Section

  • After the eclipse:   here is my favorite summary video yet:   I love Smarter Every Day.

    and another summary from Veritasium   

    http://www.pbs.org/video/eclipse-over-america-kgrjsk/ is a nice program with background on the sun and footage of this eclipse.

    This is a good video for things to pay attention to during the eclipse.  If you plan on any photography, he links to another good short video 

    Here's a pretty great 5 minute video giving a friendly overview of eclipse facts.  

    This is a cool 3 min NASA video showing the shadow in great detail

    This is the best map giving lots of details if you zoom in and click on it.

    Great American Eclipse   Lots and lots of info

    Moon’s eye view of the shadow.  this is pretty cool….  

    Actual satellite image of a recent eclipse crossing the earth 

                                         

    Animation showing the diffuse shadow on the earth.  From this, we can see that we cannot expect to see the shadow streaking upon us.   

    An animation showing the angle of the moon's orbit lining up  

    I don't plan to photograph the eclipse much, the recommendation I've heard is to enjoy the spectacle and let the pros take the photos and video.  However, if you want to photograph, do some research so you don't waste your time.  Here's one article...

    Here's a good article of all the eclipses in recent US history.

    Eye safety details.  And yes, the glasses I'm providing are approved and not counterfeit.

    the corona during the eclipse is predicted to be "tight".  

    Here is one of my favorite YouTube science folks talking about the eclipse.  Yes, I bought the app he mentions. Smarter every day.  

    This is a good list of the many stages and phenomena during the eclipse.

    Here's a science writer waxing eloquently about the power of seeing the totality.  This is the same guy who wrote American Eclipse, which I recommend as wonderful story of the 1878 solar eclipse in the American West.

  • What a great topic astronomy is.  I hope you become as excited about learning this as I am.  Please spend some dark clear night just staring at the stars and thinking about 13.7 billion years since the Big Bang and 46 billion light years to the edge of the universe and the FACT that you are made of elements forged in stars that died billions of years ago!

    This is our class website. Please look at it at least weekly to see assignments, advice, reminders, clues, cartoons, and notices.  You should check here before you start HW in case I've made changes or offered clues.  This site is not locked, so your parents and guardians are encouraged to see what you are doing.  Please give them the link.

    If you are not likely to remember to check here every 3-4 days, then you should subscribe so you'll get an email when I update it.

    And we'll use lots of other great resources; look at this one http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/astropix.html

  • Each week, on Sunday, I'll post the HW and notices and learning points for that week.  You should check here before you start your HW, because I may give updates and hints that will help you.

    HW due Tuesday: write your name on the edge of your book.

    HW due Wednesday: read the Wikipedia entry for "Astronomy" down until the section titled "Observational Astronomy". Be prepared to write a definition of astronomy.

    HW due Friday: .  watch the video below ("The Most Astounding Fact...")  and write one paragraph summarizing it and read it to me in class

    HW due next Tue: read chapter O, do problems Chapter 0-R&D: 1, 3, 5, 9 ; and look at

    http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/msl/index.html on the Curiosity mission and write a short paragraph on some feature.

    Learning points for this week:

    1. Understand the goals of this course

    2. Be able to explain how learning here might differ from other courses you've taken

    3. Report to Dr. Fisher if you don't think you can devote 3.5 hours per week to the course (2.3 in class and 1.2 outside of class)

    4. Understand Neil deGrasse Tyson's view of the most astounding fact about the universe

                                  

  • Homework due Tuesday: read chapter O, do problems Chapter 0-R&D: 1, 3, 5, 9 ; and look at

    http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/msl/index.html on the Curiosity mission and write a short paragraph on some feature.

    HW Wednesday:  simple quiz on chapter 0 will be given, know the major points.  

