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Astronomy Projects for Beginners
INTRODUCTION. Of all the scientific studies, astronomy can be the one that is so immediately filled with wonder. It is so enticing! While so many students would like to do projects in astronomy, alas, the vast majority of projects are not easy to do because they require great expense and skill - great observatories, radio-telescopes, space labs.
Before continuing with mentioning a few projects that are possible, it might be wise to suggest to you, the student, to ask your teacher which is preferred for a terrific grade:
This is a double-barrelled suggestion (1) because any great teacher would much prefer you to do some work rather than merely rephrase someone else's finding. With that thought planted in the teacher's mind, you will have a big edge over your classmates because most or all of your classmates will report on other people's work and the teacher think very highly of your work - PROVIDING that you explain it well so that the teacher understands it. (Remember that if you do a project which few or no one else has done before, you cannot expect the teacher to have done it or know about it. YOU must be the explainer; YOU must be the teacher's teacher.
It must also be said at the beginning, ALL of these have been done before, and a few by very few people. Let's call them alternative stepping stones to an understanding of astronomy. Dr. Gerard Kuiper, who was this author's astronomy teacher long before you were a thought, and probably before your mother was a thought, said that the best way to start studying astronomy - the stars and the movement of things in space - is by not using a telescope, but rather by looking at our own star - the sun, and looking at how the earth and planets move around the sun, and how the sun and earth each rotate. This author remembers that first evening in Kuiper's class. We met in a large open field. "Oh, look! There's Jupiter," he pointed. "And over there is Mars, and there is Saturn. So," he continued with a grin hidden in the darkness, "How many planets do you see?" The class mumbled "Three!" "I see four," said our professor. "What do you think we are standing on?!" He then went on to explain that we can learn a lot about planet behavior just by observing our own earth in relation to the sun. And what we learn about earth might in many ways be applicable to the other planets. (What are the Kuiper Belts of the outer reaches of the solar system? Yes, 'that' Kuiper!)
Okay, now for a few projects:
If any of these interest you or you have other astronomical ideas you wish to discuss, click , and write your thoughts in the large box at the end after filling out most of the previous registration information.
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