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Night Sky Observations

Night Sky Observation Resources
Many resources such as "Astronomy: What's Up this Month", "Calsky" and "Your Sky" to help with night sky observations.

Night Sky Observation: Polaris and the Big Dipper
Make a quadrant and a nocturnal (night clock) and use them to track Polaris (the North Star) and the Big Dipper over several hours. After your observation, do the follow-up questions.
Night Sky Observation: Constellations
This is an observation you can do once a quarter. You will either need the online references provided on this sheet to make a star map or you can use Uncle Al's Sky Wheel.
Night Sky Observation: The Summer Triangle
This is an observation you must do in summer or early fall. You will be locating 4 major stars in the constellations Bootes, Lyra, Aquila and Cygnus as well as identifying constellations lying along the Milky Way. You will practice using your astrolabe (see "Project 28" on the next page).
Night Sky Observation: Meteor Showers
This observation will take some pre-planning! Find NAMN 2009 Meteor Shower Calendar and other information at the North American Meteor Network and The International Meteor Organization.
Night Sky Observation: Lunar Features, Phases, & Position
Includes various lunar observation projects and reference sites.
Night Sky Observation: Measure the Earth's Radius with a Stopwatch
Is it possible to measure the earth's radius -- armed only with a stopwatch? Yes! The answer will be only approximate, but that's a lot better than nothing.
Night Sky Observation: Journal Entry
This is a general journal entry form for any night observation. It can also be used for special events such as auroras or eclipses. Event Alert! Dec. 7, 2004 - The Moon Eclipses Jupiter. Fill out the journal page completely! Make sure it includes a description of the occultation and sketches labeled with the times.

The following sites are great for learning about current astronomical events.

Space.com - current events
SpaceWeather.com - great for predicting auroras, meteor showers
This week's sky at a glance from Sky & Telescope
CalSky - make a customized timetable of events to look at tonight
Your Sky - make a customized starchart (including planetary & moon positions) for tonight
Heavens Above - Object transit times for your location, planetary, sun and moon data and more. Excellent!
What's up tonight? - too much stuff there to list here