ASTRONOMY 110 G Sections 1a & 1b Fall 2006

Lab Instructor: Ashley Ruiter. Office: 213. Phone: 646.2566

Lab time/place: 1a 3:30-5:30. 1b 5:30-7:30. Both Monday in BX102


Your final grades can be found online (as with any other course).

You can look at the labs here. However, you are REQUIRED to PURCHASE the lab manual (Gerald Thomas bldg).
The web version of the manual will not be formatted correctly when printed out, and does not contain all of the material you will need!!!

Read the lab prior to coming to the lab session!!! This will make it easier for you to do the lab (and so you may be able to leave earlier).

NOTE that if you know you will be missing a lab talk to me! You may be able to do the lab in another section that week (Roberto's lab, on Wednesday). Your ONE lowest lab grade will be dropped.
The following links may be helpful for you during the semester:

The Universe is huge. Here is an image showing some idea of scale.

Lab 3, Comets and Meteors:
The Oort cloud, where comets originate. An AU is an Astronomical Unit (the mean distance between Earth and the Sun). One AU is about 150,000,000 km.
Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 impact on Jupiter, shown in infrared light. The bright blob to the upper left is Io, a moon of Jupiter.
Me at Meteor (Barringer) Crater, in Arizona, caused by a 50 m meteor about 50,000 years ago.
Impact crater formation.

Lab 6 (or 5), Kepler's Laws:
More on Kepler's Laws.

Lab 7, Orbit of Mercury:
The layers of Mercury.
The precession of the orbit of Mercury. Due to the effects of general relativity, Mercury's orbit does not trace out the same ellipse every time it orbits the Sun. Instead, its perihelion shifts very slightly, though the orbit maintains its basic shape. This is observable with Mercury and not so well for other planets, since the gravitational effects from the Sun are stronger for Mercury than compared to the other planets.

Lab 8, Parallax:
The effects of parallax as seen from Earth (illustration: close star vs. a farther star) here.
'p' is the parallax (an angle usually measured in arcseconds; 3600 arcseconds = 60 arcmins = 1 degree).
You can also look up the Wikipedia definition(s) of parallax.

Lab 9, Optics:
Refracting telescopes.
Reflecting telescopes.

Lab 11, Spectroscopy:
Kirchoff's laws.
Blackbody curve demo.
Periodic table and spectra.
Energy levels ( as seen in the lab : Balmer series) of hydrogen.

Lab 12, Our Sun:
Layers of the Sun. Core temperature: ~15 million Kelvin. Surface temp: 5880 Kelvin. Corona temp: ~1 million Kelvin.
The Sun in the H-alpha filter.
Check out these aurora (Northern Lights), caused by solar wind particles streaming along the Earth's magnetic field lines,
which are more concentrated at the Earth's poles. The solar wind particles (i.e., electrons) collide with the atoms/molecules in Earth's atmosphere,
causing them to emit light.

Lab 13, the Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram lab:
The H-R Diagram .
H-R diagram of globular cluster M55. Note that the plot shows four different axes.
Image of M55. Note the bright red giants. You can pick them out on the M55 H-R diagram.
(Q: How do we know if a star is really part of a cluster, and not just between us and the cluster?)

Lab 14, Mapping the Galaxy:
Wikipedia link describing the timeline associated with the history of knowledge about our Galaxy, and other distant galaxies.

Lab 15, Galaxy Morphology:
Constituents of our Galaxy, the Milky Way.
The tuningfork diagram, showing ellipticals (E) and spirals (S followed by letter(s)).
The fork splits at S0 (lenticular galaxy) into barred (B) and non-barred spirals.
The Milky Way.

The Local Group: The Local Group of Galaxies (one example; NGC 6822) is a cluster of galaxies in which the Milky Way resides. The most massive galaxy in the LG is Andromeda (M31). It's a mere 750 kpc away from us! (or about 23000000000000000000 km).

Lab 18, Hubble's Law:
Colour spectra used for the lab.
Hubble's law plot, with an animation showing the redshift of galaxies of varying distances.
Expanding Universe slidshow (from 2004).

Link to the Campus Observatory web page HERE , and a Google map here .
You can park in the lot right beside the observatories. Bring the observatory work sheets from the lab
manual and pencil/pen! You need to visit the Observatory once a month (when it's open - check site for details).

Useful astronomy webpage (star formation, stellar evolution, H-R diagram).

A bit about the magnitude system.

Astronomy news: Sky & Telescope .

Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD).

Kinda like Google Earth, for parts of the Universe: wikisky.

What is the difference between Astronomy and Astrology? Find out!

back to my homepage.
modified background image credt: Robert Gendler and Stephane Guisard
Last updated May 2, 2008