M57 Research Paper

Type of service: Writing from scratch
Work type: Research paper
Deadline: N/A
Academic level: College (3-4 years: Junior, Senior)
Subject or discipline: Astronomy (and other Space Sciences)
Title: M57
Number of sources: 3
Provide digital sources used: No
Paper format: MLA
# of pages: 3
Spacing: Double spaced
# of words: 825
# of slides: ppt icon 0
# of charts: 0
Paper details:
Note: Suggested word counts are for guidelines only. Do not be afraid to pass in less of high
quality work, or more if you feel it is necessary.
in an attractive 8.5” x 11” format. In major assignments, appearance counts!
your bibliography if your project includes a written component. This assignment is to be handed in
to me directly. Do not put it into the minor assignment drop box.
Choose one of the following options, or contact me to discuss a possible additional project.
1) Use the Burke Gaffney Observatory (BGO) to locate
and sketch one of the brighter deep space objects currently
visible. The telescope operator will have a list of
suggestions. Download a few images of this object from
the Internet. Compare the two images, and research more
information about the type of object you’ve captured. Write
a short paper (500 words or so) answering such questions
as what is it, how did it form, how long will it last, is it
visibly changing in any way in an observable time frame?
Finally, describe for me what it might be like to see this
object from a very close distance. Try to be scientifically
accurate in your description.
2) Sketch a detailed map of the moon through a
telescope operating at a magnification of 50 times or
higher. Note: The Moon is not visible every evening –
some planning is needed here! This could be the BGO, or
a telescope you own or borrow. Your sketch should show
the major features visible, and some detail. Take your time,
and use a soft pencil. This task is more difficult than it
sounds, but the results can be quite satisfying. Include
with your drawing a short (200 words) note about when,
where, what instrument used the sky conditions and your “feelings” about the effort…. I suspect you
will never look at the moon in the same way again.
3) Use the robotic observing capabilities of the Burke-Gaffney Observatory (BGO) is to gain
some experience in using an optical telescope for imaging and interpretation of the images produced.
You are to obtain images of at least two different types of objects. Telescopic images will not usually
record the same information that is provided in textbook or internet-sourced images, so the project is
in part a learning exercise as to what exactly can be detected with a small telescope from a light-
polluted city.
Detailed information about using the observatory’s robotic interface is here:
” “” http://www.ap.smu.ca/pr/bgo-useme/howto
You can interact with it by email or Twitter. The first thing you need to do is to request access. Do
this right away. In the request be sure to include your full name and the course number. That will get
you increased “priority” compared to non-student users. Do not delay starting this project to near the
end of the term. There are a limited number of clear nights available! Submit your observation by no
later than November 1 to ensure that it will be done in time.
Choose at least two objects of different types (cluster, galaxy, nebula, etc.). These objects have to be
suitable for the location of the observatory, the season, and other parameters. Use this FAQ to help
choose suitable objects:
http://www.ap.smu.ca/pr/bgo-useme/faq#faq1
Submit the chosen objects to the telescope’s queue. The default exposure and filter settings should
be ok for most objects. You can have no more than 3 observation requests in the queue at a time.
You can monitor the queue and access completed observations here (you are also tweeted or
emailed when your observations have been done):
http://www.ap.smu.ca/pr/bgo-useme/queues
The completed observations are provided in jpeg format and in raw “fits” format upon request.
The jpeg image is processed to make a nice recognizable image. If you wish to try adjusting the image
in an image editor, it may be best to start with the fits image (but you will need to find a converter or
fits image viewer program).
Write-Up: You should provide supplementary information about each object along with each
image. Include the unique request ID of the image, date of exposure, exposure time and filter used.
Describe some of the general properties of the type of object you observed, and compare your image
with any existing photographs that are available of the object, either in your textbook or from online
sources. Explain what useful scientific function could be gained from imaging the two (or more)
objects you studied. Be specific. A long, drawn-out description of the specific type of object observed,
as can be found in any textbook for example, is not what is wanted. Rather, your description should
address the nature of the individual object of observation, and what purpose is served, or can be
served, by imaging that object. What can be learned about the object through imaging, and how is
such information of use to astronomers?

Write-Up: You should provide supplementary information about each object along with each
image. Include the unique request ID of the image, date of exposure, exposure time and filter used.
Describe some of the general properties of the type of object you observed, and compare your image
with any existing photographs that are available of the object, either in your textbook or from online
sources. Explain what useful scientific function could be gained from imaging the two (or more)
objects you studied. Be specific. A long, drawn-out description of the specific type of object observed,
as can be found in any textbook for example, is not what is wanted. Rather, your description should
address the nature of the individual object of observation, and what purpose is served, or can be
served, by imaging that object. What can be learned about the object through imaging, and how is
such information of use to astronomers?
4) Obtain an ‘all sky’ chart for the current month from the observatory, or from me, or from
http://www.ap.smu.ca/pr/images/observatory/bgocharts.pdf. Find a nice dark place to observe the
evening sky. Using the sky chart, orientate yourself with the brighter stars in the sky and use the
chart to “get your bearings”. Now, lay back, and watch for satellites. When you see one, note on the
chart where it was when you first sighted it, and then follow the satellite as long as you can, and note
the spot where it disappears. Draw a line connecting the two points, thus plotting the satellites track
in the sky on your star chart. Watch for an hour, and write up a short note describing the experience,
the conditions, the weather and so on. Check online to see if you can identify which satellite you
have observed. Comment on the amount of objects you see and the implications for low Earth
orbiting space flight.
5) From a specific location, (i.e., your bedroom window, or whatever) sketch or photograph the
exact sunrise point for a bunch of different dates. Show how the sun moves further north as the year
progresses. Include a short (300 words or so) write up explaining in your own words what causes
this seasonal movement of the sunrise point back and forth along the eastern horizon.

Study and sketch one of the major constellations in the night sky. Locate one of the brighter
constellations, and sketch all the stars in it that are visible from a location inside the urban area of
Halifax, Include all of the constellation’s area. Now travel to a dark sky location, at least 20
kilometers away from any urban light pollution, and “fatten” the same sketch by adding the
additional stars that are now visible Use a different symbol for each of the new faint stars that you
can now see. Write a short note (500 words or so) about light pollution.
7) Choose a specific object from the following list of types of objects.
1) nebulae
2) open cluster
3) globular cluster
4) dark nebulae
5) super nova remnant
6) galaxy

Then: Use internet research (include your list of URLs) to write a 1000-1200 word paper about
your chosen object. Please include graphics where applicable.
The types of questions you should answer might include the following:
How big is it?
How long has it been there.
Describe its basic characteristics.
What is its composition?
Can we observe it? How?
How long will it last.
Could there be life there?
Is it beautiful?
Exactly how did it form

 

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