Purpose: The purpose of this lab was to introduce us to star charts and how to use them to find stars, constellations and other bodies in the sky.
Procedure: The instructor gave a brief but thorough lecture and demonstration on how to go about finding the answers on the worksheet. We then filled out the worksheet that cover finding stars and constellations using right ascension and declination in general and on specific dates, where constellations are in the sky in relation to the star Polaris, and what time the sun will rise and set on specific dates.
Data: see attached sheet.
Discussion: For the instructor giving a very thorough demonstration on exactly on how to do each of the questions, once I got to the questions on my own they were more difficult than I thought they would be.
The sidereal time was the hardest thing for me to understand. I wouldn’t think that it is “convenient” to think of the hour scale at the bottom of the chart as representing a “star time”, as it says in the Instruction paper. I suppose it is more convenient than having different charts for different times. In general, the names of constellations and stars are long and hard to pronounce. Trying to say the names of the constellations to my lab partner was humorous. The first ones we located I thought were somewhat amusing to pronounce but then they just got more and more amusing.
Conclusion: I do think the lab did a good job in helping me understand how to locate all the bodies in the sky. Since it was fresh and new it was a little difficult but I definitely think if I did the exercise more time and more often it would be more interesting and easier instead of it just feeling like a new task.