Homeschool Astronomy Outline

Direct mailto:Steve@UPWallers.net Updated 1/23/05

 

Contents (Click to go directly to that page)

Strategy. 3

Teams figure out how to research the topics. 3

Teams will present information to the rest of the group as 2 minute presentations. 3

Session Meetings. 3

Observatory Sessions. 3

Resources. 3

Movie/video suggestions. 5

Jan. 31st - Session 1: Constellations and Time. 6

Introduction and discussion. 6

Team 1 Constellation names. 6

Team 2  History. 6

Team 3 Time. 7

Team 4 Finding Non-Zodiac Constellations. 7

Submit e-notes for Homeschool Astronomy Website. 7

Feb. 4th or 5th - Observatory Session 1. 8

Build timelines. 8

Find constellations. 8

Make up new constellations based on observations. 8

Feb. 7th- Session 2: Astronomical History. 9

Team 1 Ancient (up to 500 B.C. ), Classical World (499 B.C.-500 A.D.) & Middle Ages (500-1400 A.D.) 9

Team 2 The Renaissance (1461-1600) 9

Team 3 Age of Reason (1601-1750) & The Enlightenment (1700-1790) 10

Team 4 Modern Astronomy. 10

Feb. 14th- Session 3: Eyes, Binoculars, Telescopes and “Seeing” 11

Team 1 Night Vision. 11

Team 2 How Telescopes Work. 11

Team 3 Different Types of Telescopes. 11

Team 4 How Binoculars work. 11

Feb. 19th or 20th - Observatory Session 2: Using Telescopes and Binoculars. 12

What to bring: 12

Telescope Fundamentals. 12

Geometry of circles. 12

Feb. 21st- Session 4: Locating Things in the Sky. 13

Team 1 Celestial Sphere. 13

Team 2 Ecliptic. 13

Team 3 Local Coordinates. 13

Team 4 Where are the constellations in the celestial sphere?. 13

Feb. 28th - Session 5: Stars, Galaxies and More. 14

Team 1 Astronomical Terms. 14

Team 2 Describe Astronomical Objects. 14

Team 3 Describe Astronomical Motions. 14

Team 4 Extraterrestrial Life. 15

Mar. 4 th, 5 th or 6 th - Observatory Session 3: Locating Things in the Sky . 17

Record sightings and details in log books. 17

Make sketches. 1

Mar. 7th - Session 6: Magnitude and Messier Objects. 16

Team 1 Magnitude and diameter of objects. 16

Team 2 Messier’s story. 16

Team 3 Winter evening Messier objects. 16

Team 4 Winter morning Messier objects. 16

Mar. 18th, 19th or 20 th - Observatory Session 4: Find Messier objects in telescopes. 17

Record sightings and details in log books. 17

Make sketches. 17

 

Strategy

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Teams figure out how to research the topics

Books/Videos at the library/Home/internet

Research and take notes

Document sources
Create word processor notes
Include hyperlinks to internet resources

Develop examples, print graphics, invent demonstrations and use experiment ideas

Bring books and other resources to show what you used for research

Teams plan their presentations over telephone or at informal meetings

Teams will present information to the rest of the group as 2 minute presentations

Teams assemble at town classes to coordinate resources, brainstorm a presentation and rehearse

Limit: 2 minutes per team

Develop models to demonstrate or explain their topic to the rest of the group

Print out Word processor notes and share with team for their astronomy binder

Session Meetings

Each session starts at the Peter White Public Library promptly at 1:00 PM. Arrivals are welcome after 12:30 PM. If you are late, we start without you.

Observatory Sessions

Each session starts at the Rock promptly at 7:30 PM. Arrivals are welcome after 6:30 PM. Allow 45 Minutes from the Dead River Bridge to get to the Rock. If you are late, we start without you.

Team Presentations

They do presentations in teams

Use graphics, demonstrations, role plays

Verify information by observations whenever possible

Resources

Students

Binders for notes and resources

Computer

E-mail (parent addresses are OK)
Internet access
Word processor
Printer

Steve

Timeline Banner paper

Human timeline
1 mm (folded) = 1,000,000 years (unfolded)
Astronomy timeline
How long in meters?

