Night Astronomy Research Project

Research Projects for Winter / Spring 2016.

All research projects require the following:

1. Keep your own observing logs / observation notes, sketches, graphs etc. (separate from the weekly logs you turn at the end of class).

I will collect your research project at the end of third quarter for a mid-term evaluation.  The final grade for the project will be on Monday May 16th along with a presentation of your project.

You will need a dedicated notebook for this research project.  This notebook can be in one of two formats.

1) A composition lab notebook       or  2) Three ring binder


Possible Research Projects:

1.  Lunar Geology & Lunar Observations

In addition to your detailed high magnification lunar observations your research project should include the history and formation of the moon, lunar features, Apollo Missions, and Phases of the moon.


2. Planetary Astronomy

Beginning in March with detailed observations of Jupiter, its moons, formulas for calculating the position of Jupiter's moons, cloud belts on Jupiter, along with a researach project on Jupiter including discoveries made by space probes that have visited Jupiter.

Late April & May will include observations of Mars & Saturn.

You will also need a star chart plot of the location of Jupiter each month to plot its Trek across the night sky.


3.  Variable Star Observations  (Astrophysics)

Record observations in the form of detailed notes, graphs, charts & diagrams for at least three variable stars visible in the Winter / Spring sky.

Research report on the types of variable stars including eclipsing binaries and cepheid variables.


4. Radio Astronomy & Meteor Showers  (Astrophysics)

Use the radio telescope receiver in my classroom & out in the Observatory to monitor meteors.  This will involve monitoring and counting meteors from the computer screen in the LTO.

Comparisons should be made for meteor counts during and around a meteor shower compared to non meteor shower counts.

Your research should also include how radio receivers detect meteors, causes for a meteor shower along with the history of radio astronomy and how we are able to detect Hydrogen gas using a radio telescope.