Planetarium LabIntroBrowserWestA lab for the planetarium. Basic plotting and slope-finding. Takes only 5 minutes to gather data. Approximately 1 hour for plotting and answering questions.  
Scientific MethodIntroBrowserLarsonIncludes math review and scientific notation Comments
TelescopesIntroNoneLarsonRequires our telescopes Comments
Kepler's LawsIntroBrowserLarson Comments
Data CollectingIntroBrowserWadsleyStudents love the piercing aspect, but find it difficult to make the connection to astronomy, so this must be strongly emphasized by the TA. Some math makes this lab take a long time for some students.Comments

Sky Watch Labs

Celestial Navigation 1IntroNoneSullivanAll of these Sky Watch Labs are intended to be done outdoors, actually looking at the actual sky! They utilize simple tools and mathematics to figure out some basic motions. For more information, see Sky Watch Tips, or the Observing Tips Article. 
Celestial Navigation 2 (a sample backup plan!)IntroNoneSullivan  
Constellations and Movement of StarsIntroNoneSullivan  
Jupiter's MoonsIntroNoneSullivan  
Length of Sidereal DayIntroNoneSullivan  
Measuring Earth's CircumferenceIntroNoneSullivan  
Motion of the MoonIntroNoneSullivan  
Motion of the SunIntroNoneSullivan  
Photographing the SkyIntroNoneSullivan  
Planetary MotionsIntroNoneSullivan  

The Sky

Finding Things in the SkyIntroNonePalenRequires the use of a planetarium.
This is a first iteration lab, not yet tested in the classroom. Use at your own risk, I'll be testing it in June.
Phases of the MoonIntroNonePalenRequires "Moons" 
Using PlanispheresIntroNoneLarsonRequires a planisphere 
Sally's Sunshine ScheduleIntroExternal WebsiteBalick/PalenExternal website very slow if accessed by a whole class. TAs should save a current version of the calendar for the students to access locally. Takes approximately 1 hour if the site is accessible, or if it's been made local. 
Distance MeasuresIntroNo computersPalen  Comments
Observing the Night SkyIntroNoneLarsonRequires a telescope or binoculars 
Distance Measures: ParallaxIntroNoneLarson/PalenRequires a meter stick
Extracted and modified from "Distance Measures", above.
SeasonsIntroNonePalenHeavy card with square cut out, bright light source. 

Solar System

For more solar system labs, please see the clearinghouse devoted to planets...soon to be moved..
Finding the Mass of the EarthIntroNoneLarson  
Lunar TopographyIntroNetscapePalen Comments
Comparative Planetology IntroNetscape?  
Formation of Solar SystemIntroNonePalen  


Distances to Stars in LeoIntroBrowserLarson  
Properties of the SunIntroNetscapePalen  
Properties of the Sun 2.0IntroNonePalenA computer-less version of Properties of the Sun. Development of math skills is suppressed. Suitable for larger groups. Approximately 1 hour. 
Solar SpectrumIntroNetscapeLarson Comments
Solar Spectrum IntroNetscapeFraserThis is an improved, shorter version of the above.Comments
Spectral Classification of StarsIntroNetscapePalenMuch different than the prior lab.  
SpectraIntroNo computersPalenUses lab equipment 
Spectral AnalysisIntroNoneLarson  
51 Pegasi: The Discovery of a New PlanetIntroNoneLarson  
Investigating the Crab NebulaIntroBrowser (for active links)Larson  
Spectroscopic BinariesIntroBrowserLarson  
Distance to HyadesIntroNoneLarson    

Stellar Evolution and H-R Diagram

Properties of Planetary NebulaeIntroNetscapePalen  
Properties of Planetary Nebulae 2.0IntroNonePalenThe computer-less, shorter version of the above.  
Properties of SupernovaeIntroNetscapePalenRequires search charts 
Black HolesIntroNonePalenA thought experiment, of course! 
Age and Distance of a Stellar ClusterIntermediateCameraPalenRequires Linux mode,
and installation of Camera
Notes for Teachers
Cluster Color-Mag. Diagram and the Age of StarsIntroNoneMcCradyA simplified version of the above. No software is necessary, but the students will need two pieces of graph paper. 
Cluster Color-Mag. Diagram and the Age of StarsIntroNoneAguerosAnother version of above, rewritten to include relationship between spectral class and B-V color, clarify 'color', and remove spectroscopic parallax. 
RR Lyrae Stars and the Distance to M4IntroNoneLarsonUnder Construction 


Finding the Center of the Milky WayIntroNoneLarsonShapley's method. 
Hubble Galaxy ClassificationIntroNetscapePalen Comments
Hubble Galaxy Classification for a large lecture hallIntroNonePalen Use the projector, and give people a few minutes with each galaxy.
Hubble Deep FieldIntroNetscapeLarson   
Dark MatterIntroNetscapeStinson 2nd iteration
Background materials:
Prior Knowledge Required


The Expanding UniverseIntroNo computersPalenNeed balloons and rulersComments
Curvature of SpaceIntroNetscape?  
Particle Soup: NucleosynthesisIntroNoneWadsley  

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