Topic outline

  • General

    Introduction to observational Astronomy- NSC606 

    Credits: 2    Credits 

    Level: Introductory


    Tuesday 7:30pm - 9:30pm 

    Classroom: Observatory (or Sci 117A)


    Thursday 10:00am - 11:20am 

    Classroom: Sci 117A


    Faculty: Sara Salimbeni


    An introduction to observational astronomy designed to be accessible to non-science students.
    The primary goal of this course is for you to learn about astronomy by observing the night sky. During this class you will learn constellations and celestial objects.  We will use some small telescopes and the MacArthur Observatory, but will primarily conduct naked-eyes observations.

  • Topic 1

    Week 1- Observing the nightsky

    Due by Sunday the 22st: Please, write an essay of 10-20 lines in which you explain why you want to attend this course,  and what do you expect to learn from it.

    The appointment for Tuesday is at 7.30 p.m. in the classroom 117A.
    We will spend a short period of the evening in class and, if the weather is good, we will go to observe.

    You should bring:
    Your planisphere (The bookstore has  a stock  of them).
    A flashlight and a red cloth to mask it.
    Very warm clothing.

    • Topic 2

      Week 2 - The Sun and the seasons

      Due as soon as possible (Please, no later than Sunday):  List  three constelltions that you would like to study (in order of  preference). The constellations have to be  visible during the month of May, during the first part of the evening. 

      Due on 1/31:  Using the planisphere, Stellarium and the Web plan your observation.
      Select a few objects and constellations you would like to observe.  Starting from Polaris, decide the path you will follow to find these objects and constellations in the night sky.

      For example, this how to find the Andromeda galaxy starting from the square of Pegasus:
      http://www.jb.man.ac.uk/public/FindM31.jpg



      • Topic 3

        Week 3 - Telescopes

        Due on Tuesday the 7th: Build the plan of your observations. Choose your tergets and plan how to find them.


        Due on Thursday the 9th: First draft of the constellation project.

        • Topic 4

          Week 4 - The moon


          Due on Tuesday the 14th: Build the plan of your observations. Choose your tergets and plan how to find them.


          Due on Thursday the 16th: Second draft of the constellation project.


          • Topic 5

            Week 5 - Properties of the light

            Due on Monday the 20th:  Choose your tergets (email them to the whole class) and plan how to find them.


            Due on Thursday the 23th: Draft of the constellation project (Myth and stars galaxies etc in the area of the constellation). It should be a almost definitive version.


            • Topic 6

              Week 6 -

              Remember to send me your eassay on Costallations as soon as possible. On Thursday the 29th, you will present your work. You should send me your presentation by Wednesday.

              • Topic 7

                Week 7

                Due by Monday the 5th:  Choose your tergets (email them to the whole class) and plan how to find them.

                On Thursday the 7th, you will present your work on the costellations.

                Please, send your comments on the draft you received  to the  student who wrote it no later than Tuesday.  On Thursday I would like a new draft of your work.



                • Topic 8

                  Week 8-

                  Due by Tuesday March the 27th: Build the plan of your observations. Choose your tergets and plan how to find them. On tuesday, we will start to plan the final observation evening, please come with some ideas about how you would like to organize it.

                  Due by Thursday March the 29th: New draft of your work on the costellation. It should be the final one.

                  • Topic 9

                    Week 9

                    • Topic 10

                      Week 10


                      Due by Tuesday, April 10th: Constellation project uploaded on the wiki.

                      You should come to class with an idea of what you will show during the evening open to the public.