    HW Friday:  chapter 0 Conceptual Self Test 1, 8, 9

    HW Next Tue: Take a picture of the moon, and note its phase.  Figure a way to print it or bring your camera to class on Monday.  If you have a good camera with a telephoto lens, please use that.
    Also, post a 100-150-word blog on an article in Astronomy Magazine from the library.  Be prepared to talk about it in class.  See my example under News Forum at top.  Start thursday to check that you have access to post.  You'll need to sign in. Click on the Astroblog link above and look at Lauren Casson's entry for a good example http://ismscience.org/moodle/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=444

    NOTE: IF YOU MISS CLASS, you can find the lecture slides posted above. This is only part of the presented material, of course. Check with other students for their notes, and check with me for other content or quizzes.

    Learning points Chapter 0

    • Describe the concept of the celestial sphere and the conventions of angular measurement that enable us to locate objects in the sky.
    • Account for the apparent motions of the Sun, Moon, and stars in terms of the actual motions of Earth and the Moon.
    • Show how the relative motions of Earth, the Sun, and the Moon lead to eclipses.
    • Explain the simple geometric reasoning that allows astronomers to measure the distances and sizes of faraway objects.

    Tuesday is the 40th anniversary of the launch of Voyager 1, the first and only (so far) human made object to leave the solar system. 

  • Pre-work finish reading chapter 0

    HW Tue: Take a picture of the moon, and note its phase.  Figure a way to print it or bring your camera to class on Monday.  If you have a good camera with a telephoto lens, please use that.
    Also, post a 100-150-word blog on an article in Astronomy Magazine from the library.  Be prepared to talk about it in class.  See my example under News Forum at top.  Start thursday to check that you have access to post.  You'll need to sign in. Click on the Astroblog link above and look at Lauren Casson's entry for a good example http://ismscience.org/moodle/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=444

    HW Wednesday: chapter 0 Problems: 1, 2, 7, CST 2-7, 11,12, 15

    HW Friday:   The Cassini mission to Saturn is ending today...https://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/resources/7628/?category=videos   watch this video. and this one shows the best images from Cassinihttps://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/resources/7747/?category=videos ;  and  focuses on an infrared camera.

    if you didn't finish your blog for Tuesday, it must be in this day, or you earn another HW check.  We'll have a quiz on the moon phases and the S-E-M (Sun-Earth-Moon) distances.

    HW next Tuesday:   Chapter 0-R&D: 10, 11, 12, 14, 15

    Learning points Chapter 0

    1.     Describe the concept of the celestial sphere and the conventions of angular measurement that enable us to locate objects in the sky.

    2.     Account for the apparent motions of the Sun, Moon, and stars in terms of the actual motions of Earth and the Moon.

    3.     Show how the relative motions of Earth, the Sun, and the Moon lead to eclipses.

    4.     Explain the simple geometric reasoning that allows astronomers to measure the distances and sizes of faraway objects.

    Class Activities: solar system model: what is our objective?

    This happened Sept 2016......watch from 2:00-3:00

     

    the amazing and humbling size of the supercluster...... and from this you have your complete mailing address.  Write it down.

  • Anyone interested in attending this.  http://www.astro.umn.edu/seminars/public/fall2017/   we need to RSVP by Friday, I guess.

    HW Tuesday:   Chapter 0-R&D: 10, 11, 12, 14, 15; 

    Pre-work read chapter 1 (note, sections 1.3 and 1.4 are complex, and we’ll cover them generally).  

    HW due Wednesday: download Stellarium.  chapter 0 CST 10, 13; chapter 0 Problems: 5, 10   1: R&D 1,2,4,5,9   1: CST 10, 12; P 2; and

    chapter 1: R&D 1,2,4,5,9. also do chapter 1: CST 1 - 9.

    Note: a chapter 1 practice exam is in the FILES folder.  You can use this to get an idea of what the exam will be like.

    HW Friday: RETREAT

    HW due next Tuesday: Exam 1!  It will cover chapter 0 and part of chapter 1.

    Learning points Chapter 1. 

    1. Explain how the observed motions of the planets led to our modern view of a Sun-centered solar system.
    2. Sketch the major contributions of Galileo and Kepler to the development of our understanding of the solar system.
    3. State Kepler’s laws of planetary motion.
    4. Explain how astronomers have measured the true size of the solar system.
    5. State Newton’s laws of motion and his law of universal gravitation, and explain how the latter permits us to measure the masses of astronomical bodies.

