ASTR 1050 Week 1 Activities


  • Survey the objectives, policies, and schedule of activities for this class via the syllabus

  • Practice basic activities such as

    • communicating with the instructor and other students,

    • studying learning materials

    • practicing learning activities

    • submitting assignments

  • Apply for citizenship in the Milky Way Galaxy

  • Discuss the meaning of citizenship in the Milky Way Galaxy

  • Find a suitable personal observing site and observe Orion and the Milky Way Galaxy








Review the Getting Started document and complete the activities

EC: Courses->Astronomy




Ask the instructor a question about the syllabus via Q&A Forum

BB: Home-> Q&A Forum




Fill out the Application for Citizenship to the Milky Way Galaxy and submit via Blackboard (BB)

BB: Unit1-> Apply Citizen Galaxy




Discuss the meaning of citizenship of the Galaxy with classmates

  1. Review the Application for Citizenship

    1. Think about the statements in this document and how they apply to your life.

    2. Think of examples of how being a citizen of the Galaxy would change your behavior.

  2. In a word processor, draft your statement of what citizenship in the Galaxy means for you.

    1. Make specific references to the Application.

    2. Cite examples of how your citizenship would affect your behavior.

  3. Copy and paste your statement to a new thread in the Blackboard discussion forum

BB: Unit1-> Citizenship Discussion




Read these chapters in the textbook:

  • Unit 1: Our Planetary Neighborhood

  • Unit 2: Beyond the Solar System

  • Unit 5: The Night Sky

  • Unit 13: Observing the Sky: Section 13.1

  • Unit 71: Discovering the Milky Way

  • Unit 85: Astrobiology: Section 85.1

BB: Unit1-> Week1 Reading Assignment




Find a suitable dark site and observe Orion and Milky Way

  1. Find a spot that you can use to view the stars that is

    1. Convenient: not more than 10 miles from home

    2. Safe: protected from traffic and intruders

    3. Dark: no bright lights in the vicinity

    4. Unobstructed: has an open view of the sky

  2. View the stars in the southern direction

    1. Stay out for at least 20 minutes so you can fully adapt your eyes to the dark (and avoid looking at any lights)

    2. Notice the bright stars and how they are arranged

  3. Locate the constellation Orion in the southern sky and sketch the bright stars you see on a piece of paper

    1. Make bigger dots for brighter stars

    2. Separate the dots in proportion to what you see in the sky

  4. Locate the Milky Way Galaxy and sketch its span across the sky. Include some bright stars in your sketch to help you fix the extent of the star clouds in the Galaxy.

  5. Use the fold-out star chart at the back of the textbook to

    1. Connect stars in your sketch with constellation lines

    2. Draw the outline of the Milky Way (blue shaded area on star chart)

  6. Scan your map (with a flatbed scanner if possible) and submit it via Blackboard.

    1. Note: scanners are available at the college library.

    2. If you must photograph your map, make sure it

      1. is in focus

      2. has adequate light

      3. is scaled down in resolution

      4. does not exceed 2 megabytes in file size

  7. Use the criteria in the Observing Site Selection PAT document to rate your observing site.

Note: You could combine this assignment with the Week 2 observing activity, but this week will be darker (new Moon) and the Milky Way will show up much better. See the syllabus for exact dates of Moon phases, rise and set times, and location.

BB: Unit1-> Observing Site Orion Milky Way