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How many stars can I see at
night?
José Gonçalves
www.eufisica.com
astropt.org
Introductory section and preparatory phase
● Short Description: Students in this scenario will study
the effects of light pollution on the observation of the
stars at night and they will simulate with Stellarium.
● Keywords: Astronomy, Hands-On, Stellarium,
observation, pollution, light.
● Target audience: Students at 7th
grade
● Age range: 11+ years
● Context: After the constellations subject, this scenario
will be implemented at home, and at school.
● Time required: 90 min (or 2 periods)
● Technical Requirements:
● Teacher:
● Computer with Stellarium and Excel
● Data projector and, if possible, an interactive board.
● Students:
● Computers with internet connection and Stellarium.
● Author’s background:
● Connection with the curriculum: Astronomy at 7th
grade, in Physics lessons.
● Learning Objectives: Verify that the artificial light
affects the observation of the stars at night
● Guidance for preparation:
Introductory section and preparatory phase
To provoke curiosity,
teachers can do it in two
ways:
1. Presented the following
timelapse video
http://vimeo.
com/channels/eufisicatv/
24551969
2) The students must to
complete the tasks
presented in the
Worksheet 1 at home, in
a night before this class
lesson.
Pre-Experiment / Observation– Teaching Phase 1:
Questions Eliciting Activities – PROVOKE CURIOSITY
Timelapse author: Randy Halverson
One of the tasks from Worksheet 1
Pre-Experiment / Observation– Teaching Phase 1:
Questions Eliciting Activities – DEFINE QUESTIONS
FROM CURRENT KNOWLEDGE
●Questions from data:
●Do we see the same number of
stars if we are in the same
region?
●Can some students observe
more stars than others?
●Can any factors (human,
nature) influence our
observation?
●Is any factor more important
than another?
Pre-Experiment / Observation– Teaching Phase 2:
Active Investigation – PROPOSE PRELIMINARY
EXPLANATION OR HYPOTHESES
● We can’t see many stars at night sky because of:
● City lights (even if we are in an urban region);
● The pollution from industry;
● The clouds;
● The moonlight;
● Volcano’s activity;
● The atmosphere, air;
● The satellites (too many).
International Dark-Sky Assocation. When the eastern power grid
failed, from Ontario to New York City, in August 2003, it revealed
something many city dwellers had never seen: from horizon to
horizon, a sky full of stars. Then the power came back on.
Pre-Experiment / Observation– Teaching Phase 2:
Active Investigation – PLAN AND CONDUCT SIMPLE
INVESTIGATION
●Worksheet 1 (at home
before this class lesson)
●Using stellarium
“Atmosphere” feature to
explain different
observations by
changing the artificial
light.
●Turn the lights off and
on and ask the students
explanations. Choose → Sky and window options [F4]
In the “Atmosphere” area, select a value for artificial light.
Experiment / Observation– Teaching Phase 3:
Creation – GATHER EVIDENCE FROM OBSERVATION
●After the first worksheet
is completed at home, the
teacher will collect the data
to a spreadsheet and
display the graphs.
Observation of the Orion’s Constellation.
Source: Wikipedia
Experiment / Observation– Teaching Phase 3:
Creation – GATHER EVIDENCE FROM OBSERVATION
Counting the stars using STELLARIUM and interactive
board.
Experiment / Observation– Teaching Phase 3:
Creation – GATHER EVIDENCE FROM OBSERVATION
●Observation gathered from STELLARIUM.
Experiment / Observation– Teaching Phase 4:
Discussion – EXPLANATION BASED ON EVIDENCE
By using Stellarium the students
concluded:
● Atmosphere has a little
influence our night sky
observation;
● Artificial light are more influent
in our night sky observation;
● With the increasing of artificial
light the number of
astronomical objects that we
can see is reduced to a
minimum.
Post-Experiment / Observation– Teaching Phase 5:
Reflection – COMMUNICATE EXPLANATION
Postercreatedbythestudents
withteacher’shelp
● Worksheet 2
Causes of light pollution, by their
nature (natural and
anthropogenic).
Two measures to reduce light
pollution.
Best places to make the
observation of the Universe.
● Homework
Take a look to the
constellation of Orion and
register it at: http://www.
globeatnight.org/webapp/ (visit
website to participation dates).
Post-Experiment / Observation– Teaching Phase 5:
Reflection – FOLLOW UP ACTIVITIES AND
MATERIALS
Local places to make the observation at night.
Post-Experiment / Observation– Teaching Phase 5:
Reflection – FOLLOW UP ACTIVITIES AND
MATERIALS
CreatedwithGoogleFusionTables
Local places to make the observation at night.
Post-Experiment / Observation– Teaching Phase 5:
Reflection – FOLLOW UP ACTIVITIES AND
MATERIALS
CreatedwithGoogleFusionTables
● Reading:
● http://www.darksky.org/
● http://www.cleveland.com/nation/index.
