Discussion: Naked Eye Observations
As you begin the course, it is very important that you sometimes walk outside and actually look at the night sky. If you cannot incorporate some naked-eye astronomy into the term, you will be missing out. You have easy access to observe many of the things discussed in the Sky Basics reading and the presentation on naked-eye astronomy. You need to see some things for yourself– planets, stars, clusters, asterisms, and constellations.
The class presentation mentions several resources for naked-eye astronomy, some of which are summarized here.
1. Star Gazers: A short, weekly video program designed to help amateurs with naked-eye astronomy. Browse through 3-4 past episodes up to and including week-2 of class for help with everything from phases of the moon to eclipses to seasonal constellations. Go to http://stargazersonline.org/index.html.
2. Whats Up?: A monthly program found on the NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory website. There are many other worthwhile tools on this site, but this one is there to help you with naked-eye viewing. Go to http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/, scroll down to Whats Happening Now, and choose videos, or just search jpl whats up.
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