Birthday Sky with Stellarium

Stellarium_NatalNight (2) (1).doc

ASTR 1030 Lab 1Your Birthday Sky with Stellarium

Name: _____________________________________________ Section # _________________

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Purpose: Using the PC planetarium program ”Stellarium”, you will use a computer to go as close as possible to your birthplace, and set the program to display the evening sky after sunset on the night you were born. You will find out information on that date at that location, such as the day of the week you were born on, the times of sunrise, sunset, moonrise, moon phase, and planetary positions and visibility.


This assignment makes use of the free Planetarium software called Stellarium , found at . Print out the Stellarium help file (window F1) and refer to it as you work through this assignment. You are asked to save this assignment as an RTF file and submit in the drop box.

Set the location for reasonably close to your birthplace, using the location window F6. Scroll down or use the world arrow key to choose the site. Note the latitude and longitude chosen, and post this info to your data sheet.

1. Birthplace: ______________________________________________________________

2. Latitude: __________ deg. _________ min. (N/S?) ______

3. Longitude: _________ deg. ________ min. (E/W?) ______

Set the FOV (with mouse wheel) to approximately 100 degrees and face South. Turn on the constellations with F4, choosing markings: check constellation figures (v), names (c), and boundaries (b). Turn off the atmosphere (the A key). This will make the background constellation behind the Sun readable. Turn on the ecliptic line (the comma key). Use the up/down arrows to center the ecliptic on the screen. Open the date and time box and move it to the upper right corner of your screen. Set the date to your birthday. Adjust the time until the Sun is highest, about noon, while facing due south.

4. Record your birth date (month, day, and year): _____________ ______ ________________

4. Record the zodiac sign corresponding to your birth date: __________________________

If unsure of your horoscope birth sign, google “horoscope dates”.

6. Record the name of the constellation in which the Sun resided: ________________________

In most cases, the horoscope sign and the actual birth constellation will NOT be the same; due to precession. With your mouse, left click on the Sun.

7. Turn to face east, and use the Time Rate window (j) of the date/time box to run time back to sunrise. It occurred at

____:_________ AM. Turn west, and now find sunset: ____:________ PM.

ASTR 1030 Natal Night Stellarium Version Page 2

8. Now let’s look along the ecliptic to find the planets visible in the evening sky after sunset on your birthday; indicate what constellation they were in. Also indicate it is in the evening sky with an ( E )for evening. If you don’t find it out after sunset, we will find it rising later before dawn in the morning sky ( M ).

Moon _________________________________________________ (_______)

Mercury _________________________________________________ (_______)

Venus _________________________________________________ (_______)

Mars _________________________________________________ (_______)

Jupiter _________________________________________________ (_______)

Saturn _________________________________________________ (_______)

Now let’s find out what the moon was up to with the calendar for your birth month. Google: (insert your year at the end) to find this personal calendar, using your own YEAR (four digits) and month (lower case), of course.

9. What day of the week were you born on? ______________________________

10. According to this calendar, what is the phase? __________________ ____________________

11. What is the AGE of the moon (days past new) _________ days

12. % visible? ______________% (in direct sunlight)

Submit this in .rft format to your drop box.

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