Download lunar observing for beginners - Highland Road Park Observatory

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Highland Road Park Observatory
19 September 2015, 7pm to 10pm
The following exercises, meant for adults and high schoolers, can all
be performed tonight and are each stand-alone.
[1] Note the pattern of stars about thirty degrees to the Moon’s left.
This is the “teapot”, a famous asterism (pattern) in the constellation
Sagittarius. This portion of sky contains a rich portion of the Milky
Way Galaxy, which would be visible from Baton Rouge if the light
pollution were eradicated.
[2] If your eyes are sharp and the “seeing” is good, you may notice a
quite bright, magnitude one star about nine degrees to the lower
left of the Moon. This is Antares, the brightest star in the
constellation Scorpius. Antares is an M-class star; a binocular will
enhance its fiery orange-red tint.
[3] Hold a coin at arm’s length and hold it next to the half-lit Moon.
How do the sizes compare? Try the experiment with a different coin.
[4] During this three-hour event the Moon will traverse the sky in
an arc. Because of this, the angle of the Moon’s lit side will change.
Even if you don’t stay at HRPO, compare the angle of the Moon at
7:30pm to that of 9:30pm.
[5] Ask yourself why the Moon always travels in the southern half
of our sky. Would it travel in the southern half of sky as seen from
Gulfport or Pensacola? How about a town in South Africa or