Websites currents as of August 6, 2012

This WebQuest addresses the following Utah 6th Grade Science Standards:

STANDARD IV:  Students will understand the scale of size, distance between objects, movement, and apparent motion (due to Earth’s rotation) of objects in the universe and how cultures have understood, related to and used these objects in the night sky.

Objective 2:  Describe the appearance and apparent motion of groups of stars in the night sky relative to Earth and how various cultures have understood and used them.
a. Locate and identify stars that are grouped in patterns in the night sky.
b. Identify ways people have historically grouped stars in the night sky.
d. Relate the seasonal change in the appearance of the night sky to Earth’s position.
e. Describe ways that familiar groups of stars may be used for navigation and calendars.

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Starry, Starry Night

Go outside some clear evening.  Bring along a blanket.  Spread out the blanket and lie down.  Look at all the stars you can see.  Quite a beautiful sight, isn’t it! Stars spread out across the sky.  But, did you know that there are patterns to be seen?  We call these patterns “constellations.”  You are going to learn about constellations.  As you learn about constellations, you will be given assignments to do. These will help you learn all about constellations.

When you have finished this WebQuest, you will know all about constellations.  And, you will never look at the stars in quite the same way!

(Note: If you don't have a copy of the Constellations WebQuest Worksheet, click here to get a copy.)

What is a Constellation? (Question #1)

OrionWhen we talk about constellations, do you know what they are?  Your first assignment is to find a definition of constellations. Read the website and answer question #1 on your Constellation WebQuest Worksheet. Click on the question, What are constellations?, to get to the website.

Where Did Constellations Come From? (Question #2)

Knowing what a constellation is is great!  How did they get there?  Visit this site for a history of constellations. Read the website and answer question #2 on your Constellation WebQuest Worksheet. Click on the question, Where did constellations come from? to get to the website.

Stop!

Hold on! Have you answered questions #1 & #2? If you haven't, you need to stop here and answer those two questions before you answer question #3!

Constellations and Their Stars (Questions #3 thru #6)

Your next assignment is to complete the Constellation WebQuest Worksheet, questions #3 thru #6.   You will want to use the Alphabetical Listing of Constellations website to get the information you need to complete questions #3 and #6.

Your next assignments is to tell the story of how two constellations were placed in the sky (Questions #4 - #5) (in your own words). For this part of the assignment, you will need to go to find constellation myths. Here are two links to myths about Coma Berenices and Draco.

For question #6, return to the Alphabetical Listing of Constellations website to get the information you need to complete the table. (Hint: To find the name of the brighest star in a constellation, scroll down to "Named Stars." The first star listed is the brightest star in the constellation.)

Stop, Again!Whoa, Nellie! Have you answered questions #3 thru #6? If you haven't, you need to stop here and answer those two questions before you answer question #6!

Constellations by Seasons

If you go outside different times of the year, you will see different constellations.  Why?  Because the Earth revolves around the Sun. Use these four star charts to help you answer Questions #7 - #10.

Spring Constellations

Spring Constellations

Summer Constellations

 

Summer Constellations

Autumn Constellations

Autumn Constellations

Stop!Wait! Have you answered questions #1 thru #10? If you haven't, you need to stop here and complete those questions before you move on to Navigating With the Stars.

NavigationNavigating With the Stars

Did you know that there was a time when ancient sailors had to know the stars to help them get to their destination?  When you’re in the middle of the ocean with no land in sight, you had to have something help you get where you’re going to.  The sailors used the stars to help them travel.  Your assignment is to learn how you can navigate at night. The North Star (Polaris) is a very important star. Use the table below to complete the Latitude and the North Star - Part 1 chart.

Key Latitudes                                                         


Antarctic Circle
66° S

Arctic Circle
66° N

Equator
0° N/S

Fairbanks, Alaska
64° N

Helsinki, Finland
60° N

Houston, Texas
29° N

London, England
51° N

Madrid, Spain
40° N

North Pole
90° N

Ottawa, Canada
45° N

Paris, France
48° N

Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
22° S

South Pole
90° S

Sydney, Australia
33° S

Tokyo, Japan
35° N

Tropic of Cancer
23.5° N

Tropic of Capricorn
23.5° S

Washington, D.C.
38° N

Using what you know about latitude and the North star, complete Latitude and the North Star - Part 2 charts.

Stars as Calendars and Clocks

Have you ever wondered how people knew what time of day it was without a clock or wristwatch? How did people know when to plant crops or gather food for the cold seasons if they did not have a calendar like we do today? How did we get to the accurate time we have today? Find out about other cultures over the past 6,000 years! Study Egypt, the Aztec Indians', or Chinese timekeeping just by going to the Ancient Time website. (Find your Chinese Zodiac sign by clicking here.)

Finished!

Monster

Congratulations!  You are now a constellations monster! Repeat after me, "I am so good, I can hardly stand myself!"

 

 
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