Astronomy 110 Laboratory: Student GuideFall 2007MOTIVATIONOur motivation in developing this class came from our students. Over the years, many Astronomy 110 students have said they wantedto study and observe the night sky.

This astronomy laboratory wasdeveloped to give students some practical knowledge of the stars andsome real, `hands-on' observing experience REQUIRED TEXT: You must purchase the Hands on Astronomy Laboratory NO LAB REPORTS will be accepted late, so be sure to have them with you and to .

Astronomy 110 laboratory: student guide

These arenot terribly difficult subjects, and anyone can learn something aboutthem. Nonetheless, you will need commitment to do well in this class.

Although we have asked you to buy a book to serve as a guideto the night sky, this subject can't be learned from a book orlectures. The point of this course is to see for yourself.

When studying astronomy in this way, some patience is necessary. For example, the weather may be bad when we go out to observe.

Evenwhen circumstances seem good, the things we are trying to see may behard to find, indistinct, or just plain invisible; the best course ofaction may be to keep on looking, find something else to look at, waituntil conditions improve, or try again another night. Finally,observing the universe makes new demands on your visual abilities; youwill have to learn new ways to use your eyes, and that will taketime.

I can help you in this process, but I can't work miracles. If youget frustrated, you will have to find your own motivation to keep onlooking - because if you don't look, you won't see anything! How youfind your motivation is your business.

Your motives are part of yourpersonality, and I can't change your personality any more than I cantell you what foods to eat, what music to enjoy, or what kind offriends to make. If you understand that your motivation is your responsibility, I welcome you to this class and to thestudy of astronomy.

We have detected two trends in student behavior: (1) some studentswant to take Astr 110 Lab without taking Astr 110. And we noticed, fromthe results of quizzes, that students that had taken Astr 110 did not perform better than those who had not.

For those reasons I decided to trya new approach, making an Astr 110 Lab which is self-contained and does not require any previous exposure to Astr 110. We will study the resultsof this 2007 experiment, guided both by our evaluation of the results of the course, and by the comments voluntarily provided by the students.

TEAMWORKWorking in pairs or groups is quite common in science labs, andthis lab is no exception. Teamwork can be quite effective; it's oftenpossible to figure things out faster if you work with another person,and some experiments are much easier with two pairs of hands.

We have designed many of these projects for teams of two to fourpeople. When making measurements, we strongly urge you to make the observation yourself, individually, so that you get the educational value and experience of using the equipment and "seeing for yourself".

Then, after all the group members have tried, you can compare your results as a "sanity check" However, writing a physics lab report is almost an everyday task to a science student. Such writings are But, we will assign only a physics writer for your purpose..

Lab report writing service | pro-papers.com 🤘

Most scientific measurements are affected by random errors(to be discussed in class) so you should NOT change your results to match your friend's results. Of course, if your results differ wildly, then you should try to figure out what went wrong.

In a real team, everybody is actively involved and contributes tothe group effort. To insure that everybody is involved, we requireyou to use your own words in writing your observing logand lab reports.

This is very important - expressing yourself withyour own words will help you to understand the material. It's prettyobvious when people copy from each other, and we will not givecredit if people turn in identical work! On the other hand, we willgive you credit if you use your own words - because that showsthat you understand what you have been doing.

OBSERVINGAs already emphasized, the point of this course is to observe asmuch as we can. We will try to observe every night the weather seemsreasonably good, and meet indoors only when bad weather rules out anykind of observation.

Unfortunately, the UH campus is not a good place for observations;there are too many lights, and Manoa is often cloudy. Therefore, wewill be making field trips to observe.

Most of our observing sessionwill be in Kapiolani park. As an observing site, Kapiolani park isnot ideal, but it is better than campus and it's easy to getthere.

We will also arrange several trips to really dark sites wherewe can observe fainter stars. Unlike some sciencelabs, we have little need for hazardous materials or equipment (youmight burn your fingers on a hot light-bulb, but only if you grab itat the wrong time). We will be working outdoors at night, but we area large group and there is safety in numbers.

Still, people sometimesfeel nervous being outside at night in a fairly dark place; if youfeel threatened, please let us know. There is one safety rule which must be emphasized, even though itmay not seem all that relevant to this class: NEVER LOOK AT THE SUNTHROUGH ANY TELESCOPE OR BINOCULARS unless you are using aprofessionally-designed solar filter! It's important that the filtercover the entire aperture of the telescope or binoculars andthat it is securely attached so it can never fall off byaccident.

The telescopes we use in this class can take all thesunlight falling on an eight-inch circle and concentrate it into aspot half an inch in diameter. That concentrated light is about 250times brighter than normal sunlight; it can permanently destroy yourvision in much less time than it takes you to blink your eye.

