map used         V-mag            Distance               Bayer name

Mintaka  

 

     
Alnilam  

 

     
Betelgeuse  

 

     
Rigel  

 

     
Saiph  

 

     

 

  1. Using the Calendar page (P. 153) in your Sky Atlas, find the following:
  2. a) On what date this year will Jupiter be in opposition? Opposition means opposite the

sun in the sky.

  1. b) On what date this year will Venus be in superior conjunction? Superior conjunction means Venus is on the other side of the Sun from the Earth and can’t be seen.
  2. c) On what date this year will there be a total lunar eclipse?

What did you learn in today’s experiment? (Answer in a couple of sentences)

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