Fall, 2016 Where in the World…



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Physical Science 103

Fall, 2016

1. Where in the World….

      • Know how to determine the time for a given location on earth given its longitude and GMT.

      • Know the latitudes and significances of the tropics and the polar circles.

      • Compare the altitude of the mid-day sun and the hours of daylight for locations of different latitudes.

2. The Seasons

  • Know the names and approximate dates for the solstices and equinoxes, where the sun is located overhead on these dates, and the position of the earth’s axis on these dates.

  • Address the common conception that the earth experiences summer due to earth’s closer proximity to the sun.

  • Know the relative distances and speeds of the Earth as it orbits the Sun.

  • Calculate the maximum altitude of the sun for any latitude at the equinox and solstices.

3. Constellations

  • Use the planisphere to determine where and when a star may be found in the night sky.

  • Identify the names of stars and constellations in the night sky.

  • Determine the altitude of a star or the sun.

  • Determine the time and location of sunrise and sunset throughout the year.

  • Use the planisphere to determine the position of a planet as it appears in the night sky.

  • Know the names of prominent stars in the sky and the constellation where they are located.

  • Use the position of Polaris to determine the latitude of an observer.

4. The Moon

  • Know the names and illustrations for the phases of the moon, the sun-earth-moon angle, and the amount of illumination.

  • Determine the location of the sun and moon in the sky at various times of the day or night throughout the lunar cycle.

  • Make measurements of a representation or model of an actual object and determine the scale of the model.

  • Use equivalent ratios to determine the size of a model or actual object.

Review Questions

  1. Albuquerque, New Mexico is located 35o N, 107o E. What is the altitude of the sun at noon in the southern horizon on the summer solstice?

  2. Warsaw, Poland is located 52o N, 21o E. If it is noon in Providence, what time is it in Warsaw?

  3. We observe the same side of the moon because the earth rotates about its axis once per day, while the Moon rotates about its axis once per _______________.

  4. What is the reason we don’t have eclipses every month? Draw the orientation of the earth, sun, and moon for a lunar and solar eclipse. What phase of the moon is present for these?

  5. Using your planisphere, when can the constellation Cassiopeia be seen at night in Providence?

  6. Suppose you were crossing the Atlantic on a ship in the late 1700's and trying to reach Providence, Rhode Island at a latitude of 40 degrees. One night, while you were still far from land, you look up, locate the north star using the big dipper as your guide, and find that the north star is 20 degrees below your zenith. What is your latitude?

  7. Why do all of the stars appear to rotate around the star Polaris?

  8. What can you say about the position of the sun during the course of the year for observers within 23.5 degrees of the north/south pole?

  9. What can you say about the position of the sun during the course of the year for observers within 23.5 degrees of the equator?

  10. On what date can the sun be found directly overhead at the Tropic of Capricorn?

  11. What does the ecliptic represent?

  12. What distinguishes the constellations of the Zodiac from other constellations in the sky?

  13. Describe and draw the positions of the Earth, Sun and Moon during a Lunar and Solar Eclipse.

  14. Describe (draw) the positions, speeds, and distances from the Sun for Earth at the solstices and equinox.

  15. What is the brightest star in our night sky? In what constellation can it be found? What is the altitude and the azimuth of this star on January 1 at midnight.

  16. It is 2 am on Saturday morning in Rome, Italy (42o N, 14o E). What day and time is it in Providence?

  17. In Reykjavik, Iceland, the sun reaches an altitude of 2o at the winter solstice. What is the latitude of Reykjavik?

  18. Describe how the sun changes altitude from season to season. Describe the changes in azimuth for sunrise and sunset from season to season for locations in the northern hemisphere. Describe the changes in altitude for mid-day from season to season for locations in the northern hemisphere.

  19. The Pleiades, also called the “Seven Sisters” is located near the constellation Taurus. Use your planisphere to determine the altitude and azimuth of the Pleiades as they would appear tonight at midnight. What is their altitude and azimuth one month later? One month earlier?

20. The Earth’s circumference around the equator is 40,077 km and the circumference of a globe in the laboratory is 45.0 cm. If the distance to the moon is 400,000 km, how far away (in meters) would a model of the moon be placed from the globe?

21. Last weekend the moon was a waning gibbous. I was on the phone with my sister who lives in Seattle.

What phase of the moon did she see out her window?

22. What time, altitude, azimuth, and constellation would you see Mars this month?

What time, altitude, azimuth, and constellation would you see Jupiter this month?

What time, altitude, azimuth, and constellation would you see Saturn this month?

23. This phase of the moon can be seen during a Lunar Eclipse.

24. We see only one side of the moon. Why is this so?

25. Guam is a territory of the United States located in the Western Pacific Ocean at a latitude of 13o N.

What is the altitude and azimuth of the sun on the summer solstice? The winter solstice?

26. What is the altitude and azimuth of Polaris on Guam on the summer solstice?

27. The moon will set in the Western horizon around noon. What phase is the moon?

28. One week ago the moon was full. Approximately what time was the moon due South at its highest point in its path across the sky?

29. It’s 10 am and the moon is setting. What phase is it?



30. It’s a waxing crescent moon and it’s around noon. What is the azimuth of the moon?

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