Discussion Questions Lab 1

  1. Demonstrate how to use a star map (using one of the maps from the lab book). Describe how to locate in the sky the brightest stars on the map closest to today's date and time.

  2. Explain why there is an horizon. Explain how your local horizon is determined, using the "Blue Planet" globe in the lab room and a sheet of paper or a book. Show what portion of the sky would be visible to you and what would be ``below'' your horizon.

  3. MSU is a member of a consortium to build a 4.2m telescope in Chile (latitude 30 deg. South , longitude 70.8 deg West ). Suppose you were at the telescope site. Describe how you would see the stars and constellations move in the night sky from sundown to sunup. Where would they rise and set? Describe their path across the sky during the course of the night. What point in the sky do they seem to move around? Explain why the stars and constellations move this way.

  4. If you traveled south toward the equator from East Lansing, how would you observe the star Polaris the move in the sky? If you were standing on the equator, where in the sky would you look for Polaris? Explain why Polaris will move this way and how you locate it in the sky when viewed from the equator.