Introduction

Astronomy Laboratory 2 – Constellations and the Night Sky

Module Introduction

Cassiopeia, named after Queen Cassiopeia from Greek mythology, is seen in the northern sky.
Cassiopeia, named after Queen Cassiopeia from Greek mythology, is seen in the northern sky. [ “Cassiopeia starfield” by Sadalsuud is licensed under CC BY 4.0 ]

The constellations represent groupings of stars that form outlines of animals, objects, mythological people and creatures, or gods.

In this lab, you will learn about historical constellations and myths, do online research into other culture’s “non-European” constellations and associated myths, then go outdoors at night and identify/draw specified constellations and bright stars. You will also learn how the modern magnitude system works and will go outdoors at night to identify stars of specific magnitudes, and record data. (1)

Objectives

At the end of this module, students will be able to:

  • Record data pertaining to the stars, constellations, and asterisms
  • Identify constellations and asterisms
  • Discuss the evolution of constellations and their mythologies (1)

Outcomes

The material in this module includes content designed to meet the following course outcomes:

  • Explain and apply major concepts in astronomy including planets, satellites, stars, meteors, galaxies, and theories of the universe.
  • Communicate scientific ideas through oral or written assignments.
  • Interpret scientific models such as formulas, graphs, tables and schematics, draw inferences from them and recognize their limitations. (1)

Assigned Readings

Learning Unit 2

Assignments

  • Constellations in Mythology Exercise
  • Looking Up! Activity
  • Lab 2 Quiz (1)