Sunday, December 16, 2012

QOTW 10  The moon was beautiful!  When I left school at about 5:30 PM on Friday (12/14) the sky was dark except for a little glow of leftover daylight on the southwest horizon where the sun had set earlier.  Just a few degrees above that glow the moon hung over the horizon as it followed the sun's path.  As you know, the moon goes through phases (new, waxing crescent, first quarter, waxing gibbous, full, waning gibbous, last quarter, and waning crescent).  What phase of the moon did I see on Friday and what phase of the moon sets within an hour or two of the sun?  The same answer works for both questions!  We visited the United States Naval Observatory website when we looked at sunrise and sunset times for the year to study solstices and equinoxes and the answer to this week's question will come from a different part of the same website.  Remember to set the day to 14 and the location to Portland, Oregon.  (The photo above is a composite showing the moon phases in reverse order from waning crescent to waxing crescent.  The moon cycles through the eight phases in 29 1/2 days and displays only one phase at a time.)

Saturday, December 8, 2012

QOTW 9 Next week we will make quadrants in class.  Check this website to read about the instrument and to see its use.  Check the first sentence to answer "What was a quadrant used to measure?"

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Where is Jupiter?  Last week in class we talked about how the planets appear to move through the background stars that make up the constellations of the Zodiac.  If the weather was clear I would have a beautiful view of Jupiter against the background of what constellation of the Zodiac?  Click for and check the whole sky chart for a view of the sky.  The website will automatically enter the current time for the map of the sky.  If you don't see Jupiter in the map, reset the time to1:00 PM.