    Class Activities: plan the solar system model

    For fun: open this applet http://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/gravity-and-orbits and play with the settings.

    Here's a nice video as an intro to the solar system:   

  • Big News!    https://www.ligo.caltech.edu/news/ligo20170927   

    HW due Tuesday:  Exam 1 in class covers chapters 0 and 1. 

    HW due Wednesday: Pre-work: read chapter 2.1 – 2.4   bring your class notes organized, I want to look at them.   We'll discuss our Solar System model.  We'll look at this one in class:  http://joshworth.com/dev/pixelspace/pixelspace_solarsystem.html  and here's one good example http://www.spaceplace.wisc.edu/planettrek.htm

    HW due Friday: SSModel: You must have chosen a solar system object before today.   First SSM assignment is due, parts a-e.  See your handout.

          check out Death by Black Hole from the library by class on Friday.

    Quiz  (be able to find and zoom in on one of these bodies on Stellarium and to give distance, magnitude, and aparent diameter for any of these bodies-- our solar system planets, moon, polaris, sun, M31, M101.)  you will run stellarium for the class, so practice at home. If you have any trouble doing this, see me before Thursday.   Sign up for your planet or moon (etc) for Solar System Model (SSM).

    in class Friday: look at doppler effect. 

    http://astro.unl.edu/classaction/animations/light/dopplershift.html 

    Due next Tuesday:      chapter 2: R&D 1,3,4, 5

    THE SOLAR SYSTEM MODEL.

    Due next Wednesday:Go to http://phet.colorado.edu/sims/my-solar-system/my-solar-system_en.html and play with the possibilities, make a unique solar system.  .

    .this is a double eclipse of the sun......how can this be?  what are the objects blocking the sun at the left and the top?  http://earthsky.org/space/nasas-sdo-catches-a-double-eclipse 


  • October ends with an astronomy-based holiday. Halloween began as the Celtic holiday of Samhain (rhymes with HOW-when). It marked the start of the dark half of the year, which ended on May Day—or, as it is still sometimes called, Beltane. On Samhain, the evil spirits that didn't like the daylight and had been hidden for six months broke loose and made lots of trouble. So people tried to appease them with offerings of food and carved and lit gourd lanterns to ward them away. These traditions survive as trick-or-treating and jack o' lanterns.   From http://www.astro.umn.edu/outreach/starwatch/current.html

    Due Tuesday: chapter 2: R&D 1,3,4, 5  

                       in class Tuesday: look at doppler effect.   http://astro.unl.edu/classaction/animations/light/dopplershift.html 

    Due Wednesday:   go to http://phet.colorado.edu/sims/my-solar-system/my-solar-system_en.html and play with the possibilities, make a unique solar system.

    Happy    中秋节, tết Trung Thu,  추석.   Who is bringing Moon Cake?   When is the full moon?   look on stellarium.  what is it's magnitude?  when is it's minimum magnitude?

    Pre-work read 2.5, 2.7, and 2.8 (we'll skip section 2.6)

    Due Friday: SSM assignment part f is due.     I expect a nicely printed sign of 1/2 page or more that is ready for posting.

    Review the Rosetta mission by ESA. look at the path http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Rosetta/The_long_trek  and look at the sensors onboard http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Rosetta/The_Rosetta_lander

    Start SkyLog.  Starting Friday night, keep a log for each night at the same time, either 9:30 or 10:00, or you can choose morning before dawn.  Your assignment is to find a planet.  Write this into your notebook.  On Tuesday, bring your first entry.  If there are clouds, keep trying.

    look at physlets on doppler   http://www.lon-capa.org/~mmp/applist/doppler/d.htm  
    http://astro.unl.edu/classaction/animations/light/dopplershift.html

    Due next Tuesday: 2: R&D7; CST 8,10; write Astroblog on the planet or object that you have assigned for the solar system model.

