Moby's We Are All Made of Stars is a nice song. It's not incredible, but it is good enough to write a couple hundred words on. It starts by eluding to the population of the world... “growing in numbers, growing in speed, can't fight the future, can't fight what I see.” People come together and grow apart, but we as a people can't be stopped from reaching our goals. We're all made of the same materials, so why should we be treated differently? It's a song that speaks about the world in very broad strokes. The people in it, the people closest to us, and the people we don't even know, and the similarities we all have. We're similar not just in material, but in goal. When people look at the stars, they see the same thing as everyone else in that region. Nothing is different. They still stare in wonder and know that they aren't actually that insignificant. When I look at the stars, I don't think that I'm insignificant.. I am belittled only by myself, and I think I'm a extraordinary creature that was a miracle of time, space, materials, and the right temperature and pressure and all those other factors. LIFE is a chance, and to be living.. that makes a human more important than a star. Even if we're made of the same materials, as far as we know, stars don't comprehend things. We speak, think, grow, change.. all independently from the rest of the world (and worlds). Stars influence the arts in extreme ways. They inspire, they humble, and they give us as humans a chance to imagine what it would be like out there. I'll always be a daydreamer and hope that one day I'd be able to see the stars without an atmosphere blocking the way, but I doubt that is going to happen.
Monday, November 29, 2010
a) 8.5 out of 21? Ooooh my goodness! That's dreadful!I didn't know most the material... I can't access the questions, I guess I'll go back and look at it when it's up.
b) Most educational: Moon Phase lab, the APODS, the satellite lab (the questions on that were awesome!), the stellar evolution project was great, and the spectra labs were pretty good too. Even if they were challenging, they helped to cohere the ideas together.
Some of them, like the Cepheid yardstick one, were just sort of “plug and chug” things and didn't really help to solidify ideas, but did help in the math department. I would assume that the scientific methods lab would be really useful for beginning students, but it didn't help that much for me.
Math: The way it was presented was just fine. I think that there should be more samples of questions to follow though... some people learn best through example, so either going through them in class or making diagrams with explanations would be REALLY useful.
Lectures: Sometimes, there would be times when a presentation was being presented, then something would come up and it would be addressed as “something we'll cover later”, then it wouldn't get covered, or we wouldn't remember what it was tied to in the beginning. Explaining those sorts of things AS they come up would be nice, but maybe with some more elaboration later.
Powerpoints: VERY useful with diagrams! I never looked back on them for the test prep, but I'm sure they would be really useful too. Organized pretty well, but sometimes they would go by too quickly to take notes on (but that's just a personal problem. XD I like to fully organize my thoughts and stuff as I take notes).
Textbook: To tell the truth, I didn't read much of the textbook, but what I did read was pretty good. I wish the math had been presented more completely, but other than that, no complaints. The text is pretty easy to understand and follow.
Assessments: Would this be tests? Or the reflections? As far as tests go, there would be questions that would be really obscure and such, but those were always given as extra credit. XD I like the writing questions the best because multiple choice questions make me second-quess myself.
Sky Journal Reflection
I don't recall any goals for myself, but I do remember wanting to see where constellations were in the sky. Although I have learned where several are, I haven't been able to pick them out in reality. I just know the general AREA. XD Like Cassiopeia, Andromeda, and Ursa Minor. I now know how to describe where things are, using both the celestial sphere (right ascension and declination) and the observer-based system with altitude and azimuth. : ) I do feel more knowledgeable when it comes to understanding science-fiction movies.. even if it's only a bit, it helps! I watch movies and read it a lot of science fiction. Too much, sometimes. I hope that humanity can get it together and not go to war and instead invest money in the space program. XD A nice reason for having peace, right?
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Friday, November 19, 2010
Thursday, November 18, 2010
M100 is a spiral galaxy about 60,000 klys away from earth, located at 12 hours and +15 degrees in the celestial sphere, right in the Virgo cluster. It is in the southern part of Coma Berenices and is most visible in May, around 9pm. This galaxy, also referred to as NCG 4321 (but does not have a common name), is a galaxy that faces us head-on, showing a spiral of bluish arms, indicating that the galaxy is pretty young. The shape of the galaxy is slightly unbalanced, indicating that there could be interactions with nearby galaxies. The galaxy is about 160,000 light years across and was discovered by Pierre Mechain in 1781. It has one satellite galaxy, NGC 4323, within it. The apparent magnitude of M100 is 9.3. The Hubble Space Telescope has imaged this galaxy a lot, which led to the discovery of cepheids about 56 million light years away, which helped to determine how far away M100 is. A standard telescope or some good astronomic binoculars are required to see it. It has five discovered supernovas, one discovered as early as 1901, and the most recent in 2006.
Friday, November 12, 2010
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
1. Click on the image to make it larger. : )
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Sagittarius is a constellation of the zodiac, one of the 13 constellations that are blocked out by the sun at a certain time of the year, namely summer. The sun covers it during later November through December, and is visible at our latitude during the month of August, around 9pm. It is at 19 hours ascension and -25 degrees declination. Sagittarius is one of the gateways into the center of the galaxy- the milky way is the densest as it is seen through the constellation. It also has 3 nebulae- the Omega (Swan or Horseshoe nebula) nebula, the Trifid Nebula, and the Lagoon Nebula. There is also a possible black hole somewhere around there as well.
Sagittarius comes from the Greek mythology of an centaur archer- the name is “archer” in Latin: the Babylonians though Sagittarius to be the god Pabilsag, an archer, shaped like a centaur-like creature. In many images of this beast, it has 2 heads, wings, one human head and one panther head, a horse tail, AND a scorpion tail. The Babylonian name comes from “Pabil” and “Sag”, names that elude to “chief ancestor” in meaning. In greek mythology, it is just a centaur- a half-man, half-horse beast. It is said that Sagittarius used to be a centaur at some point but then changed himself into a horse in order to escape a jealous wife. The “arrow” of the constellation points toward the heart of the scorption, or the star “Antares”.
It has 9 bright stars, but only 6 will be discussed. Delta Sagittari, which is 306 light years from earth and has an apparent magnitude of +2.72, has a spectral type of K3. Zeta Sagittari has a spectral class of A2 and an apparent magnitude of +3.26 and is about 90 light years from Earth. Phi Sagittari is a spectral type B8 star with an apparent magnitude of +3.17 and is about 231 light years away from Earth. Lambda Sagittari (also called Kaus Borealis) has a spectral class of K, is 77 light years away from Earth, and has an apparent magnitude of +2.82. Gamma Sagittari has a spectral type of K and is about 95 light years from earth, with an apparent magnitude of +2.98. Epsilon is a binary star that has an apparent magnitude of 1.79, and it resides 145 light years away with a spectral type of B9.5. Epsilon also has a smaller neighbor star called Epsilon Sagittarii B, with a very feint magnitude.
Absolute Astronomy, http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Sagittarius_(constellation) -
Deepsky: http://deepsky.astroinfo.org/Sgr/ (yes, it's in German. The browser I use atomatically translates things.)
Ridpath, Ian; Tirion, Wil (2007). Stars and Planets Guide. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
http://www.allthesky.com/constellations/preview/sagittarius28vm.jpg - IMAGE of Sagittarius.