Charles Packard

Ted Coskey

Astronomy 100

June 1, 2009

 

STAR CHART ASSIGNMENT

 

This assignment helped me understand the constellation chart more and the rotation of the moon around our planet, and Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, and Neptune. I used http://www.fourmilab.ch/cgi-bin/uncgi/Yoursky and http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/converted.html to convert PDT or PST and convert the number to universal time which the star sheet requires. Then I charted Mercury and Mars every month from 5-22-09 to 4-22-10, then Jupiter and Neptune every other month from the same date until 3-22-10.

I carefully used a pencil so I can reuse the star chart later, and marked them all with Mars using the male symbol, and Mercury using the symbol from the website. Then I labeled the rest of the items requested for the assignment for Neptune and Jupiter as N and J and the moon as M and a circle representing the moon with filled in for the phase.

For this month I plotted the moon from 6-1-09 until 6-30-09 seven times noticing that the moon crosses pretty much the entire span in one month of the star sheet due to the rotation of the moon; however, I choose different times during the night at to which you can see the moon since after the third plot or 10 days at 9PM the moon is hidden for a later time like midnight since the moon moves from West to East around the earth like earth around the sun.

Mercury is apart of the morning or evening star. From 5-22-09 to 6-22-09 it will be an early morning star and move from east to west then west to east until plot 8 and 9 or December to January 2010 which changes from evening to morning star. Ergo, twice a year it appears to plot east to west and then the remainder of the year, west to east.

Mars on 5-22-09 you can see it at 4:30 AM and then you can see it early up to 11 PM on 4-22-10. It plots from west to east until plot 8 December, then it goes east to west until March 3, 2010 and it continues west to east. That is because Mars rotates 1.88 years around the sun I believe.

Neptune and Jupiter the first few plots or half the year between 2009 and 2010 starting 5-22-09 are seen at 3 AM then every month two hours earlier near the same spot around 22hours and -11 degrees. They are very close to each other, and Neptune seems to always be around the same spot as Jupiter about four months of the span, leaves being plotted from west to east. Thats because Neptune takes 165 years to orbit the sun, and Jupiter about 12 years so you can see Jupiter move away from the garbled plotted area.

In addition, I did a lot of work plotting the objects when you can see them at Seattle night sky so I have to keep in mind that earth rotates around the sun, and we are not the center of the solar system.

The legend of the date and times of all the plots are hand written on the handout which will be a great tool for camping trips for this upcoming summer.