ASTR 1050 Week 3 Agenda


  • Discuss why and how we should communicate with extraterrestrial civilizations

  • Create a written plan for communicating with extraterrestrial civilizations

  • Observe the full Moon and measure its effects on the sky background brightness








Textbook Reading and Questions: Read the following units and answer the questions embedded in the LearnSmart exercise.

  • Unit 6: The Year

  • Unit 10: Geometry of the Earth

  • Unit 36: Other Planetary Systems

  • Unit 42: Mars

  • Unit 44: Comparative Planetology

  • Unit 86: The Search for Life Elsewhere

McGraw-Hill Connect




Discussion Question: Why and how should we communicate with extraterrestrial civilizations: Prepare and participate by:

  1. Review the concept diagrams in Unit 1: Life

    1. Communicate

    2. Plan

  2. Select concepts that interest you and read about them in the textbook.

  3. Pick a topic you feel is important and research facts about it via the concept diagram and chapters.

  4. Develop your topic in a word processor and post your discussion on the forum for this topic.

  5. Read and comment on other discussion posts.

    1. Research the topic via the textbook or Internet.

    2. Offer specific comments and information.

    3. Provide references for your sources.

BB: Unit 1-> Communicating with E.T.


EC: Unit 1-> Concept Diagram: Communicate


EC: Unit 1-> Concept Diagram: Plan




Activity: Create a written plan for communicating with extraterrestrial civilizations

  1. Review the concept diagrams in Unit 1: Life

    1. Communicate

    2. Plan

  2. Select topics that you feel are important and read about them in the textbook and on the Internet.

  3. Use the discussion forum to explore ideas and topics with your peers.

  4. Think about how humanity could establish communications with extraterrestrial civilizations.

  5. Assemble your thoughts into a plan for making this a reality.

  6. Write up your plan into a document and submit it via the Blackboard assignment.

BB: Unit1-> Plan for Communicating with E.T.




Activity: Sketchfeatures in the full Moon and measure the sky background brightness

  1. Go to your observing site.

  2. With your binoculars observe the Moon at or near its full phase.

    1. Note prominent features and sketch them.

    2. Later, identify the features you sketched using maps and diagrams in Unit 39 of the textbook and Internet resources.

  3. At your observing site, identify and sketch bright stars in the constellations Orion, Taurus, and Gemini and indicate the position of the Moon.

    1. Sketch the dimmest stars you can see in these constellations with your naked eye. (Do not use binoculars.)

    2. Later, identify the stars you were able to see in the reference star map.

    3. Note the dimmest stars you sketched and their corresponding magnitudes. Magnitudes may be represented on the map by the size of the black dot for the star.

      1. Read the legend to determine the approximate magnitude of each dim star.

      2. Write the magnitude next to each dim star on your sketch.

    4. Average the magnitudes of the dim stars on your chart. This is the limiting magnitude for the sky under these conditions.

  4. Write a short observing report, including:

    1. Date and time of day

    2. Weather and sky conditions

    3. Observation procedures

    4. Sketches

      1. Moon with features identified

      2. Stars and Moon position

    5. Limiting magnitude, showing your calculations

  5. Submit your report via the assignment in Blackboard

BB: Unit 1-> Full Moon and Sky Brightness