    THE SOLAR SYSTEM MODEL.  Next assignment is 13 Oct.

    Learning points Chapter 2

    1. Discuss the nature of electromagnetic radiation, and tell how that radiation transfers energy and information through interstellar space.
    2. Describe the major regions of the electromagnetic spectrum.
    3. Explain how we can determine an object’s temperature by observing the radiation it emits.
    4. Describe the characteristics of continuous, emission, and absorption spectra, and the conditions under which each is produced.
    5.  Specify the basic components of the atom and describe our modern conception of its structure

  • Due Tuesday: : 2: R&D7; CST 8,10; write Astroblog on your planet; and Show SkyLog.  Started Friday:  keep a log for each night at the same time, or you can choose morning before dawn.  Your assignment is to include the ecliptic if possible, and find a planet.  Write this into your notebook..  If there are clouds, keep trying. Show me your Skylog each day we meet.  Record the map for each night or early morning at the same time. Each day, look a the the same patch of sky and map 5-7 bright stars.    Write this into your notebook

    Due Wednesday: 2: R&D 9, 12; CST, 1,2,3,4,5, 12,13,14; skylog

    How many of the 7 main EM bands are used by the probe called Rosetta?   Rosetta instruments:  http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Rosetta/Orbiter_Instruments 

    Due Friday: quiz.  skylog.  SS Model 3-d model is due; make it 3-15" in diamter.  See assignment sheet  

            Some of you are not treating the SS Model seriously, so I'm reminding you that it is graded as a lab, for a total of 50 points to be applied to the final exam for this term.   I will apply point penalties if you are late in meeting the deadlines.

    Due next Tuesday: skylog, and also find a planet in the sky; 2: P 1,3; chpt 3 R&D 1-4.

    http://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/2012/09/28/the-deepest-view-of-the-universe-ever/

    Learning points Chapter 3

    • 1.     Sketch and describe the basic designs of the major types of optical telescopes.
    • 2.     Explain why very large telescopes are needed for most astronomical studies and specify the advantages of reflecting telescopes for astronomical use.
    • 3.     Describe how Earth’s atmosphere affects astronomical observations and discuss some of the current efforts to improve ground-based astronomy.
    • 4.     Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of radio astronomy.
    • 5.     Explain how interferometry can enhance the usefulness of radio and other observations.
    • 6.     Discuss the advantages, limitations, and chief uses of infrared, ultraviolet, and high-energy astronomies.
    • 7.     Explain why it is important to make astronomical observations in many different regions of the electromagnetic spectrum.

    Oct 8 was the birthday of astronomer Neil deGrasse Tyson (1958). He was born and raised in New York City and was interested in space from a young age, but in his Bronx neighborhood, African-American boys earned respect for athletic prowess rather than book smarts. Undeterred, he studied astronomy on his own, and was giving lectures on the subject when he was 15. He's described himself as a "passionate agnostic," and has collaborated with evolutionary biologist and staunch atheist Richard Dawkins on discussions of religion and science. He's received his fair share of hate mail, but not because of his critique of religion: He spearheaded the controversial movement to have Pluto downgraded from full planet to dwarf planet status, something that the younger generation of astronomy buffs apparently found intolerable. Most of the hate mail came from schoolchildren. He wrote: "I don't care what else anyone has ever told you, the Sun is white, not yellow. Human color perception is a complicated business, but if the Sun were yellow, like a yellow lightbulb, then white stuff such as snow would reflect this light and appear yellow — a snow condition confirmed to happen only near fire hydrants."
  • http://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/2012/09/28/the-deepest-view-of-the-universe-ever/

    http://www.xkcd.com/1276/ is a great illustration of the size of any object in degrees/minutes/seconds.

    Due Tuesday: skylog, and also find a planet in the sky; 2: P 1,3  2: R&D 8, 10, 15; CST 9, 11 

    Due Wednesday: skylog.  We will be hanging your planets in the school.

