My experience with this optional observation lab was a great experience overall, just as I had expected it to be. I was much more interested in participating in the observations versus sitting in a classroom every week and attending the labs like in 1010.
The first event that I attended was the courtyard telescope setup on January 31st, in which we were observing a couple of different provinces and sunspots located about 10 o’clock region located directly on the sun. (See lab book for illustration.) We were experiencing “H-Alpha Light” which is a type of light that is not emitted as much from the sun. We used a hydrogen-emission lens used on a simple refracting telescope.
The second event that I went to was an observing done by Dr. Miller and his pal, that for the life of me I cannot remember. We all went out on March 20th, stopped for candy bars first! And then proceeded to the observatory. We observed Venus, Mars, Jupiter (and it’s 3 moons) and also talked about a few star constellations as well. Venus, that night was in it’s gibbous phase, and as I observed I noticed that Venus was a whole lot brighter in the sky to the naked eye than Jupiter and its three moons were. We looked directly behind us and saw Mars, which gave off a very dull red hue, but again this was probably due to us just viewing it with the naked eye. Dr. Miller also explained a lot about the star constellations, but one thing that stuck out to me was that the star Sirus, has a cousin that is a white dwarf star.
The third event was a presentation by Professor Alan Marscher. His presentation was on Black Holes, Jets, Gamma Rays and Active Galactic Nuclei. Alan started off by talking about black holes and their makeup and general structure. He did explain how accreting black holes were the brightest of all black holes, even thought the holes don't allow light to escape anyways. Jets are what are producing the light. Also the topic of cores and blobs which are the bright spots in blazer...
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