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Ray Atkinson
Ray Atkinson, Graduate Student
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Experience:  Inner-city high school substitute teacher. Degrees in mathemetics, accounting, and education. Years and years of tutoring.
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For Ray Atkinson A. Observations Collect 5 observations

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For Ray Atkinson

A. Observations
Collect 5 observations of the moon. You may not list more than one observation for a particular day. Observations can be made in the daytime or at night. Observations can be made all at the same location, or at different locations -- you can work on this project while traveling, if you wish.

Each observation will consist of the following information:
(1) Local Date and local time. Please include your time zone.
(2) Time in Universal Coordinated Time (see below)
(3) Location. Give latitude and longitude of your location within 5 degrees. (see below)
(4) If the moon is visible, give the approximate direction (N, NE, E, SE, S, SW, W, or NW) and the approximate elevation of the moon in degrees. (see below)
(5) Is the moon crescent (less than half lit), half-lit, gibbous (more than half-lit) or full? (You may find pages 30 and 31 in your book to be helpful.) You don’t need to identify waxing vs waning.

Example observation:
(1) Local Date and Time: June 5, 2009, 6:00 AM GMT+12 time zone
(2) UTC: January 4, 2007, 1800 hours UTC
(3) Location: 10 deg North, 165 deg East
(4) Direction: SE; Elevation: 20 degrees
(5) Moon shape: Crescent

Universal Coordinated Time

Universal coordinated time (UTC or UT) is the way astronomers refer to the time of a particular event or observation. It helps people who are scattered all over the world (like our class) to have a common time to refer to, so that time zones and conversions between them don’t confuse everyone.

UTC is also known as Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). The military uses the term Zulu time for UTC or GMT.

UTC is the local time at 0 degrees longitude (Greenwich, England) without any daylight savings time or similar alterations.

You can get the current GMT time by exploring some of the websites in the Webiolography.

Finding Your Location

If you have access to a good atlas, that is a good way to find your latitude and longitude. Otherwise, check out It has information usable to people world wide.

Measuring Elevation

Hold a closed fist at arm’s length. That’s about 10 degrees. Stretch out your hand, and hold at arm’s length. That’s about 20 degrees. Use your hand to measure the distance between the moon and the horizon.

B. Quantitative reasoning
a. If a quasar is 100 times more luminous than a bright galaxy (absolute magnitude about -21), what is the absolute magnitude of the quasar? If this quasar was located at the center of the our galaxy, what would it's apparent magnitude be? How does that compare to other objects in the Earth's sky?
b. If the RR Lyrae stars in a globular cluster have an apparent magnitude of 15, how far away is the cluster?

Ray Atkinson :

When do you need this? I hope it is long away from now for me to make the observations, or do I have to fake something?

Ray Atkinson :

also, does the location make a difference, or are you in an online school?


online school


This assignment is due sunday


and I dont care if you fake it or really make the observations as long as I get a good grade :)


Thanks for all you help in this class!

I will definitely have it for you by Sunday.
I am doing one observation each day. I got the one yesterday. I am going to try to get them about the same time each night.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you!

You are quite welcome. 2 down, 3 to go. No problems.

"If the moon is visible"

What does your instructor say to do if it is not? We have 100% overcast tonight. I can use an almanac to find it, or do you report the cloud conditions?

No problems. The cloud cover cleared after midnight. 4 observations done. Tomorrow will do it.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.



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That almost worked. The local times are 2035, 2005, 0109, 2316, and 2156. Add 400 hours for Z-time. Also, a half moon has a magnitude of -10

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

confused on the add 400 hour part. Is what you wrote for A wrong above?



Yes. For example, the local time for the first sighting was 2035. Add 400 to get 2435, (or 0035) Z-time

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Got it Thanks! I will have one more assignment that I will need help with to complete this class next week.

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