    Due Friday: NO SCHOOL

    Due next Tuesday: chpt 3 R&D 1-4,  CST 8,9,10, 14; P 1,3; draw a star log of Jupiter and 10 nearby stars. 

    FIELD TRIP: I'd like to find a night that those who want to can go out to the soccer field, have some cocoa, and look at the stars

    Learning points Chapter 3

    • 1.     Sketch and describe the basic designs of the major types of optical telescopes.
    • 2.     Explain why very large telescopes are needed for most astronomical studies and specify the advantages of reflecting telescopes for astronomical use.
    • 3.     Describe how Earth’s atmosphere affects astronomical observations and discuss some of the current efforts to improve ground-based astronomy.
    • 4.     Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of radio astronomy.
    • 5.     Explain how interferometry can enhance the usefulness of radio and other observations.
    • 6.     Discuss the advantages, limitations, and chief uses of infrared, ultraviolet, and high-energy astronomies.
    • 7.     Explain why it is important to make astronomical observations in many different regions of the electromagnetic spectrum.

    Look at the direction of rotation and orbiting.  Look at how the inner planets orbit fast, and the outer are slow.

    • I want to reveal one of the greatest mysteries in science to you:
Look at this gif, notice any patterns in the orbits? I’m talking about the speeds. The planets orbiting around the Sun get slower the farther out they go.
Why is this? Kepler’s Third Law of Planetary Motion.
The stars in the Milky Way orbit around the Galactic Center just as our planets do around the Sun. We find that the farther you get from the center of the galaxy… there’s approximately no change in orbital velocity. 
Just like that, one of our most well-established tools in astronomy (Kepler’s Third Law) becomes ineffective for some reason. 
It’s become apparent to astronomers that when something orbits around a center of mass, it’s orbital speed has a relationship with the distance from the center of mass.
Right now we don’t think most of the mass of the Milky Way is focused in the galactic center, but hidden in darkness surrounding the galaxy on all sides.
What we know is that it’s impossible to see and so far has eluded detection: we’ve started calling this mysterious mass dark matter.

     

  • NEWS: New calculation says there are over 2 Trillion galaxies, up from 0.2 Trillion.  One of the inputs was the Hubble Ultra Deep Field   

    Due Tuesday:  chpt 3 R&D 1-4,  CST 8,9,10, 14; P 1,3; draw a star log of Jupiter and 10 nearby stars.  sign up for a telescope in class.

    Due Wednesday: 3: R&D 4,5,7,8,10,13,15; CST 12,13; P 7,8

    Due Friday: AstroBlog on a telescope is due. Sign up on the list to pick a telescope (no duplications). Include telescope name, location, type, wavelength, some interesting facts, and say something about the most recent results from this telescope.
    Your entry must be 3+ paragraphs. Reference your source and use quote marks if you are copying a direct quote of any length.   

    Due next Tuesday: Exam 2

    For reference: here is the applet I used in class to make the telescope. you can play with it.

    http://phet.colorado.edu/sims/geometric-optics/geometric-optics_en.html

  • some insightful advice to you future college students: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/17/opinion/college-advice-professor.html?_r=0

    Tuesday: Exam 2 in class    astronomy GIF

    Due Wednesday:  4: R&D 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8  CST 8, 9, 12

    look at this, it's cool:  https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/27/science/interstellar-object-solar-system.html?_r=0

       http://janus.astro.umd.edu/SolarSystems/ 

    Due Friday: 4: R&D 13; CST10, 13; P 9      And something for Friday to enjoy.  https://www.meteorshowers.org/

    Due next Tue:  Read and review chapter 3 of Death by Black Hole.   See "Astronomy Reading Assignment" in FILES for details of the assignment.

    Due next wednesday: Songs of astronomy--each person must find one song that is about something astronomical. Find the lyrics and post them on Astroblog by this day.  We'll listen in class so find a video or you can sing it if you wish. 