For legal reasons, we do require you to sign a release form before the first field trip Purchase your lab report at Pro-Papers.com ☝! The tips presented above should be enough for writing a good lab report. Physics, biology, mathematics, chemistry, anatomy, physiology - all these branches of science are developing .

A guide to writing lab reports in astronomy

ComfortWe will be observing outside at night for several hours at a time,and you should plan to dress appropriately. It can get a little coolin the evenings, and clothes which were comfortable in mid-afternoonwill not keep you warm enough at night.

Wear loose-fitting clothesyou can move around in easily, and bring a sweater or jacket. We mayhave to wait out the occasional shower, so bring a poncho orumbrella.

Low blood sugar makes it harder to see faint stars; you may want tobring a snack along when we are observing. Nicotine impairs your night vision, and you should avoid smokingbefore or during the class (or at any other time, if you want to liveto see the next return of Halley's comet).

If you must lightup, wait until we take a break, and move well away from the telescopesand from anyone who might not like the smell of cigarette smoke. EQUIPMENTWe will provide all the key equipment for this class, includingtelescopes, binoculars, and other optical aids.

Detailed instructionswill be given in class; this is just a summary. These are robust and simple to operate, yet quite powerful when used properly. We have one scope for every four students in this lab.

Binoculars are useful for star-gazing; they help to bridge the gap between naked-eye and telescopic views.

We have one pair of binoculars for every student. Red light enables you to see your notes and sketches without ruining the dark adaptation of your eyes. These simple kits will help you understand the operating principles of larger telescopes.

A spectroscope is a device which separates light by color (technically, by the wave-length of the photons). A cross-staff is a simple device for measuring angles - for example, the angle between two stars.

Most areavailable at the UH bookstore or your local shopping center:A bound notebook to use as an observing log. A ring binder for handouts and other course material.

Blank, unlined paper for sketching; pages should be 8. If you buy a pad of blank paper, be sure the individual pages are easy to remove. A clip-board, useful in making drawings while observing.

Pens, pencils (colors optional), pencil sharpener, eraser, etc. A calculator - ideally, one which can handle scientific notation for very large and very small numbers.

A straw beach-mat or blanket - convenient when viewing constellations directly overhead.

READING ASSIGNMENTSIn the website of this course you will find information about most of the projects we will undertake.

It will help you to get a better idea of what we plan to do In the teaching laboratory, the final measured value is then typically compared and should be considered and discussed at the end of any laboratory exercise, .

-1- the astronomy lab report fundamental to the process of scientific

Because we can't predict the weather a week in advance, we will oftenannounce two projects for the next meeting: one dealing with some kind of observation, and another involving indoor lab work in case of bad weather. You are expected to read the available information about these projects in advance.

If we wind up observing, we will generally recycle the indoor project for the following week.

If we have to work indoors, we may or may not be able to recycle the observing project;some observations can only be made at specific times. OBSERVING LOGAs part of this class, you should keep a log of your observations and experiments in your lab notebook.

Doing so helps you remember whatyou have seen and done. Your log does not have to be very elaborate,but it should be reasonably accurate and complete.

We will not inspectyour observing log, and it will not impact your grade, so you might be tempted to do nothing about it. That is your decision, but it would be a mistake.

If you do not write down things, you will soon forget everything. You will have trouble completing your reports, and later onyou will forget everything you saw and learned in this course.

To insure accuracy and avoid the temptation to alter previousentries, you should use only pens, and not pencils, when logging yourobservations.

Never erase what you have written; instead,cross it out with a single line. Neatness is not so important as longas your writing can be read and the order in which you have writtenthings down is clear.

Begin your notes on each observing session or lab on a freshpage. Start by writing down the place, date, time, and weatherconditions on the upper right of the page.

Also note if the Moon isup, since moonlight has a big influence on the visibility of faintstars. Make a note if conditions change while you are observing.

Write a brief entry in your log for each observation you make.

Labs - error analysis | department of physics and astronomy

If you wereusing a telescope, note which eyepieces you used.

A small sketch ofyour observations can be included right next to the log entry; if youmake a more detailed drawing on loose paper, make a note of it in yourobserving log Note the important points in the above paragraph: the report should be: • complete (because you are writing for a reader unfamiliar with the experiment), but .

DrawingsDrawing astronomical objects is a very good way to improve yourobservational skills. When you make a drawing you concentrate on whatyou are seeing; as a result, you will see things you might not havenoticed, and remember more of what you have seen.

Artistic abilitycan help, but the point is not to produce beautiful pictures,so don't worry if your sketches are not artistically satisfying. Themain point is to make a serious effort to represent what you see onpaper.

If you try, you may be surprised at how much you can actuallyshow in a drawing. On the other hand, if you have no artistic inclinations, we will not force you to draw anything.