ssf/2008/11/bigcity_light_pollution_may_go.html
● http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2008/11/light-
pollution/klinkenborg-text
● http://www.noao.edu/education/
● More activities:
http://portal.discoverthecosmos.eu/en/node/191453
● http://portal.discoverthecosmos.eu/en/node/191458
● http://www.need-less.org.uk/ (online Sky Night simulator)
Post-Experiment / Observation– Teaching Phase 5:
Reflection – FOLLOW UP ACTIVITIES AND
MATERIALS
● My personal
evaluation of
this scenario
Evaluation:
Reflection
Contact Information
● José Gonçalves
● Physics teacher at the public schools in
Portugal
●
● Email:
● josegoncalves@eufisica.com

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Light pollution

  • 1. How many stars can I see at night? José Gonçalves www.eufisica.com astropt.org
  • 2. Introductory section and preparatory phase ● Short Description: Students in this scenario will study the effects of light pollution on the observation of the stars at night and they will simulate with Stellarium. ● Keywords: Astronomy, Hands-On, Stellarium, observation, pollution, light. ● Target audience: Students at 7th grade ● Age range: 11+ years ● Context: After the constellations subject, this scenario will be implemented at home, and at school. ● Time required: 90 min (or 2 periods)
  • 3. ● Technical Requirements: ● Teacher: ● Computer with Stellarium and Excel ● Data projector and, if possible, an interactive board. ● Students: ● Computers with internet connection and Stellarium. ● Author’s background: ● Connection with the curriculum: Astronomy at 7th grade, in Physics lessons. ● Learning Objectives: Verify that the artificial light affects the observation of the stars at night ● Guidance for preparation: Introductory section and preparatory phase
  • 4. To provoke curiosity, teachers can do it in two ways: 1. Presented the following timelapse video http://vimeo. com/channels/eufisicatv/ 24551969 2) The students must to complete the tasks presented in the Worksheet 1 at home, in a night before this class lesson. Pre-Experiment / Observation– Teaching Phase 1: Questions Eliciting Activities – PROVOKE CURIOSITY Timelapse author: Randy Halverson One of the tasks from Worksheet 1
  • 5. Pre-Experiment / Observation– Teaching Phase 1: Questions Eliciting Activities – DEFINE QUESTIONS FROM CURRENT KNOWLEDGE ●Questions from data: ●Do we see the same number of stars if we are in the same region? ●Can some students observe more stars than others? ●Can any factors (human, nature) influence our observation? ●Is any factor more important than another?
  • 6. Pre-Experiment / Observation– Teaching Phase 2: Active Investigation – PROPOSE PRELIMINARY EXPLANATION OR HYPOTHESES ● We can’t see many stars at night sky because of: ● City lights (even if we are in an urban region); ● The pollution from industry; ● The clouds; ● The moonlight; ● Volcano’s activity; ● The atmosphere, air; ● The satellites (too many). International Dark-Sky Assocation. When the eastern power grid failed, from Ontario to New York City, in August 2003, it revealed something many city dwellers had never seen: from horizon to horizon, a sky full of stars. Then the power came back on.
  • 7. Pre-Experiment / Observation– Teaching Phase 2: Active Investigation – PLAN AND CONDUCT SIMPLE INVESTIGATION ●Worksheet 1 (at home before this class lesson) ●Using stellarium “Atmosphere” feature to explain different observations by changing the artificial light. ●Turn the lights off and on and ask the students explanations. Choose → Sky and window options [F4] In the “Atmosphere” area, select a value for artificial light.
  • 8. Experiment / Observation– Teaching Phase 3: Creation – GATHER EVIDENCE FROM OBSERVATION ●After the first worksheet is completed at home, the teacher will collect the data to a spreadsheet and display the graphs. Observation of the Orion’s Constellation. Source: Wikipedia
  • 9. Experiment / Observation– Teaching Phase 3: Creation – GATHER EVIDENCE FROM OBSERVATION Counting the stars using STELLARIUM and interactive board.
  • 10. Experiment / Observation– Teaching Phase 3: Creation – GATHER EVIDENCE FROM OBSERVATION ●Observation gathered from STELLARIUM.
  • 11. Experiment / Observation– Teaching Phase 4: Discussion – EXPLANATION BASED ON EVIDENCE By using Stellarium the students concluded: ● Atmosphere has a little influence our night sky observation; ● Artificial light are more influent in our night sky observation; ● With the increasing of artificial light the number of astronomical objects that we can see is reduced to a minimum.
  • 12. Post-Experiment / Observation– Teaching Phase 5: Reflection – COMMUNICATE EXPLANATION Postercreatedbythestudents withteacher’shelp
  • 13. ● Worksheet 2 Causes of light pollution, by their nature (natural and anthropogenic). Two measures to reduce light pollution. Best places to make the observation of the Universe. ● Homework Take a look to the constellation of Orion and register it at: http://www. globeatnight.org/webapp/ (visit website to participation dates). Post-Experiment / Observation– Teaching Phase 5: Reflection – FOLLOW UP ACTIVITIES AND MATERIALS
  • 14. Local places to make the observation at night. Post-Experiment / Observation– Teaching Phase 5: Reflection – FOLLOW UP ACTIVITIES AND MATERIALS CreatedwithGoogleFusionTables
  • 15. Local places to make the observation at night. Post-Experiment / Observation– Teaching Phase 5: Reflection – FOLLOW UP ACTIVITIES AND MATERIALS CreatedwithGoogleFusionTables
  • 16. ● Reading: ● http://www.darksky.org/ ● http://www.cleveland.com/nation/index. ssf/2008/11/bigcity_light_pollution_may_go.html ● http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2008/11/light- pollution/klinkenborg-text ● http://www.noao.edu/education/ ● More activities: http://portal.discoverthecosmos.eu/en/node/191453 ● http://portal.discoverthecosmos.eu/en/node/191458 ● http://www.need-less.org.uk/ (online Sky Night simulator) Post-Experiment / Observation– Teaching Phase 5: Reflection – FOLLOW UP ACTIVITIES AND MATERIALS
  • 17. ● My personal evaluation of this scenario Evaluation: Reflection
  • 18. Contact Information ● José Gonçalves ● Physics teacher at the public schools in Portugal ● ● Email: ● josegoncalves@eufisica.com