    Learning points Chapter 4

    1. Describe the scale and structure of the solar system and list the basic differences between the terrestrial and the jovian planets.
    2. Summarize the orbital and physical properties of the major groups of asteroids.
    3. Describe the composition and structure of a typical comet and explain how a cometary tail forms.
    4. Explain what cometary orbits tell us about the probable origin of comets.
    5. Summarize the orbital and physical properties of meteoroids and explain how these bodies are related to asteroids and comets.
    6. List the major facts that any theory of solar system formation must explain and indicate how the leading theory accounts for them.
    7. Outline the process by which planets form as natural by-products of star formation
  • On Tuesday, there is no class, I'm at Habitat for Humanity with some cool students

    But this is still Due on Tue:    Write a review for chapter 3 of Death by Black Hole.   See "Astronomy Reading Assignment" in FILES for details of the assignment.

    Due wednesday: read this article before class.  I'll ask you each to speak about a part of it.  https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/10/science/space-dust-on-earth.html 

    Due Friday:  Chapter 4: R&D 1,9,11; CST 14. 

    Due next Tuesday:   5: R&D 1,2,4; CST 8,9; P 5

    Learning points Chapter 5

    • Summarize and compare the basic properties of Earth and the Moon.
    • Describe the consequences of gravitational interactions between Earth and the Moon.
    • Discuss how Earth’s atmosphere helps heat us as well as protect us.
    • Outline our current model of Earth’s interior structure and describe some experimental techniques used to establish this model.
    • Summarize the evidence for continental drift and discuss the physical processes that drive it.
    • Explain how dynamic events early in the Moon’s history formed its major surface features.
    • Describe the nature and origin of Earth’s magnetosphere.
    • Discuss the formation and evolution of Earth and the Moon.

    Last month, an asteroid flying around with enormous speed and a distorted orbit became one of the most fascinating things in our solar system. Thing is, it's not from our solar system at all, making it the first interstellar visitor we've ever recorded, having crossed vast gaps of interstellar space just to end up here.

    It was such a new discovery that naming the darn thing became difficult, because there weren't any naming conventions in place for an object like this. It was referred to simply as A/2017 U1 by astronomer Rob Weryk when he first discovered it with the Pan-STARRS telescope in Hawaii, and then it was left alone to fly around at a perpendicular angle to our Sun's orbital plane while it was examined further.

    Now, because the asteroid's speed and angle make it very likely that it's about to leave the solar system just as suddenly as it came, the IAU Minor Planet Center is acting fast. Our first visitor from another solar system is now going by the Hawaiian name of 'Oumuamua, deeming it a fitting name because of where on Earth it was first spotted. 

    The name 'Oumuamua roughly translates to "first scout" or "first messenger".

    Beyond that, it also has an official designation of "1I," marking a new standard for naming objects in space: the "I" stands for "interstellar," and is prefaced with a one because it's the very first we've had a chance to see. Here's a quote from the Minor Planet Center's official statement:

    "Accordingly, the object A/2017 U1 receives the permanent designation 1I and the name ʻOumuamua. The name, which was chosen by the Pan-STARRS team, is of Hawaiian origin and reflects the way this object is like a scout or messenger sent from the distant past to reach out to us."

    It's not clear how much longer 'Oumuamua will remain in our solar system, before its suitable escape velocity launches it free from the Sun's orbit. The Minor Planet Center (a part of the official International Astronomical Union) normally refuses to classify objects which haven't been observed for very long, but an exception was made this time.

    And of course, it's impossible to tell where it originally came from, beyond that it's from an entirely different solar system and crossed at least several lightyears, perhaps dozens or hundreds, just to end up in our corner of the Milky Way. The closest possible starting point would be the Proxima Centauri system at 4.2 lightyears away, where dust belts full of asteroids were recently discovered. 


    While it's statistically likely that 'Oumuamua isn't the very first asteroid to cross into our solar system over the past few billion years, our ability to detect these sorts of things is steadily improving. Assuming there have been more before this asteroid, there's sure to be more after, and it may not be long before a "2I" is observed flying through the night sky. 

     

  • Thursday night and Friday morning mark the peak of the annual Leonid meteor shower.

