Tonight is clear (or at least potentially clear). We will use it to
First, we will meet in the Astronomy House and talk about the different types of telescopes available for your use. Each has advantages in certain areas. No single telescope is best in all situations.
Question 1: For each type of telescope we use at the Observatory, find an example (or a close duplicate) in a recent issue of "Sky and Telescope" or "Astronomy". Write down a description of each telescope, the duplicate (if you can't find an exact match in the magazines), and the source from the advertisement. How much would it cost to replace each one if you broke it?
The instructor will describe how to set up and use each of the telescopes. Please listen carefully and pay attention -- you'll need to know how to make adjustments when you use them!
Question 2: How does the focusing mechanism in a Newtonian reflector differ from that in a Schmidt-Cassegrain? Which is more similar to the focusing mechanism on the 16-inch?
A good observing report contains a wealth of information:
You can use this link to print out copies of an observing report form.
Question 3: How can you determine the field of view of an optical instrument?
If it is clear, we will point a number of optical devices at Saturn. You should two different telescopes.
Question 4: Make a picture and an observing report for observations of Saturn through each instrument. Carefully draw all the objects in the field around Saturn. I repeat, carefully draw all the objects in the field around Saturn.
You will probably do these steps later in the week.
Figure out which of the objects around Saturn were moons, and which were just stars in the background. Use the SkyMap Pro program to zoom in on Saturn at the very date and time that you drew your pictures. Using the program, make a chart showing Saturn and its brightest 7 satellites. Compare this chart to your drawings.
Question 5: Identify each object in each of your drawings, either as a moon of Saturn, or as a background star. How many moons did you detect?
Question 6: Estimate the limiting magnitude through each optical instrument.
Each student must draw a picture of the Moon as viewed with the naked eye. Use the observing forms provided. Draw carefully. You can see a lot of detail if you look closely. We will use your pictures in a future class meeting.
This page maintained by Michael Richmond. Last modified Mar 27, 2002.
Copyright © Michael Richmond. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.