Astronomy 110 Laboratory

Resources for the Astronomy 110 Laboratory course.


  Fall 2010 (current)
  Fall 2008
  Fall 2005
  Fall 2003
  Spring 2003


Honolulu ordinances basically allow laser pointers to be used by people 18 or older. Do not point a laser at a person, building, or vehicle, and please use common sense at all times! Class IIIb lasers (power output > 5 mw) are not street-legal; use with discretion.

  Some Pointers on the Use of Laser Pointers
  Green Lasers: A Hidden Danger
  A Green Laser Pointer Hazard


The weather in Hawaii can change rapidly; conditions earlier in the day are not always a good guide. The links below are helpful in planning observing sessions:

  Kapiolani Park Forecast   Current conditions and 7 day prediction
  Honolulu Area Discussion   General discussion of unfolding weather patterns
  Satellite Interpretation   Discussion of satellite images, emphasizing cloud cover
  Oahu to N. Hawaii   Close-up visible-light animation
  Main Hawaiian Islands   Wide-field IR-light animation
  Weather Service Radar   Radar images show ongoing showers
  Satellite Image Browser   Full-disk images and animations for the big picture
  IfA Weather Links   Other weather-related resources


These external websites are useful resources for current and upcoming astronomical events.

  Your Sky from Honolulu
  An interactive planetarium, set up to show the sky now above Honolulu. You can chose other dates and times, select other viewing sites, and zoom in on selected areas. Created by John Walker.
  Solar System Simulator
  NASA web page which generates accurate, high-quality images of planets and satellites as seen from elsewhere in the Solar System.
  Heavens Above
  Astronomy website for satellite predictions and other resources — useful if you want to see the International Space Station [ISS]. This link is keyed to Honolulu.
  Sky and Telescope
  The gold standard for astronomy magazines, read by amateur stargazers and professionals alike. On-line pages have many useful links and features.
  Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers
  A resource for observers of planets. Slightly frustrating if your link or computer are slow, but contains some great images.
  International Occultation Timing Association []   Provides information on upcoming occultations by the Moon, planets, and asteroids.
  American Association of Variable Star Observers
  Resources for variable stars observers. Has information on specific stars, including recent observations.


These pages describe results of some observing activities in earlier Astronomy 110L classes.

  An Eclipse in the Trapezium   On the night of February 26th, 2003, one of the stars in the Trapezium cluster had an eclipse. I observed this event and took some images.
  Summary: Shape of Lunar Orbit   In March and April 2003 we measured the Moon's apparent diameter and used the results to study the shape of the Moon's orbit.
  Report: Shape of the Moon's Orbit   In October and November 2003 we measured the Moon's apparent diameter and used the results to study the shape of the Moon's orbit.
  Viewing Stellar Spectra   Examples of stars with spectral features easily seen using the Rainbow Optics stellar spectrascope.
  An Occultation by the Moon   On 06-Oct-2008 at 19:05 HST we saw the Moon occult, or come in front of, the bright star σ Sgr.


Code for generating still images and animations which may be useful in Astronomy 110L. Software packages run under unix or linux.

  One Year Animation (code)   Makefiles to generate animation showing change in sky over course of one year.
  Finding Charts (data)   Finding charts for deep sky objects. Printed at 100dpi, these charts have a scale of 1° = 2cm.
  Finding Charts (code)   Makefile used to generate finding charts. Easily extended to produce charts of other objects.
  Moon Animation (data)   Animations showing appearance of the Moon over one semester.
  Moon Animation (code)   Makefile used to produce above animation.


  Free software to simulate the appearance of the sky. Very powerful yet easy to use. Available for Windows, Mac OSX, and Linux.
  Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts)
  Free software package useful in creating charts of the sky. Very high quality graphics. Primarily for Windows, but Mac/Linux versions are available. Developed by Patrick Chevalley.
  Virtual Moon Atlas
  Free software which simulates the appearance of the Moon at any time. You can zoom in, scan across the surface for interesting formations, and click on specific features to display names and other information. Developed by Patrick Chevalley and Christian Legrand.

Joshua E. Barnes      (barnes at
Updated: 29 August 2016
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