    Due Tuesday:   . Bring to class these two things: First, list the evidence we have today to support the nebular theory of contraction to explain the formation of the solar system.  Second, write the steps for the formation of the solar system.  Use words only.  Start with 1. there is a large dust and gas cloud that is stable due to heat balancing gravity.  There should be 12 steps.   

    Hey I posted two study guides which have topics that the final will cover: for the final exam in FILES. 

    Chapter 4 slides are also posted.

    Study practice: Draw a full page diagram showing the formation of the solar system.  Label all the objects.  Show a top view and a side view

    Last week anniversary: 17 years continuously living in space......http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap151107.html  

  • We, the human race, have landed men on the moon, a robot on a comet, have had humans living in space for many years, and have a small robot that has left the solar system.  This is some of the most inspiring stuff we will ever do.

    If at all possible, listen to Jupiter at the time of 19:52 for 9 minutes (wow!). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Isic2Z2e2xs&t=1532s  

    The whole symphony is worth all 49 minutes.  I listen to it while I'm grading Astronomy finals.

    "The Planets", Op. 32, is a seven-movement orchestral suite by the English composer Gustav Holst, written between 1914 and 1916. Each movement of the suite is named after a planet of the Solar System and its corresponding astrological character as defined by Holst. With the exception of Earth, which is not observed in astrological practice, all the planets are represented.
    The idea of the work was suggested to Holst by Clifford Bax, who introduced him to astrology when the two were part of a small group of English artists holidaying in Majorca in the spring of 1913; Holst became quite a devotee of the subject, and liked to cast his friends' horoscopes for fun.
    The suite has seven movements, each named after a planet and its corresponding astrological character:
    1. Mars, the Bringer of War
    2. Venus, the Bringer of Peace
    3. Mercury, the Winged Messenger
    4. Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity
    5. Saturn, the Bringer of Old Age
    6. Uranus, the Magician
    7. Neptune, the Mystic 
    Holst's original title (clearly seen on the handwritten full score) was "Seven Pieces for Large Orchestra". he orchestral premiere of The Planets suite, conducted at Holst's request by Adrian Boult, was held at short notice on 29 September 1918, during the last weeks of World War I, in the Queen's Hall with the financial support of Holst's friend and fellow composer Henry Balfour Gardiner. It was hastily rehearsed; the musicians of the Queen's Hall Orchestra first saw the complicated music only two hours before the performance, and the choir for "Neptune" was recruited from pupils from St Paul's Girls' School (where Holst taught). It was a comparatively intimate affair, attended by around 250 invited associates, but Holst regarded it as the public premiere, inscribing Boult's copy of the score, "This copy is the property of Adrian Boult who first caused the Planets to shine in public and thereby earned the gratitude of Gustav Holst."

    Conductor: Andrè Previn & Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

  • Here's a lovely little simulator for comet 67p and Rosetta, who were doing this ballet dance two years at this time: http://www.solarsystemscope.com/?p=rosetta  It shows the slingshot maneuver used to gain speed.  "Rocket science" is what this is called.

    and for comet ISON f http://www.solarsystemscope.com/ison/

    Homework due....

    Tuesday: 

    Wednesday: 5: R&D 1,2,4; CST 8,9; P 5;

    Friday: Sketch a graph of the tides at a coastal city nearest to where you were born--your sketch should show the height of the tide for 7 days.; 5: R&D 6-8; CST 9-10; P 8 .  APOD viewing. .  .   

    Next Tuesday: "Elevator Speech" on Curiosity, the most ambitious and exciting probe to be launched in many years.  Follow the assignments below.  Your stand-up explanation should take 1-2 minutes and you have no video or pictures or props to use.  If two are assigned, you each should be ready to present it all.

    Astroblog Curiosity assignments: la- the launch; lb - the flight; dc- landing; jj- how does it move around; bn- all the cameras; kn- the scoop and laser; mp- instruments on board; mt- the mission of Curiosity; cy- news from past 3 months;  iz-  China's rover

     Here are some references..

