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Planetarium Activity

1. Turn off the daylight and horizon displays. Use the “Planet” Palette to center on Uranus and lock on Uranus. Use the “Zoom” button to set the field of view to about 50°. Use the Selection Tool to point at Uranus and then right click on the mouse buttons. Select Info Window and record when Uranus rises and when it transits (crosses the celestial meridian). Click on File and then Print to print a chart of Uranus and the stars around it. If possible, use the chart to look for Uranus while it is in the sky tonight. If you can’t see it with the unaided eye, try binoculars.

2. Turn off the daylight and horizon displays. Use the “Planet” Palette to center on Neptune and lock on Neptune. Use the “Zoom” button to zoom in until Neptune is about 2 inches across on your monitor. Point at Neptune using the Selection Tool to click on and record the distance of Neptune. Using the Angular Separation Tool, find the angular diameter of Neptune. Use the Small Angle Equation (Equation 3.1) to find the diameter of Neptune. (You will have to use Appendix 2 to convert AU to km.) Compare your answer with the diameter of Neptune given in Appendix 6.








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