Astronomy Club of Augusta


Observing Questions and Answers

December 2012



1.a. Name 12 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 four 4 large craters on the eastern moon, (3 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. How are Mercury, Venus and the Moon similar? Why?

7. Tell the story of Cepheus, Cassiopeia, Andromeda, Cetus, Perseus, Pegasus. Find these six 6 constellations in the sky.
8. Name the 4 corner stars of the Great Square of Pegasus in order of brightness.
9. Which of the Great Square stars is in a different constellation?
10. How can you find the Double Cluster? What does it represent?

11. Name two stars in Cetus. Find them.
12. Where will you find Uranus?
13. Where will you find Neptune? (Check Stellarium.) Advanced: Find Neptune.

14. Correct this list of stars/groups in order of their rising in the east: Taurus, Pleiades, Sirius, Alpharatz, Orion's Belt.
15. Where is Jupiter?
16. Where will you find Vesta? Find it.
17. Where will you find Ceres? Find it.

18. Name the seven 7 stars of the Winter Hexagon.
19. Name the corresponding constellations of the Winter Hexagon.
20. Name the three 3 stars of Orion's belt. (east to west)
21. Name the stars that represent Orion's body parts: head, left shoulder, right shoulder, left knee, right knee. Find them naked-eye.

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

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

1.a. In order of location:
Mare Frigoris, M. Crisium, M. Serenitatis, M. Tranquilitatis, M. Fecunditatis, M. Nectaris, M. Vaporum, M. Nubium, M. Humorum, M. Imbrium, M. Insularum, Oceanus Procellarum (See:

In order of age:
Pre-Nectarian from -4.55b to -3.92b years: Tranquilitatis, Fecunditatis, Nubium
Pre-Imbrian from -4.55b to -3.85b years: Frigoris, Vaporum
Nectarian from -3.92b to -3.85b years: Serenitatis, Nectaris, Crisium, Humorum,
Lower Imbrian from -3.85b to -3.8b years: Imbrium
Imbrium from -3.85b to -3.2b years: Oceanus Procellarum

1.b. Mare Imbrium (,, Virtual Moon)
2. The Terminator. Shadows are longest here, and show craters and surface features in best relief.
3. Bailly (is the largest), Tycho, Copernicus, Kepler. (,,
4. Aristarchus
5. Grimaldi

6. They all exhibit phases to us on Earth. They are/can be closer to the sun than Earth.

7. 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 their 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. (
8. Alpharatz, Sheat, Markab, Algenib. Use Stellarium.
9. Alpharatz
10. The Double Cluster is in Perseus between Mirfak and Rukbah in Cassiopeia. It represents the jeweled handle of his sword. (

11. Menkar (head) and Diphda (tail)
12. To find Uranus, draw a straight line from Apharatz through Algenib and continue for a slightly shorter distance. Uranus will be slightly below this line.
Using a straight line from Algenib to Diphda, Uranus will be about 1/3 the distance from Algenib, and slightly above the line.
13. Neptune is in Aquarius. (See Stellarium) Show others when you find it.

14. Alpharatz, Pleiades, Taurus, Orion's Belt, Sirius. Stellarium, naked, eye
15. Jupiter is 1/4 distance from Ain to Alnath (Taurus' left eye to tip of his left horn)?
16. Vesta is 2/3 distance from Aldebaran to Tau (tip of Taurus' right horn) and 1/8 distance below.
Show others when you find it.
17. Ceres is beyond Castor's left toe. Show others when you find it.

18. Capella, Aldebaran, Rigel, Sirius, Procyon, Pollux, Castor.
19. Auriga, Taurus, Orion, Canis major, Canis minor, Gemini.
20. Alnitok, Alnilam, Mintaka
21. Meissa, Bellatrix, Betelgeuse, Rigel, Saiph. Stellarium, naked eye

22. Canopus Stellarium, naked eye
23. NMR has a southern slope, so the horizon is lower to the south, and we can see more southern stars. J-M

24. Praesepe or the Beehive Cluster. Wow!
25. Regulus, Denebola.
26. 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.