CNYO Brochure – How The Night Sky Moves

Greetings fellow astrophiles!

In preparation for upcoming 2013 lecture and observing sessions, we have put together instructional brochures to help introduce the Night Sky to attendees. The second of these, entitled “How The Night Sky Moves,” is provided below in PDF format. This brochure will be available at our combined lecture/observing sessions, but feel free to bring your own copy (or the PDF on a tablet with a good red acetate cover!).

Download: How The Night Sky Moves (v4)

NOTE: These brochures are made better by your input. If you find a problem, have a question, or have a suggestion (bearing in mind these are being kept to one two-sided piece of paper), please contact CNYO at info@cnyo.org.

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How The Night Sky Moves

Why Polaris Doesn’t (Seem To) Move

“Like the Sun, the Night Sky appears to rise in the East and set in the West (which is a result of the Earth spinning from West to East).”

The Circumpolar Constellations

“Their orientations due to Earth’s rotation may change, but they are ALWAYS VISIBLE IN THE NIGHT SKY – SO LEARN THESE SIX FIRST!”

Zodiac, Ecliptic, Solstices, Equinoxes

“The constellations of the Zodiac are special because they mark the apparent path the Sun and planets take across the sky as the Earth revolves around the Sun.”

One Earth Day vs. One Earth Rotation

“There are 24 hours in a day, but the Earth takes 4 minutes less than 24 hours to make one full rotation.”

Constellation Movement By The Hour

“With 24 hours in a day, the sky turns 15 degrees (1/24th of 360 degrees) per hour. During a 4-hour observing session, circumpolar constellations will then appear to move counterclockwise (East-to-West) 60 degrees – 1/6th of a circle – around Polaris.”

Constellation Movement During The Year

“After 12 months, the Earth (and our view of the Night Sky) almost returns to the same position it was the year before. Why almost?”

CNYO Brochure – A Guide For New Observers

Greetings fellow astrophiles!

In preparation for upcoming 2013 lecture and observing sessions, we have put together instructional brochures to help introduce the Night Sky to attendees. The first of these, entitled “A Guide For New Observers,” is provided below in PDF format. This brochure will be available at our combined lecture/observing sessions, but feel free to bring your own copy (or the PDF on a tablet with a good red acetate cover!).

Download: A Guide For New Observers (v4)

NOTE: These brochures are made better by your input. If you find a problem, have a question, or have a suggestion (bearing in mind these are being kept to one two-sided piece of paper), please contact CNYO at info@cnyo.org.

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Guide For New Observers

 

The Importance Of The Constellations

“For modern amateur astronomers, constellations are the ‘coarse adjustment’ by which we find our way around the Night Sky, using these star groupings as guides to planets, star clusters, nebulae, comets & galaxies.”

The Importance Of Dark Adaption

“A camera flash or smart phone will set your dark adaption back MINUTES, SO AVOID BRIGHT LIGHTS!”

Sky Too Confusing? Start In The City

“Light Pollution is the bane of astronomers, but it does simplify the search for constellations by making your eyes less sensitive to light from dim and distant stars.”

Distances In The Sky – Hand’s Up!

“With some ‘digital’ calibration (as in, your fingers), a walk between constellations becomes a matter of letting your fingers gauge how far you need to look based on any sky charts you may be using.”

Why Polaris Doesn’t (Seem To) Move

“Like the Sun, the Night Sky appears to rise in the East and set in the West (which is a result of the Earth spinning from West to East).”

The Zodiac And The Ecliptic

The Zodiacal Constellations mark the ecliptic – the path the Sun and planets appear to take over the course of the year.

The Circumpolar & Seasonal Constellations

The circumpolar constellations are the best places to start for the new amateur astronomer because they are always visible from your latitude (even if you have to turn your head a bit to see them all).

NASA Space Place – Exploring the Water World

Poster’s Note: One of the many under-appreciated aspects of NASA is the extent to which it publishes quality science content for children and Ph.D.’s alike. NASA Space Place has been providing general audience articles for quite some time that are freely available for download and republishing. Your tax dollars help promote science! The following article was provided for reprinting in April, 2013.

By Diane K. Fisher

2013february2_spaceplaceIn some ways, we know more about Mars, Venus and the Moon than we know about Earth. That’s because 70% of our solar system’s watery blue planet is hidden under its ocean. The ocean contains about 98% of all the water on Earth. In total volume, it makes up more than 99% of the space inhabited by living creatures on the planet.

As dominant a feature as it is, the ocean—at least below a few tens of meters deep—is an alien world most of us seldom contemplate. But perhaps we should.

The ocean stores heat like a “fly wheel” for climate. Its huge capacity as a heat and water reservoir moderates the climate of Earth. Within this Earth system, both the physical and biological processes of the ocean play a key role in the water cycle, the carbon cycle, and climate variability.

This great reservoir continuously exchanges heat, moisture, and carbon with the atmosphere, driving our weather patterns and influencing the slow, subtle changes in our climate.

The study of Earth and its ocean is a big part of NASA’s mission. Before satellites, the information we had about the ocean was pretty much “hit or miss,” with the only data collectors being ships, buoys, and instruments set adrift on the waves.

Now ocean-observing satellites measure surface topography, currents, waves, and winds. They monitor the health of phytoplankton, which live in the surface layer of the ocean and supply half the oxygen in the atmosphere. Satellites monitor the extent of Arctic sea ice so we can compare this important parameter with that of past years. Satellites also measure rainfall, the amount of sunlight reaching the sea, the temperature of the ocean’s surface, and even its salinity!

Using remote sensing data and computer models, scientists can now investigate how the oceans affect the evolution of weather, hurricanes, and climate. In just a few months, one satellite can collect more information about the ocean than all the ships and buoys in the world have collected over the past 100 years!

NASA’s Earth Science Division has launched many missions to planet Earth. These satellites and other studies all help us understand how the atmosphere, the ocean, the land and life—including humans—all interact together.
Find out more about NASA’s ocean studies at http://science.nasa.gov/earth-science/oceanography. Kids will have fun exploring our planet at The Space Place, http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/earth.

This article was written by Diane K. Fisher and provided by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

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Caption: This image from September 2012, shows that the Arctic sea is the smallest recorded since record keeping began in 1979. This image is from NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio at Goddard Space Flight Center.

About NASA Space Place

The goal of the NASA Space Place is “to inform, inspire, and involve children in the excitement of science, technology, and space exploration.” More information is available at their website: http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/