Motion and Phases of the Moon
ISP 205, Section 3, Spring 2004
Due: Wednesday, February 18, 2004

                                      Name: __________________________

                                      Student Number: ________________
Other Group Members

Name: -----------------------

Name: -----------------------

Name: -----------------------

Name: -----------------------
(1) Be familiar with the sky and the motion of the Moon across the sky.
(2) Be familiar with the location of the bright stars and constellations near the ecliptic.
(3) Be able to make observations and not fudge data.
(4) Be able to locate an object in the sky and place it correctly on a sky map.

You may work individually or cooperatively with a team. If in a team, each person involved must make some of the observations. How you organize yourselves is up to you, but arrangements like rotating responsibility to decide if the sky is clear enough to observe would be a good idea.

Record, over the course of four weeks, the position and appearance of the Moon with respect to the STARS and CONSTELLATIONS (not the horizon!). You MUST start this project immediately! Take advantage of every clear night, because there usually aren't very many. During the course of this three week period you should make at least four observations on different days. Observations on consecutive days are best, if the weather permits.

(1) Find an observing site that is convenient and clear of large obstructions to the east, south and west. You can make your observations from the different places and at different times.

(2) Observe the Moon every clear night it is visible in the evening sky.
For each night record the: (a) Date, (b) Time, (c) Location of the Moon with respect to the bright STARS and CONSTELLATIONS (mark the position of the Moon on your sky map using the stars and constellations as a guide), and (d) Sketch the appearance of the Moon (showing how much was lit and the orientation of the lit portion) on the sky map in its correct location and orientation in relation to the stars and constellations, (NOT in relation to the horizon). Label which is dark and which is light on one of the drawings. On one night observe the Moon twice, a few hours apart.

(3) I encourage you to bring your Skymap to class after the first observation and have it checked to make sure you are making and recording your observations correctly. Although it's OK to compare your Skymap to that of other Teams, be aware that the only way you can be sure of making acceptable observations is to do have more than one of your Team do it.

(4) At the end of this project each person hand in a Skymap. (If in a team some items will of course be copied from the person making the observations.) Answer the following questions based on your observations. This means that if your answers are correct but not consistent with your Skymap, you will not receive full credit. The skymap is worth a total of 10 points, and each of the following questions is worth 1 point. The total project is weighted as two homeworks toward your total grade. The higher of the two project scores will be counted, if you do it twice.

(1) In what direction does the Moon move with respect to the horizon in the course of a few hours?

(2) In what direction does the Moon move with respect to the stars and constellations from day to day?

(3) At what time of day does the Full Moon rise?

(4) At what time of day does the First Quarter Moon rise?

(5) At what time of day does the Third Quarter Moon set?


Visions of the Universe
Updated: 2004.01.22 (Thursday) 11:13:22 EST
Bob Stein's home page, email: