in your textbook
|Lab 1: Week of January 21, 2020||Planetary Motion and the Night Sky (book)
will infer the structure of the Solar System based on simple
observations you can make with the naked eye.
Note: do not do Retrograde Motion.
|Lab 2: Week of January 28, 2020||Retrograde Motion and the Shape of Mars' Orbit||Section
|You will discover how the puzzling "retrograde," or backward apparent motion of the planet Mars occurs.
Based on data from Tycho Brahe, you will plot the orbit of Mars and see how different shapes (circle, ellipse) fit the data.
|Lab 3: Week of February 4, 2020||Orbital Motion of a Planet (Computer)||Section
|Moving on to the planets of our solar system, often the brightest objects after the Moon in our night sky, you will learn two ways to determine the length of a year on Earth and decide which is a better method. You will determine the maximum elongation of Venus, as well as the size of its orbit and the length of its year. You will then use this information to verify one of Kepler’s laws for the motion of planets.|
|Lab 4: Week of February 11, 2020||Gravity and Orbital Motion (book, Computer)||Sections
will use a gravity simulator to investigate orbital motion and
Kepler's Laws. The simulator is at: http://phet.colorado.edu/sims/my-solar-system/my-solar-system_en.html.
Note: do not do Orbit Shape: Kepler's First Law.
|Lab 5: Week of February 18, 2020||Phases
of the Moon (book)
object of mystery to ancient cultures, you will learn about the
geometrical relationship of the Earth/Moon/Sun system. You will
discover the different phases of the moon and what process creates
them. You will also learn about eclipses.
Note: do not do Why don't lunar and solar eclipses occur during every cycle of phases? or Can you see the Moon during the day?.
|Lab 6: Week of February 25, 2020||Spectral Analysis
|How do we tell what distant objects in the sky are composed of? We will explore one method, called spectroscopy. You will observe several unknown emission spectra using spectrographs. After sketching the spectra, you will try to identify the unknown elements by comparing your spectra with the spectra of several common elements|
7: Week of March 3, 2020
||Colors of Stars (book, Computer)||Sections 17.2, 17.3|
|You will investigate what the color of a star reveals about its physical properties. The simulator is at: http://phet.colorado.edu/sims/blackbody-spectrum/blackbody-spectrum_en.html, and the image of Omega Centauri is at: http://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/topnav/materials/listbytype/Core_Omega_Centauri_prt.htm|
8: Week of March 10,
||HR Diagram (computer)||Section
other stars like in the Milky Way? We will use surface
temperature, luminosity and peak wavelength to map out the variety of
stars found in the night sky, recreating the H-R Diagram: one of the
fundamental relations for all astronomers. Also see: http://astro.unl.edu/classaction/animations/stellarprops/hrexplorer.html
|Week of March 17, 2020: No Lab (Spring Break)|
9: Week of March 24,
||Nuclear Fusion and Energy in Stars (book)||Section 16.2
will explore the creation of heavy elements and release of
energy through nuclear fusion in stars.
Note: do not do the questions involving clay or marbles.
Note: do not do the question As helium builds up....
|Lab 10: Week of March 31, 2020||Gravity and
Black Holes (book)
will investigate some of the exotic phenomena that result from
the enormous gravity in the vicinity of a black hole.
Note: see Lab 9 Question 2 for a modification of Section 2, Question 2.
|Lab 11: Week of April 7, 2020||Solar
Energy and the Habitable Zone
explore the object at the center of our solar system, the Sun. We learn
about the energy it provides to the planets, how the Sun’s energy
interacts with atmospheres and determine the Solar System’s Habitable
Zone: the zone where life is most likely to exist.
|Lab 12: Week of April 14, 2020||Radial
Velocity and Exoplanets (book)
|You will investigate the indirect detection of exoplanets using the observed reflex motion of stars. You will again use the simulator: http://phet.colorado.edu/sims/my-solar-system/my-solar-system_en.html|
|Lab 13: Week of April 21, 2020||Hubble Law (Computer)||Section
|You will calculate the age and size of the Universe using software to measure how far away galaxies are and how quickly they are moving away from the Sun.|
|Week of April 28, 2020||Makeup|
|If you have missed any exercises with an excused absence, this will be an opportunity to do a makeup.|