Special Assignment #2 - Lunar and Planetary Observation

Date Due - Wednesday, December 10, 1997 - 5PM

(10 Points toward the Special Assignment grade; 25 pts max for semester)

[8 pts] Observe the moon throughout the course of a month. Record your observations. Your report should include the date, time, and description of the moon -- i.e., its phase and location in the sky. Example: 9/4/97 8pm -- Waxing crescent observed 10 degrees above the SW horizon. A set of observations must have at least five sightings of the moon, and one in each week of the lunar month. The weather will not always cooperate, so make use of any clear weather! Remember that the moon is often up during the day, so you don't necesarily have to get up at 4am to do this project. Your thumb and little finger subtend about 15 - 20 degrees when you open your hand at arms length (you can calibrate this for yourself by noting that the angle from the horizon to overhead is 90 degrees).

Try to reconcile your data with the description of lunar phases described in class. Draw a diagram for each phase observed and see if your observations agree with the theory.

[2 pts] Look for Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, and describe where you see them and what they look like.

You may submit this assignment as either a typewritten report or a Web page.