Your gradewill depend only on the result of the quizzes and our evaluation of your project reports. Rough sketches can be included in your observing log, but there areseveral reasons to use a separate pad of blank paper for moredetailed drawings.

First, the lined paper in your log book tends toconfuse your eye; blank paper simplifies the process of comparing yourdrawing to your subject. Second, you can - and should - use theentire page, instead of cramping your drawing into a corner of the logbook.

Third, you can - and should! - use pencils instead ofpens, and you can also erase as needed, since the goal is the finaldrawing, not the stages you went through in producing it. On each drawing you make, you should note the name of the object,the date and time, and any equipment you used.

Don't forget to listeach drawing in your observing log. LAB REPORTSA second component of your work is writing up the observations andexperiments you have performed.

This allows you summarize your workand draw conclusions from your observations. Detailed instructionswill be provided with each assignment, but in general we expect you tofollow the traditional format for lab reports, which includes anintroductory section, a description of the equipment used, a summaryof your results, and a discussion of your conclusions.

QUIZZESInstead of a final exam, we will have a short quiz almost every week. The quiz may be given indoors at the start of class, or outdoors during an observing session; you should be ready for either one, since we won'tknow ahead of time if we will be observing or working inside.

Thequiz will test you on the readingassignment or on the activities of the previous weeks 23 Aug 2007 - If you get frustrated, you will have to find your own motivation to keep you to use your own words in writing your observing log and lab reports..

How to write a good lab report - department of physics and astronomy

Each indoor quiz will have one question requiring a short writtenanswer. The quiz will start at 6:05 pm, and end by 6:15 pm.

We will close the door when the quiz starts and ask anyone who comeslate to wait outside until the quiz is over; this is to spare peopletaking the quiz the distraction of late arrivals. Because of organization limitations, quizzes may not be made-up for any reason.

Outdoor quizzes will be given one-on-one during an observingsession. They will test practical observing skills and familiaritywith the night sky; for example, we may ask you to point to aconstellation we studied the week before, or focus a telescope on aparticular star.

Before setting your final grade, we will drop your two lowest quizgrades; thus you can miss two quizzes without directly affecting yourfinal grade. This should not be taken as encouragement to skipany quizzes! If you decide to skip a quiz, you risk missing anopportunity to do well on what may turn out to be an easy question.

To increase your chances of a good final grade, you should make apoint of showing up in time for all quizzes!Unlike some classes, this class is not graded on a curve. Curves predetermine the percentages of students getting As, Bs, Cs,and Ds; that seems unfair, and may discourage people from trying to dobetter.

You will get written comments and letter grades(including plus and minus grades, when appropriate) on your quizzes,and on each report or drawing youturn in. We will provide as much feedback as possible so you willknow how you are doing in this class.

Your final grade will depend on the lab reports and drawings you hand in, and the quizzes you take in class. In case of doubt we will consider your attendance record.

Lab reports count for 70%, and quizzes for 30% of the total grade. Your final grade will be lowered by one-third of aletter for every two lab sessions you have missed without a validexcuse (for example, if you total grade was an "A-", but you missedtwo sessions, your final grade would be a "B+").

Valid excusesinclude serious illness, family emergencies, and the like; we can makeallowances for sports or cultural activities if you bring a note fromyour coach or instructor beforehand. STUDENT CONDUCTAs a university student, you may be going through a time of rapidchange.

Perhaps you are living away from home for the first time.

You have new freedoms - the freedom to decide your own hours, choseyour associates, set your own priorities In order to write good lab reports, it is important to understand exactly what is You must determine the important information, learn it, and be able to reproduce..

With those freedoms comesome new responsibilities. We will takeattendance each time the class meets. You can miss one lab withoutpenalty; if you miss two or more without a valid excuse, your finalgrade will suffer, and you may fail the class.

Your responsibilities do not end when you come to class. I don'texpect you to pay full attention every moment, but if your attentionwanders then you must make an effort to focus again.

I can'tdirect the focus of your mind - you are the only person who cando that. We will take 15 minute breaks at suitable points througheach class; please limit social activities and discussions unrelatedto astronomy to the breaks.

You are also responsible for handling the equipment with care. Telescopes and accessories are expensive, and we can't afford manyreplacements or repairs.

Accidents can be forgiven, but carelessnessis another matter; anyone who recklessly or deliberately damagesequipment will automatically fail the course. We will automatically fail anyone who is drunk or intoxicated inclass.

It is your responsibility to know and follow the rules for thelabs, reports, and quizzes. These rules are designed to make surethat everyone gets full credit for their work.

Someone who tries togain credit without doing the work, or tries to prevent other peoplefrom getting credit for the work they have done, is cheating. Any action which gives someone an unfair advantage cheats everyone else.

Treat other students as you'd like them totreat you.