Observing Project 2 and 3

Please check the schedule for due dates for Observing Projects 2 and 3. The easiest way to complete this project is to visit UNM's Campus Observatory located on North Campus during a Friday night open house during the semester and to record observations made through the telescope there. We strongly encourage you to get the information you need for both projects by the deadline for Observing Project 2. This will save you a second visit to the Observatory, which may not even be possible if the weather is cloudy.

UNM Observatory

Visit the UNM Astronomy Observatory webpage to find the location of the observatory and the times you can go to make observations. Note MST is our normal time for this time zone. MDT stands for Mountain Daylight Time which is the time for daylight savings time in our time zone. Daylight savings time goes from March to November.

What to do at the Campus Observatory?

There will be several small telescopes set up in the parking lot as well as the main telescope inside the Campus Observatory. Be sure to bring 4 to 7 Observing Sheets with you to record your observations. Each observation is worth a maximum of 50 points if you fill in all the required information correctly. You must submit 4 observations to get full credit.

Throughout the night, each telescope operator will be pointing at different objects. Talk with the operator and find out what object they are observing and details about their telescope. Look at a different object for each recorded observation. The time of year and night will determine just what objects you will be able to see.

For the Description of Object, write out what you see. Include relative sizes, color, bands, patterns, and anything else to help someone reading your observation understand what you saw. See the next webpage on how to make a good observation.

Fill in the section labeled "Summary of Research" later when you have access to outside information. For this section, do not write more about what you saw or did but instead investigate each object on your own (web or library) and learn more about it. Summarize what you learned. List what you used for your source material. Try to address the questions available from the project summaries on the summary page. (Note that this website can be viewed by a computer outside of lab.) The link for each project on this webpage will take you to a description of each project including good questions for research summary.

Click here for an example Observing Sheet.

Click here for a blank Observing Sheet.

If you can't make it to the Campus Observatory

If you are unable to visit UNM's Campus Observatory, please check the link labeled Naked Eye Project Ideas. There are a number of observing tasks that can be completed from your backyard or nearby open space. Some of these require multiple observations which means planning in advance when and how to complete the task.

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