Astronomy Club of Augusta


Observing Questions and Answers

Winter 2012



1.a. Name 11 large Maria we can see on the near side of the Moon.
1.b. Which is the largest?
2. What is the line of light and dark on the Moon called? Why is it so useful?
3. Name three 3 large craters on the western moon, (all named for famous astronomers.) Find them.

4. Name and find the brightest spot on the moon.
5. Name and find the darkest spot on the moon.

6. Which appears brighter to us: Jupiter or Venus? Why?
7. Name the four 4 Galilean moons, closest to most distant. Which is largest?
8. Tell the story of Cepheus, Cassiopeia, Andromeda, Cetus, Perseus, Pegasus. Find these six 6 constellations in the sky.
9.a. Name two stars in Cetus. Find them.
9.b. Name the four 4 stars that form the Great Square of Pegasus. Find them.
9.c. Name the stars that form the handle of the Big Dipper.
10. Correct this list of stars/groups in order of their rising in the east: Taurus, Pleiades, Sirius, Alpharatz, Orion's Belt.
11. Name the seven 7 stars of the Winter Hexagon.
12. Name the corresponding constellations of the Winter Hexagon.
13. Name the three 3 stars of Orion's belt. (east to west)
14. Name the stars that represent Orion's body parts: head, left shoulder, right shoulder, left knee, right knee. Find them naked-eye.

15. Name the second brightest star in the sky.
16. Why do we get a better view of it at NMR than at most other places in this area?

17. Name the large open cluster in Cancer. Find it naked eye, in binoculars.
18. Name the heart and tail of Leo. Find them naked eye.
19. Name the heart (or backbone)of Hydra, the sea serpent. What does it's name mean? See why is this appropriate.
















1.a. Mare Frigoris, M. Crisium, M. Serenitatis, M. Tranquilitatis, M. Fecunditatis, M. Nectaris, M. Vaporum, M. Nubium, M. Humorum, M. Imbrium, Oceanus Procellarum.
1.b. Mare Frigoris,, Virtual Moon

2. The Terminator. Shadows are longest here, and show craters and surface features in best relief.

3. Tycho, Copernicus, Kepler.
4. Aristarchus

5. Grimaldi

6. Venus. Both have reflective clouds, but Venus is closer to both us and the sun.
7. Io, Europa, Ganymede, Callisto. Ganymede is the largest. (Second largest in our solar system is Titan (Saturn).
8. In Greek mythology, Cepheus and Cassiopeia were the King and Queen of mythical Ethiopia. Cassiopeia was very vain and bragged that she was more beautiful than the Nereid sea nymphs. The Nereids asked the gods and Poseidon to punish her, so they caused famine and pestilence. When the people could not bear it any longer they asked how they could be spared from this misery. The Nereids said they must sacrifice the beloved and beautiful Princess Andromeda to the sea monster Cetus by chaining her to a rock by the sea. Cepheus and Cassiopeia were heartbroken, but now had no choice. As Cetus rose from the sea, about to devour Andromeda, Perseus was on his way home from killing the Medusa, and riding on Pegasus, the Winged Horse. Perseus saw the beautiful Andromeda and fought the monster to save her. He was not doing very well, when he remembered the Medusa head (Algol). He took it from his bag (under Mirfak) and stretched it out in the face of Cetus, who turned to a pillar of stone. Perseus was a hero, and married Andromeda. All are remembered as constellations in our sky, but Cassiopeia and Cepheus were punished by the gods by appearing upside down for half of every year. (

9.a. Menkar (head), Diphda (tail)
9.b. Alpharatz, Sheat, Markab, Algenib
9.c. Handle of Big Dipper: (Megrez), Alioth, Mizar/Alcor, Alkaid
10. Alpharatz, Pleiades, Taurus, Orion's Belt, Sirius. Stellarium, naked, eye
11. Capella, Aldebaran, Rigel, Sirius, Procyon, Pollux, Castor.
12. Auriga, Taurus, Orion, Canis major, Canis minor, Gemini.
13. Alnitok, Alnilam, Mintaka
14. Meissa, Bellatrix, Betelgeuse, Rigel, Saiph. Stellarium, naked eye

15. Canopus Stellarium, naked eye
16. NMR has a southern slope, so the horizon is lower to the south, and we can see more southern stars.

17. Praesepe or the Beehive Cluster. Wow!
18. Regulus, Denebola.
19. Alphard. It means "the solitary one". It is a rather bright star, and all alone in that area of the sky. (

If you want to see these marvels in the real sky, come to the ACA Star Gaze.