    Learning points: chapter 5

    1. Summarize and compare the basic properties of Earth and the Moon.
    2. Describe the consequences of gravitational interactions between Earth and the Moon.
    3. Discuss how Earth’s atmosphere helps heat us as well as protect us.
    4. Outline our current model of Earth’s interior structure and describe some experimental techniques used to establish this model.
    5. Summarize the evidence for continental drift and discuss the physical processes that drive it.
    6. Explain how dynamic events early in the Moon’s history formed its major surface features.
    7. Describe the nature and origin of Earth’s magnetosphere.
    8. Discuss the formation and evolution of Earth and the Moon
  • DUE Tuesday:   "Elevator Speech" on Curiosity, the most ambitious and exciting probe to be launched in many years.  Follow the assignments below.  Your stand-up explanation should take 1-2 minutes and you have no video or pictures or props to use.  If two are assigned, you each should be ready to present it all.   Astroblog Curiosity assignments: la- the launch; lb - the flight; dc- landing; jj- how does it move around; bn- all the cameras; kn- the scoop and laser; mp- instruments on board; mt- the mission of Curiosity; cy- news from past 3 months;  iz-  China's rover

    Wednesday: Describe 3 factors causing the tides at the coast.  read this blog https://medium.com/starts-with-a-bang/throwback-thursday-the-story-of-mars-2a319b4b52d0 and answer these questions: 1. why can't liquid water be on mars, only solid ice or water vapor?  2.   does mars have atmospheric clouds?  3. what happened to all the liquid water on mars?  4. The Mars MAVEN probe will explore what?

    Friday: 5:  quiz: what phase is the moon, and in 1 week?  question from HW.
    R&D 10, 12, 14, 15; CST 11-14; P 10; show video of solar wind on earth

    http://dsc.discovery.com/tv-shows/other-shows/videos/how-the-universe-works-solar-winds.htm

    Next Tuesday: preview chapter 6;  Write one-page summary of 10 key points from chapter 5.

    Learning points Chapter 5

    1. Summarize and compare the basic properties of Earth and the Moon.
    2. Describe the consequences of gravitational interactions between Earth and the Moon.
    3. Discuss how Earth’s atmosphere helps heat us as well as protect us.
    4. Outline our current model of Earth’s interior structure and describe some experimental techniques used to establish this model.
    5. Summarize the evidence for continental drift and discuss the physical processes that drive it.
    6. Explain how dynamic events early in the Moon’s history formed its major surface features.
    7. Describe the nature and origin of Earth’s magnetosphere.
    8. Discuss the formation and evolution of Earth and the Moon

    Class activities: Star Walk: Tides

  • This section

    The PRC two years ago landed a rover on the moon, as we've discussed.

    http://rt.com/news/china-lunar-probe-program-302/

     http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/15/world/asia/china-lands-probe-on-the-moon-report-says.html?ref=science&_r=0

    HW Tuesday: Will and Jeffrey do your elevator speech.    preview chapter 6;  Write one-page summary of 10 key points from chapter 5..

    HW Wednesday: read first half of chapter 6, do 6: R&D 1-7; P-1

    HW Friday: No class.  Have a good holiday, look at the moon, find Andromeda, and try to look at the stars on a cold night.

    HW for next year, Tuesday:  6: CST 1-8; find and print lyrics for a song that is about the moon.  Also, Write a review for chapter 33 of Death by Black Hole.   See "Astronomy Reading Assignment" in FILES for details of the assignment.

    Learning points Chapter 6

    1.Explain how Mercury’s rotation has been influenced by its orbit around the Sun.

    2.Describe how the atmospheres of Venus and Mars differ from one another and from Earth’s.

    3.Compare the surface of Mercury with that of the Moon and the surfaces of Venus and Mars with that of Earth.

    4.Describe how we know that Mars once had running water and a thick atmosphere.

    5.Discuss the similarities and differences in the geological histories of the four terrestrial planets.

    6.Explain why the atmospheres of Venus, Mars, and Earth are now so different from one another