today you are going to use stellarium a free planetarium program to investigate what the sky looked like on your birthdate the year and date on which you were born procedure go to the web and type stellarium org and download the program it works 1

Today, you are going to use Stellarium, a free planetarium program, to investigate what the sky looked like on your birthdate, the year and date on which you were born.

PROCEDURE:

Go to the web and type stellarium.org and download the program. It works on Macs and PCs. Once you do that, go to the lower left of the program and you will see a number of panels. Go to the top one, which is the Location window. Click on it to find the city where you live and click on it. San Mateo and Pacifica were there, but I did not find Half Moon Bay. If your city isn’t there, find the closest city to it. Below the Location window, is the Date/time window. Click on it and a window will appear to the right. The leftmost part of the window is the month, day, and year. The rightmost part is the time in 24 hour time. At the bottom left of the screen, you will see icons for constellation lines, stars, and the planets. Click on them to show them in the sky. Try to keep the FOV (field of view) to ~ 89 degrees or so.

Set Stellarium for your birthdate (year and date) and do the following. If you were born in another city outside of the Bay area, go to the Location window and set Stellarium to that location.

1. In what city were you born?

china guangzhou

2. What is your birthday?

1998.07.29

3. What time did the sun rise on your birthday?

4. What time did the sun set on your birthday?

5. Set the time to 9 PM on your birthday. What planets, if any, were in the sky? To do this, just look at your screen and any planets in the sky will be visible, since you turned on their labels.

6. Was the moon in the sky? What phase was it? If so, what constellation was it in?

7. In what constellation was the sun on your birthday?

Your Birthday Star

Now, you are going to find a star, whose light has taken as long to get here as your age is in years. In other words, a star that is as distant as your age, took that many years to reach you. Go to this site:

http://www.atlasoftheuniverse.com/50lys.html

Look at the 10th column on the list that comes up (Dist. Ly) and see what star is your birthday star. If there isn’t a star as distant as your age, pick the star that is closest to your age.

Questions:

1. Fill out the data on your star:

Catalog Name:

What proper name, if any, does this star have?

Constellation

Visual Magnitude

Distance

2. Why would your birthday star change if you were one year older?

3. Imagine that you are one year older. Go back to the same site, and find your new birthday star. Fill out the data on your new star:

Catalog Name:

What proper name, if any, does this star have?

Constellation

Visual Magnitude

Distance

What have you learned in this lab?