Build Homeschool Astronomy Website

Course outline
Sky charts online (Print in Landscape Mode)
South Winter Evening Star Chart
East Winter Evening Star Chart
South Winter Evening Star Chart
East Winter Evening Star Chart
North Winter Evening Star Chart
Team photos
Presentation e-notes

Movie/video suggestions

Non-fiction, living history and documentary

Astronomy 101: A family Adventure

G –  general audience
At the PWL
Great intro to astronomy

Galileo: On the Shoulders of Giants (by Devine Entertainment)

G –  general audience
At the PWL
Living History

Cosmos Videos

Most at the PWL, some at Blockbuster
G –  general audience
Science videos by Carl Sagan. Lots of topics.

Standard Deviants – Astronomy

Awesome astronomy at high school and college level, mixing facts with comedy. Fast paced.

Worthwhile fiction and historical fiction

Contact (Fiction based on possible fact)

PG13 - mild bedroom scene
A fictional but mostly accurate movie about SETI (the federal Search Extra Terrestrial Intelligence program) astronomy, religion.

The Dish (True story – comedy)

PG13 - ?
At the PWL
Great movie about the landing on the moon

Apollo 13

PG13 - ?
At the PWL
The true story about the hazards of space flight to the moon

Jan. 31st - Session 1: Constellations and Time

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Introduction and discussion

Explain how the program will work

What do they know about astronomy?

What would they like to know?

Mix team “stars” for best team performance

Team 1 Constellation names

Describe the Zodiac Constellations

Why are the called the “Zodiacal constellations”?

How are they different from the non-zodiac constellations?

Math: Mile

How many feet in a mile

Name something 1, 5, 10 miles away

How many miles across the United States

The diameter of the earth

The circumference of the earth

Miles to the moon

Diameter of the moon

Team 2  History

When were constellations named and by who?

Constellation pronunciation guide

How did stars get chosen for a constellation?

Show pictures of the constellation characters

Some interesting mythological stories

Northern vs. Southern Hemisphere constellation names. Why different?

Math: Astronomical Unit

What is an AU a measure of?

How many miles in an AU?

How many AUs from the Sun to Jupiter?

Provide visual example

Team 3 Time

100 years ago - describe

1,000 years ago - describe

1,000,000 years ago - describe

1,000,000,000 years ago - describe

How long is human history?

When were the dinosaurs alive

What is the oldest evidence of life?

How old is the earth?

How old is the solar system?

How old is the universe?

Team 4 Finding Non-Zodiac Constellations

Winter evening constellations

Winter morning constellations

Circumpolar Constellations

The moon and the Zodiac, how are they related to each other?

Math: Light Year

How is it measured

How many miles

How many astrological units

How far away is the star nearest to the sun in light years?

Submit e-notes for Homeschool Astronomy Website

Feb. 4th or 5th - Observatory Session 1

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Build timelines

Find constellations

Evening

Morning

Make up new constellations based on observations

Feb. 7th- Session 2: Astronomical History

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Team 1 Ancient (up to 500 B.C. ), Classical World (499 B.C.-500 A.D.) & Middle Ages (500-1400 A.D.)

Earliest man

Human ancestry

Age of humans

Chart

Stonehenge (2,200 BC Britain)

Early Astronomers – What did they think and why?

Thales (624-547 B.C., Ionian)

Pythagoras (569-475 B.C., Ionian)

Aristotle (384-322 B.C., Greek)

Aristarchus (310-230 B.C., Greek)

Hipparchus (190-120 B.C., Greek)

Ptolemy (85-165 A.D., Greek)

What did they know/believe about astronomy in different parts of the world

Europe

Asia

Chinese

Middle East

Arabs

Native Americans

Middle and South America

Historical records of supernovae

Supernova 1054 - Creation of the Crab Nebula

M1

Team 2 The Renaissance (1461-1600)

Celestial Navigation

What is it?

How does it work?

Nicholas Copernicus (1473-1543, Polish)

What did he think

Astronomy vs. astrology

Heliocentricity

Circular orbits

What happened to his ideas

Inventor of Telescopes

What were early telescopes like?

Pictures?

Tycho Brahe (1546-1601, Danish)

What did he contribute to astronomy?

Tycho’s Star

SN 1572, Tycho's Supernova

Pictures

Team 3 Age of Reason (1601-1750) & The Enlightenment (1700-1790)

Galileo Galilei (1564-1642, Italian)

What did he think?

What happened to his ideas

Johan Kepler (1571-1630, German)

What did he contribute to astronomy?

