ASTR 116 Fall 2016 Class Webpage

Cody Chen, Dureeti Gaga, Siheng Hao, Riley Horne, Mame Kane, Hayley Keats, Saloni Khamar, Jason Klamson, Jinjae Lee, Cullen McDonough, Remi Moon, Julianna Nikodym, Esther Park, William Park, Karthik Reddy and Madeline Underwood.

BONUS OBSERVING LAB: Star Trails and the Pleiades
 Monday Nov. 21, 2016 
We photographed the Pleiades star cluster from the soccer field on the Oxford college campus

8:00-8:45 -- Left Camera Images
8:00-8:45 -- Right Camera Images

8:45-9:30 -- Left Camera Images
8:45-9:30 -- Right Camera Images

+ Telescope Images of the Pleiades

Pleiades Star Cluster Lab Manual

 OBSERVING LAB #3: Star Trails and Cassiopeia
 Sunday Oct. 30, 2016 
We photographed the constellation Cassiopeia from the Oxford College Soccer Field

OBSERVING LAB #2: The Solar Imaging Lab
 Friday Oct. 21 and Sunday Oct. 23, 2016 
We will use two different telescopes, the first to observing the convecting solar surface, the second to see sunspots.
  1. The Coronado Solarmax II 60 - Has a red filter that is sensitive to light from Hydrogen atoms on the solar surface, the Chromosphere. This scope is very good at revealing the detailed features of convection cells, filaments plages on the Sun's surface. Information on understanding the Hydrogen Alpha solar pictures can be found at
  2. The Nexstar 8" Schmidt Cassegrain Telescope - Views the Photosphere of the Sun in visible light, good at located sunspsots, but not much more detail.


 Visible Light Telescope



Hydrogen Alpha Telescope


1. Download your visible light solar images and red light images the file links below. 
Download your group's photos here. Choose your favorite 2 pictures to work on.
2. Work on the visible light image.
Download the Powerpoint portrait template file here, put your visible light image onto a slide. Your goal is to identify any visible sunspots on the image and illustrate how big they are by drawing in a solid circle (placed near to a sunspot) that represents the approximate size of the Earth. Note that 
the diameter of the Sun is 1.39 million km and the diameter of the Earth is 12,700 km.
3. Work on the Hydrogen-alpha image.
Insert your Hydrogen-alpha solar image onto a second Powerpoint slide. Identify and label any solar prominences.  Estimate the sizes in km's of the prominences and put in a solid circle that represents the approximate size of the Earth.
4. Work on improving the quality of the images in Powerpoint by adjusting the Brightness and Contrast of both images on the slides. Make sure you have a relevant slide title, correct date, approximate time, and your name on each slide.
5.  Send me your Powerpoint file containing the two images above and turn in the 2 page lab worksheet I handed out in class on Thursday.

OBSERVING LAB #1 - The Moon Lab
8:30-10:30pm, Wednesday September 14, 2016
We photographed the Waxing Gibbous Moon from the soccer field at Oxford College.

Group 1 Moon Photos

Group 2 Moon Photos

Moon Lab Procedure:

1. Download your Moon images and the lab manual from the links above.

2. If you need to stitch together 2 Moon photos, use Microsoft Ice or ask Dr. Segre.

2. Label features on your Moon image.
Open up Powerpoint Portrait template, put the Moon image onto both of the slides. Use the Brightness/Contrast controls to improve the appearance of your image. 

3. Email me your powerpoint file containing two slides, one with the Moon labeled according to the lab manual, and one without any labels, just the Moon.

Computer Software Needed for ASTR116

Skygazer4.5 Demo**

Planetarium software that is essential to view the night sky.

**Needed for ASTR116**


Download for Mac OS X 10.4 - 10.6

Download for Windows XP, Vista, 7 


Stack .jpg's to make star trails.

**Needed for ASTR116**


Download Windows version
StarStaX .zip file from here: 

Mac OS X version
StarStaX  .dmg file from here: 

**Installation instructions for Skygazer4.5 Demo for Mac OS X users
The Mac OS X version of SkyGazer 4.5 is distributed as a compressed disk image file.
• Download the disk image file.
• Double-click the file's icon to mount the image on your desktop
• Copy the SkyGazer 4.5 folder from the disk image to the Applications folder on your hard drive.
• To un-install, drag the SkyGazer 4.5 folder on your hard drive to the trash.

**Installation instructions for Skygazer4.5 Demo for Windows users

The Windows version of the demo is distributed as a self-extracting installer executable.
• Download the installer executable. Double-click the file's icon.
• Follow the instructions in the installer screen.
• To un-install, go to the Start menu > Programs > Carina Software > SkyGazer 4.5 > Uninstall SkyGazer 4.5, or use the "Add/Remove Programs" control panel.

Astronomy Software Apps That You Need to Download to Your Phone

1. iPhone - SkySafari 5: $0.99 -- Planetarium software to visualize the night sky.
    (a) Android - SkySafari 4: $2.99 -- Planetarium software to visualize the night sky.

2. iPhone/Android - Planets: Free -- Details on the visibility of planets each day.

3. iPhone/Android - MoonCalendar: Free -- Details on the phase of the Moon each day.

4. iPhone - Moon Globe: Free -- Shows a detailed Map of the Lunar surface with names of significant features.
    (a) Android - Moon Atlas 3D: Free -- Details on the phase of the Moon each day.

5. iPhone/Android - APOD: Free -- Astronomy Picture Of the Day. Beautiful photos from NASA.

  • Below are all of the lecture notes, homework assignments, lab manuals for ASTR116 in the spring of 2016. 
  • The class is taught MWF 10:45-11:50am, with labs on Tues. 1:40-4:40.
  • Course Textbook

    Discovering the Essential Universe by Neil F. Comins, 5'th Edition.

    Publication Date: 
    January 4, 2012 | ISBN-10: 1429255196 | ISBN-13: 978-1429255196 | Edition: Fifth Edition
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