ISP 205 Lab 2 Discussion Questions

  1. Use the plastic celestial globe and place the Sun at YOUR BIRTH DATE. Write down your birth date and the Zodiacal constellation associated with it. During what months will your Zodiacal constellation be visible in the evening sky (between sunset and midnight)? How do you figure this out?

  2. Stonehenge is an astronomical monument built nearly 4000 years ago on Salisbury Plain in southern England. Made of 30 blocks, each 13 feet high, and topped with smaller stones, the alignments of the various stones point to locations where the sun and moon rise at various times of the year, such as solstices. If you were assigned to head a project to build Stonehenge, or a similar monument, how would you go about it? What are the key events you would want your monument to predict?

  3. Stars that appear to never set are called circumpolar stars. This is because, in the northern hemisphere, they trace the circumference of a circle around the North Pole of the celestial sphere (or around Polaris). When you are in Lansing what stars are circumpolar? When you are at the equator what stars are circumpolar? When you are at the North Pole what stars are circumpolar?

  4. If you lived on the equator, on what day(s) would the Sun appear at the Zenith? What is the maximum latitude that one can be north or south of the equator so that on at least one day a year, the Sun is at the Zenith? Explain why there is a limit. Describe the use of the Blue Planet Globe to illustrate your points.

Updated: 2001.01.15 (Monday) 23:26:18 EST