Astro 8A - Fall '17: The Nightly Plan if Skies are Clear

Lunar Phase Calendar

Remember our Rule #1: Clear Skies = go to the observatory. Cloudy skies = go to classroom 705. If it's mostly clear then we'll probably still go to the observatory. If it's almost completely cloudy, we'll go to the classroom. If it's questionable and you go to the observatory and no one shows up by class start, then we must be in the classroom. And vice versa. If the gate to the observatory remains locked and it's cloudy - that's a sure sign we're at the classroom. Below is the nightly plan if skies are clear. Note that you should follow your lab book at all times! That means every class night you do your visual variable stars, watch for meteors, and observe binary stars and deep sky objects. When there's a bright moon, we can't do deep-sky photo projects or deep-sky telescope projects, as noted below. You can still do your variable stars, your binary stars project, and others not requiring dark skies. For the first night, we meet indoors in room 705 regardless of the weather.

Aug 29 - Meet in 705: Introduction, planetarium presentation, some basics. Intro to Choosing your Astrophoto Project (in classroom)
Sep 5 - Full moon. Double stars, learning to use telescopes and binoculars, can't do astrophotos (clear, at obs, bright variables, some practicum)
Sep 12 - no moon. good for astrophotography, using telescopes to find deep sky objects - (was cloudy - did astrophoto target lab)
Sep 19 - new moon. all projects possible
Sep 26 - 38+ moon; lunar occultations, all projects possible
Oct 3 - 95+ moon, too bright for most projects, but binary stars can be done, Low probability v=9.0 Asteroid Occn at 9:53pm and another v=10.4 at 9:53pm
Oct 10 - 70- moon. rises late in class, astrophotography should be done early. Low Probability asteroid 1999WO21 occn 7:13pm and Skovoroda 10.4 at 8:53pm
Oct 17- no moon, all projects possible.
Oct 24 - 24+ moon; lunar occultations, all projects possible
Oct 31 - 85+ cresent moon, too bright for astrophotos except bright globular clusters, not great for deep sky hunting
Nov 7 - 82- moon, rises midway through class. Astrophotos should be done early
Nov 14 - no moon. great for astrophotos and all projects
Nov 21 - 10+ crescent moon. all projects possible. Get your astrophoto project done if not already done
Nov 28 - 71+ gibbous moon; last chance for astrophotography, but best was last week's dark sky
Dec 5 - Meet indoors so you can all have your last opportunities to use computers to process your astrophoto project
Dec 8 - (not a class night) By tonight, Email me your .jpg versions of your photos, and the documentation labels

Dec 12 - 6-9pm. In-class final and Pot luck! Convolve together our light curves, assign winners, turn in your lab book and framed print with documentation hardcopy labels, photo of the class for our ScrapBook!.