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Starry Monday at Otterbein

Starry Monday at Otterbein

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Starry Monday at Otterbein

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  1. Welcome to Starry Monday at Otterbein Astronomy Lecture Series -every first Monday of the month- June 2, 2008 Dr. Uwe Trittmann

  2. Today’s Topics • Amateur Astronomy – Inspiration by Observation • The Night Sky in June

  3. On the Web • To learn more about astronomy and physics at Otterbein, please visit • http://www.otterbein.edu/dept/PHYS/weitkamp.asp (Observatory) • http://www.otterbein.edu/dept/PHYS/ (Physics Dept.)

  4. Amateur Astronomy - What’s in it for me? • That depends on you! • Motivation • Interests • Patience • Equipment • Position • …

  5. Personally … • Observing the nightsky inspires me! • The clearness &he purely colored, tiny spots of light • Looking into infinity… • Even more intriguing if you can make sense of all that changing glitter • Like traveling to a different country and wanting to learn more about it “Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration and reverence, the more frequently and enduringly the reasoning mind is occupied with them: the star spangled sky over me and the moral law in me.” (I. Kant)

  6. What’s in the Night Sky? • Constellations: groups of stars, named for apparent vicinity “in” the sky (“on” the celestial sphere) • Moon: watch the phases of the moon change and its craters, highlands and “oceans” • Planets: • Saturn’s rings • Jupiter’s cloud bands and Galilean moons • Venus’ phases • Mars’s polar caps • Deep Sky Objects: Galaxies, clusters, nebulae

  7. Basic Observations in Astronomy • Positions of objects (sun, moon, planets, stars …) • Motion of objects – with respect to you, the observer - with respect to other objectsin the sky • Changes (day/night, seasons, etc.) • Appearance of objects (phases of the moon, etc.) • Special events (eclipses, transitions, etc.)  All “in the sky”, i.e. on the Celestial Sphere

  8. What’s up in the night sky? The Celestial Sphere • An imaginary sphere surrounding the earth, on which we picture the stars attached • Axis through earth’s north and south pole goes through celestial north and south pole • Earth’s equator Celestial equator

  9. What’s up for you? Observer Coordinates • Horizon – the plane you stand on • Zenith– the point right above you • Meridian – the line from North to Zenith to south

  10. …depends where you are! • Your local sky – your view depends on your location on earth

  11. Look North in Westerville

  12. Look North on Hawai’i

  13. Star Maps 40º 90º Celestial North Pole – everything turns around this point Zenith – the point right above you & the middle of the map

  14. That’s what you’d actually see! Confusing?

  15. Experts’ view • Learn to identify crucial constellations • Find your way around the night sky

  16. At Noon • Sun at meridian, i.e. exactly south • Moon setting in the Northwest!

  17. Some hours later

  18. At Sunset

  19. A good starting point • A pair of binoculars and a star map will keep you busy for a long time – anywhere! • constellations • Planets • Moon • Orion nebula • Andromeda Galaxy • star clusters • Double stars • …

  20. Low End – Naked Eye Astronomy • Moon phases • Constellations • Identifying planets • Sun set/rise • Rotation of the Earth (daily/seasonal) • Observe changes as you are at your vacation location • Much more … • Budget: ZERO!

  21. High End – Amateurs contribute to Scientific progress • Discover • Comets • Asteroids • Exoplanets • Supernovae • Budget: order $10,000 • Telescope(s) • CCD camera • Location, location, location • Time!

  22. Example: Amateur discovers Exoplanet Brightness/ time

  23. Otterbein Equipment • Meade LX200, 10” • Fully computerized, UHTC, electric focuser, etc. • Celestron 14” telescope • Celestron 8”telescopes (three) • digital cameras: Sony DSC-F717, Canon 10D • and more …

  24. Celestron 14” in shed Celestron 8” with solar filter

  25. Some “real” astrophotos • With a telescope and the simplest digital camera you can shoot amazing astrophotos! • You basically use the telescope as a telephoto lens • Digital cameras supply instant feedback, so the learning curve is steep! • Observatory Homepage: http://www.otterbein.edu/dept/PHYS/weitkamp.asp • Photos at: http://www.otterbein.edu/home/fac/uwtrtt/Observatory/BestPhotos.html

  26. Lunar South Pole Region (Photo with the 14” Celestron and Sony DSC F- 717 Digital Camera)

  27. Moon (Photo with the 8” Celestron and Sony DSC F- 717 Digital Camera)

  28. Saturn (Photo with the 10” LX200 and Sony DSC F- 717 Digital Camera)

  29. Saturn and Moons (Photo with the 10” LX200 and Sony DSC F- 717 Digital Camera)

  30. Jupiter with Red Spot (with C-8 Barlow lens & full zoom, Exp. 1/5”, A2.0, seeing worsening from cold haze, just got lucky )

  31. Jupiter and Moons (Photo with the 8” Celestron and Sony DSC F- 717 Digital Camera)

  32. Orion Nebula (M42/M43) (Photo with the 10” Meade LX200 and Sony DSC F- 717 Digital Camera)

  33. Irregular Galaxy (M82)

  34. Dumbbell Nebula (M27) (photographed with C8, Canon 10D SLR camera, 146 sec exposure, handguided)

  35. M11 • Open Star Cluster in Scutum (with Canon 10D)

  36. Classifying Objects • Sun and Moon • Planets and their moons • Stars and Constellations • Variable stars • The Milky Way • Deep Sky Objects • Star Clusters (Open and Globular) • Bright and Dark Nebulae • Galaxies (used to be called nebulae also)

  37. When to observe which Objects • The surface features on the Moon are best seen when the Moon is not full (nor new ) • Observe Jupiter’s four Galilean moons with binoculars whenever Jupiter’s up • Small telescope will show Saturn’s rings • Milky Way can be seen under dark skies (… already in Madison county)

  38. Ecliptic The tilt of Earth’s axis is responsible for the tilt of the Sun’s apparent path with respect to the celestial equator

  39. Motion of Sun, Moon and other Planets • All major bodies in the Solar System move around ecliptic • Slow drift (from W to E) against the background of stars

  40. Motion of the Moon • Moon shines not by its own light but by reflected light of Sun  Origin of the phases of the moon • Moon revolves around the Earth • period of revolution = 1 month

  41. Phases of the Moon (cont’d) • Moon rotates around earth in one month • Moon rotates around itself in the same time •  always shows us the same side! •  “dark side of the moon”(not dark at all!)

  42. Motion of the Planets • Along the ecliptic as Sun and Moon • But: exhibit weird, “retrograde” motion at times

  43. The heliocentric Explanation of retrograde planetary motion See also: SkyGazer

  44. SkyGazer • A computer program that simulates the vision of the sky during day and night Things to observe: • Set your position on Earth: observe how view of sky changes as you move E,W, N,S • Note the distribution of sunlight on Earth! • Rotation is around Polaris which is not in zenith

  45. Inner and Outer Planets • Inner Planets: closer to sun than Earth • Mercury & Venus • Always close to sun in the sky • Outer Planets: further from sun than Earth • Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto • Best viewing when opposite of sun in the sky

  46. Inner Planets superior conjunction Inner planet western elongation eastern elongation inferior conjunction Earth

  47. conjunction Outer Planets quadrature Earth quadrature Outer planet opposition

  48. Close Outer Planet Size of planet varies a lot as Earth moves Earth Outer planet

  49. Far-Out Planet Earth Size of planet varies little as Earth moves Outer planet

  50. Deep Sky Objects • Usually faint and/or small • Best observed under dark skies/ moonless nights • Some are binocular objects, some require sizeable telescopes