﻿ Planetologie PRAKT

Teaching & Presentations | Charles University | Planetology LAB

Planetology for Geologists, Laboratory

The purpose of the lab is to complement the material presented in the lecture part of the class, and the lecture is a pre-requisite or co-requisite for the Lab.

The Lab provides the student with an opportunity to apply the principles discussed in the lecture part of the class. The LAB will strengthen your knowledge of the main course subject. Students are encouraged to work in pairs or in groups if they choose, except for tests. Tests are strictly individual efforts.

Introduction to Astronomical Telescopes:
Types (lenses & mirrors: see chapter 9, p. 55 - 60):
refracting; reflecting; combinations.

Mounting Systems:
Altazimuth mounting (no polar axis available)
Equatorial (German) mounting; Fork mounting; Equatorial (English) mounting; and Yokemounting.

Accessories:
Eyepieces, Camera, Finder telescope, Clock drive, Slow motion controls, Setting circles, Solar observing screen, Filters, Photometers, Spectroscopes, Polarimeters, Filar micrometers, and Image tubes.

Telescope Performance Terms:

Light gathering power, Resolving power, Magnification, Scale, Focal length, Focal (F) ratio (image brightness).
Homework: compare two types of telescopes (advantages/ disadvantages); explain the advantage of mountings with available polar axis.

Constellations & the Celestial Sphere, definitions:

Celestial sphere, Zenith, Horizon
Altitude, Azimuth, Latitude, Longitude, Celestial poles, Celestial equator, Magnitude vs. brightness.
Motion of the Stars: On the sky, all stars move due to the Earth’s rotation, on the northern hemisphere except Polaris.
Polaris & the Observer’s Latitude: Find Polaris by Big Dipper’s pointers, Cassiopeia & Little Dipper’s handle.
Limiting Magnitude: Estimate the magnitude by comparing with those of known values in distinct constellations (use map).

Constellation Study:

Browse through the sky. Quiz 1

Interplanetary Travel: Planetary Orbits & Periods.

Use Kepler’s third law to relate orbital period to the average distance of a planet from the Sun. (Hohmann) Transfer Orbits (of a spacecraft). See: http://www.nasa.gov/basics/bsf4-1.html . The spacecraft’s orbit is an ellipse (yellow) with the Sun in one focus, the Earth’s orbit (blue) as perihelion, and the planet’s orbit (red) as aphelion. The opportunity to launch a spacecraft on a transfer orbit to Mars occurs about every 25 months. In the LAB, we will calculate the travelling time.

The Seasons:

Sunshine at summer & winter solstices. Sun’s altitude depends on your latitude, the date, and daytime Questions: You can answer with the help of the celestial globe.

The Moon:

gross lunar features; types of lunar features; properties of maria; relative ages of overlying lunar features; heights of lunar features rilles; relative crater ages; crater counting & the highlands, mass concentrations, mascons (5 on visible side).

FIELD TRIP:

the date and site(s) will be discussed in the class. we may go to the Prague Planetarium, Technical Museum or, in the evening, to an observatory.