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Day 132: Absolute Aging March 28, 2007

Posted by Admin in Geology, Homework, Quiz.
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Guided notes on Absolute Aging was the main topic of the day today.  After defining absolute aging as the quantitative partner to relative aging, we reviewed radioactivity and half-life processes that we had introducted back in the fall during the chemistry unit.

Homework:  Don’t forget about the final draft of the reverse cross section that is due at the start of tomorrow’s class period.  Also, the relative aging quiz is tomorrow.  It will take about 10 minutes, is worth 10-15 points, and will cover the guided notes from section 3.2 (Relative Aging) as well as the relative aging puzzles.

Independent Study Students:  Those of you who have opted to tackle the independent study project will begin work next week.  One thing I forgot to mention on the handout:  be sure to record all of your sources!  If you begin researching your topic early (great idea!) just be sure to record the website addresses or the book titles/authors, etc…


Day 88: Goodbye, McNaught! January 12, 2007

Posted by Admin in Astronomy, Links, Quiz, Science in the News.
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Comet McNaught is on its way to a close encounter with the sun. Currently, McNaught is visible even during the daylight hours, but unfortunately, we will be shrouded in clouds (a significant winter storm?) throughout the weekend.


Click map for a larger view of skymap from spaceweather.com

How to find McNaught in the daytime sky: If you’re going to be someplace where the sky is clear over the weekend or early this coming week, be sure to look for McNaught around noon – local time. McNaught will be found approximately 5 degrees to the left of the sun. Check out the sky map. The best way to measure 5 degrees in the sky? Your closed fist, stretched at arm’s length, is approximately equal to 5 degrees. Be careful though – the sun is a formidable foe when it comes to trying to view objects in the daytime sky! Also, do not ever aim binoculars, telescopes, or cameras at or even near the sun – the risk of eye damage is too great! Be sure to look around online to get daily updates on the location, intensity, and projected path of the comet. Below I’ve included some links to help you out.

Friday’s class included a brief discussion of Comet McNaught, as well as a quiz over the green “Scale of the Universe” activity that we completed this week. I will have the quiz graded and online grades updated by Tuesday. Next week we will continue our exploration of the Big Bang, including a lab on the expansion of the universe. Following the lab, the rest of the week will see us exploring the life cycle of stars. Enjoy the long weekend and the wintery weather!

Day 82: Scale of the Universe – Day 1 January 4, 2007

Posted by Admin in Astronomy, Quiz.
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How do we go about discussing the size of the universe?  Today we began this discussion by defining some terms we’ll need for the rest of this unit:  Solar System, Galaxy, and Universe.  Tomorrow we’ll continue on this track with the viewing and discussion of the well-known Eames film “Powers of 10”.

We also took a quick open-note quiz on the History of Astronomy presentations and interpreting Sky Maps.  Make sure you bring your sky map home with you so you can continue becoming familiar with the night sky.  The skies will be cloudy for the next couple of nights, but later in the weekend into next week should bring some dry, clear skies – perfect for star gazing!

Day 81: Welcome Back January 3, 2007

Posted by Admin in Astronomy, Quiz.
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The lesson for today consisted first of a basic review of the expectations of the class followed by a review of the “History of Astronomy” presentations that were given in December.

Don’t forget to bring your notes to class tomorrow and be prepared for a quiz over both the astronomy presentations and how to interpret a sky map!

12/04/06 Schedule Update December 2, 2006

Posted by Admin in Astronomy, General Announcements, Quiz, Test.
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So how was the long weekend for everyone?  Here’s to everyone coming back feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the last 9 days of the semester head-on!

With the last nine days of the semester, we will tackle more work on how to use sky maps, how telescopes work, and then begin talking about the history of astronomy.  At the end of the upcoming week, we will begin working on a project that will be your final assessment (Test) grade of the semester.  It is a class presentation that will be worth a total of 30 test points.  Plan on spending a good amount of time researching and completing work for this presentation over the coming weekend.

Important Finals Reminder:  Don’t forget:  If you do not attend school on the last two days of the semester (Wednesday and Thursday, 12/13 and 12/14), any finals that you miss will need to be made up on Tuesday, January 2nd (the day before school resumes).  Any finals that are not made up will go down as a zero in the gradebook.   This goes for all courses – not just science!

End-of-semester Schedule:

  • Monday (12/04):  Tools of Astronomy Notes
  • Tuesday (12/05):  Personal Constellation Project (Due Fri)
  • Wednesday (12/06): (Late Start) Light Pollution
  • Thursday (12/07):  Quiz; Astrolabe Lab
  • Friday (12/08):  History of Astronomy Research Project
  • Monday (12/11):  History of Astronomy Poster Work Time
  • Tuesday (12/12):  History of Astronomy Project Completion/Rehearsal
  • Wed-Thurs (12/13-14):  (Block Schedule) Astronomy Presentations