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Observations Reports

After you have attended a 1st Quarter night and a Dark Sky Night you must do an Observations Report. The report should be typed with double line spacing. The report is due Monday November 27. LATE OBSERVING REPORTS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED!!!

    The report should consist of two major parts. Part 1 should consist of information about the various telescopes and equipment shown and used on the 1st Quarter Night. This must include: types, sizes and manufacturers of the telescopes; types of mounting systems; drawings of the optical systems of the telescopes(see Figures 6.4 on page 145 and 6.8 on page 147 of your text for the kinds of drawings) and, finally, observing aids and devices (i.e., CCD’s, cameras, filters, star maps, etc.). For additional information on telescopes and observing aids, check out the So You Wanna Buy a Telescope page of www.apsu.edu/astronomy. A PowerPoint presentation with the much of the information presented at the 1st Quarter Night can be found in the 1st Quarter Observing Nights link on www.apsu.edu/astronomy.

Part 2 should consist of information about the celestial objects you saw on the 1st Quarter Night and the Dark Sky Night. This must include (but is not limited to): what were they (i.e., planet, double star, nebula, cluster, etc.); their name or catalog number; other objects associated with them (i.e., moons, nebulosity, satellite galaxies, etc.); their location (constellation they are in); a brief description of the object (what it looked like) and, finally, which telescope you saw them through. For additional information on the objects, check out the SEDS website or the Interactive NGC/IC Catalog on the Astronomy Links page of www.apsu.edu/astronomy.

Format for the Observations Report

  1. The cover page should include: your name, date of 1st Quarter Night, date of Dark Sky Night and a title.
  2. Introduction. A brief summary of what the report is about. Probably one or two paragraphs in length.
  3. Part 1: Telescopes, mounts, astronomical equipment and observing aids.
  4. Part 2: Celestial objects viewed at the observing nights.
  5. Conclusions. What did you learn? Was it worthwhile? Would you recommend that this be repeated every semester in the astronomy class? What can be done to improve it?
  6. List of references: the format for your list of references is not important but all references should be cited.


1st Quarter Night Attendance…3-points       Dark Sky Night Attendance…3-points
Observations Report…4-points


The Observations count for 10% of your course grade.