Problem Set 7: Observing ASTR 502 Fall 2015


Point count: 6

1. Observe at least 6 solar system objects. Draw a sketch using the jpg or pdf observing form, being sure to note the location, telescope used, etc. Use a different page for each session. One of your objects can be the Sun (use safe techniques!)

You may do your viewing at "Astronomy Day", George Observatory (Oct 12 this year), 3 - 10 pm. Excellend time to knock them all out! Doors open 3pm for talks but observing doesn't start till dark, obviously.

You may also do them on any Saturday evening at George Observatory, at any Rice Observatory Open Houses, or during class sessions. Limiting magnitude: The "limiting magnitude" is the magnitude of the dimmest star you can see with your naked eye.

Field of View: Given Jupiter's or Mars' size in your field of view, you can estimate the field of view of the eyepiece by seeing how many Jupiters or Marses fit across the field of view.

Find out how far away Jupiter or Mars was the day you observed. Use its physical size to get its angular diameter; from that you should be able to calculate the field of view. NOTE: once you calculate the field of view using one eyepiece/telescope combination, it stays the same for other objects using that eyepiece and telescope.

Magnification: Equals the focal length of the objective divided by the focal length of the eyepiece. The Focal Length of the observatory 16 inch telescope is 4 m; of the 11-inch Celestron is 2m; of the 8 inch, 1 m.

Download the jpg or pdf of the observing form. Save it and print it from a print program, or print at 50% from your browser.

There will be at least four evening sessions, but we get clouded out a lot, so be sure to come to the first possible session you can!

Or, you can go the "George Observatory" (in Brazos Bend State Park) any clear Saturday evening.

last revised: 11/15/2015