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AS101daylab4

AS101daylab4 - J.I AS101 Day Lab#4 Write-Up Lab Partners...

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J.I. AS101 Day Lab #4 Write-Up 6/25/07 Lab Partners: Benji, Kensington Charting the Motion of Sunspots Abstract This lab explores the way the sun moves. We look to unveil the nature of the surface of the sun and make some conclusions about the way the sunspots act as they appear to pass across the surface of the sun. We will use three sets of previously gathered data and images showing the motion of the sunspots over various time periods. This data will help to reveal that there is indeed a difference in the speed of rotation at different latitudes. Introduction For many hundreds of years there have been astronomers observing the sun and recording data of what they saw. 400 years of data started when Galileo first discovered dark spots that moved across the surface of the Sun. Since then through the data astronomers have discovered that these sunspots have an average period of rotation but that some move at different speeds as others. They found the trend was in the different latitudes of the sunspots. This is called differential rotation. This lab goes through three sets of data to observe many sunspots and record their data to find the data to back up the differential rotation. In order to observe the sunspots we are given two types of data sheets. One is scientific imaging of the sun that reveals the dark spots of the sun. The other are observation sheets made by previous students of this class that make use of the solar observation setup of the lab to record the sunspot data of that day. Both these images have the North Pole of the Sun marked and an angle adjustment marked. This allows us to overlay a system of heliographic coordinates over the images and sketches. The angle adjustment is the position angle. This change in angle is due to the way that the Sun’s tilt affects the way we observe the coordinate system as we change our position in the orbit. The position data is observed by a different method but is recorded and published in the Astronomical Almanac for all to be able to calibrate their data of the Sun by. Using all this information we are able to overlay a grid system and record latitude and longitude of the various sunspots that appear.

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