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.
Jan 30 - Meet in 705: Introduction, planetarium presentation, some basics. Intro to Choosing your Astrophoto Project . Note, tomorrow morning Jan 31 is a TOTAL eclipse of the moon! 4:40am-6:08am totality. Get up and see it!
Feb 6 - no moon; all projects possible! We'll get you going on your variable stars, telescope use, astrophoto first-up's
Feb 13 - No moon; good night for astrophotography and other projects
Feb 20 - 26%+ cresent moon; good night for astrophotography and all other projects, lunar occultations
Feb 27 - 95% moon, almost full, no astrophotography, bright-object projects still do-able
Mar 6 - No moon; good night for astrophotography and other projects
Mar 13 - No moon; good night for astrophotography and other projects. Special treat - Asteroid occultation by Massalia.
Mar 20 - 14%+ cresent moon, a few faint occultations, all other projects possible
Mar 27 - Spring Break - no class
Apr 3 - 84% waning moon, rises late in class. Bright grazing lunar occultation at 2am - possible extra credit field trip to south of Pinnacles N.P.
Apr 10 - No moon; good night for astrophotography and other projects
Apr 17 - 5+ cresent moon, all projects possible
Apr 24 - 75% waxing moon. Lunar mountains project at the scopes. Lunar occultations. Deep sky astrophotography difficult
May 1 - 95- moon rises at 10pm, all projects should be possible
May 8 - No moon; good night for astrophotography and other projects
May 15 - Meet indoors regardless of weather, so you can all have your last opportunities to use computers to finish your photo project
May 18 - (Friday - not a class night) By tonight, Email me your gallery versions of your photos, and the gallery labels
May 22 - 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!.