Ellipitical orbits

Kepler’s Star

SN 1604, Kepler’s Supernova

Information

Isaac Newton (1643-1727, British)

What did he contribute to astronomy?

Gravity
Planetary motion

Team 4 Modern Astronomy

Celestial Photography (1860 Warren De la Rue) Before Photography

Edwin Hubble (1889-1953, American)

What did he contribute to astronomy?

Hubble Space Telescope (HST)

Examples from Hubble scope

Where is it?

How is astronomy practiced today

NASA

Radio telescopes

Wide array telescopes

Space flight

Apollo
Mir SS and ISS

Feb. 14th- Session 3: Eyes, Binoculars, Telescopes and “Seeing”

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Team 1 Night Vision

What is “night vision”?

How long does it take to activate night vision?

What is “visual purple” and "visual orange”?

How many colors do you see during night vision?

Why do astronomers use red filters in their flashlights?

Team 2 How Telescopes Work

Focal length

Focal plane

How do you focus a telescope?

How do you change the power of a telescope?

What’s more important in a telescope, power or brightness?

Team 3 Different Types of Telescopes

Refractor

Reflector

Dobsonian

Schmidt/Cassegrain

Equatorial mount

Altitude/Azimuth mount

Team 4 How Binoculars work

Why two sets of lenses? Why not monoculars?

How powerful are binoculars?

What is good and bad about powerful binoculars?

How bright are different binoculars?

What is “field of view”?

Which binoculars are good for astronomy?

Feb. 19th - Observatory Session 2: Using Telescopes and Binoculars

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What to bring:

Binoculars

Telescopes

Telescope Fundamentals

Basic scope principles

Using Equatorial Vs. Altitude/Azimuth mounts

Eyepieces

Power Vs. resolution

Mirror images

Image erectors

Filters

Moon

Sun

Viewing the moon

Viewing the sun

Geometry of circles

Circular measurements

Degrees

Minutes

Seconds

Telescope setting circles

Triangulation

Feb. 21st- Session 4: Locating Things in the Sky

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Team 1 Celestial Sphere

What is it?

Where is it?

How is it organized?

Where does it begin?

How do we use it?

Where in the sky is the celestial equator?

Why do we need to know about it?

Team 2 Ecliptic

What is it?

Where is it?

Where is it in the sky?

How is it different from the celestial equator?

Is it always in the exact same place in the sky?

Why do we need to know about it?

Team 3 Local Coordinates

How is it different than celestial coordinates?

Define terms

Meridian

Zenith

Declination

Right Ascension

Altitude

Azimuth

Team 4 Where are the constellations in the celestial sphere?

How do you find them?

How and wow and Hhy are stars named with Greek letters?

Do constellations move?

How? How fast?

Which way?

Feb. 28th - Session 5: Stars, Galaxies and More

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Team 1 Astronomical Terms

Solar System

How big?

What is its shape?

When did we learn most about it?

Milky Way

How big?

What is its shape?

When did we learn most about it?

Universe

How big?

What is its shape?

When did we learn most about it?

Team 2 Describe Astronomical Objects

Planets

Binary stars

Star clusters

Globular cluster

Nebulae

Emission

Planetary

Galaxy

Team 3 Describe Astronomical Motions

Gravity

Where is it?

What does gravity do in space?

Ellipsis

What is it?

How are they shaped?

Where do they occur?

Why not circles?

Demonstrate an ellipsis

Team 4 Extraterrestrial Life

What are the possibilities?

What kinds of distances are involved?

What do people believe?

How do you separate fact from fiction?

Mar. 4 th, 5 th or 6 th - Observatory Session 3: Locating Things in the Sky

Mar. 7th - Session 6: Magnitude and Messier Objects

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Team 1 Magnitude and diameter of objects

What is “magnitude”

Absolute

Apparent

How are deep sky objects measured

Stars

Other objects

Team 2 Messier’s story

Who was Charles Messier (1730-1817, French)

Where and when did he live

What did he do? Why?

What kind of telescope did he have?

Why do we need to know about him and his work?

Team 3 Winter evening Messier objects

What can we see?

Where are they?

How far away are they?

Team 4 Winter morning Messier objects

What can we see?

Where are they?

How far away are they?

Mar. 18th, 19th or 20 th - Observatory Session 4: Find Messier objects in telescopes

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Record sightings and details in log books

Make sketches