Course Project: Astronomy Star Project

This course project counts for 20 percent of your final grade:

Learning Outcomes:

Students will use critical thinking to apply Stars and Galaxies astronomical concepts to “their” particular star.

How to submit your course project:

You have to submit your project as a PDF file in the Eagle Online Quizzes. 

Due date for the course project:

The last day of the class.

Course Project Description:

Some people spend money to have a star named after them.  Others wish on stars.  During this course, you will be assigned your own “personal” star that you are to study in greater detail during the term by applying the material from the textbook, videos, and the Internet.  If you work on this each week as we study the different concepts, you will easily be able to complete this task in bite-sized pieces and hopefully you will find this an excellent way to deepen your understanding of the material in a very personal way.  For some aspects, you will need to research your star using other external resources, including the Internet.  Be sure you cite all your references! 

Possible formats for your project include a PDF file with written report or a PowerPoint presentation exported to a PDF file .  Extra credit will be awarded for projects showing exceptional creativity.  Feel free to include graphics, hyperlinks, music, bulleted lists, etc…  Your project must clearly include (and identify) the following information about your star:

1.   Distance, Location, Names, and Magnitude. 

a.    How far away is your star?  Compare/contrast this with our Sun.

b.    Where is your star located?

c.    How would you go about finding it in the Florida night sky? 

d.    What other names does your star have?

e.    What are the absolute and apparent magnitudes of your star?  Be sure to explain what these two terms mean.  Compare/contrast this with our Sun.

2.   Star’s Story.  Find out more about your assigned star from a historical perspective.  This is not technical information but rather, myths, history, or cultures that involved your star.

3.   Classification.  Discuss the specific spectra of your star.  Be sure to explain what this means.  Compare/contrast this with our Sun.

4.   H-R Diagram. 

a.    Where does your star fit on the H-R diagram?  Compare/contrast this with our Sun.

b.    Discuss this in terms of both its size and lifetime.  Compare/contrast this with our Sun.

5.   Lifetime. 

a.    What is the lifespan of your star?  Compare/contrast this with our Sun.

b.    How old is your star right now?  Compare/contrast this with our Sun.

6.   Possibility of Life.  Suppose that there is a planet orbiting your star that has the right conditions to sustain life. 

a.    What would you do to communicate to that planet?  Be sure to take into consideration how far away your star is.

b.    How would you want our civilization to be seen by life on that planet?

Credit: Erik Christensen

License: CC BY NC SA

Source: https://www.oercommons.org/authoring/2875-astronomy-star-project/view

IMPORTANT! Please select one of the following stars for your Star Project: Betelgeuse RW Cephei VY Canis Majoris Rigel Aldebaran KIC 8462852 (also known as Tabby’s Star) Barnard’s Star 51 Pegasi Proxima Centauri