Using the Web

1.
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Go to the “Night Sky” Web page of the National Park Service (NPS—http://nature.nps.gov/night). What is a “natural landscape”? Click on and read “Light Pollution” and “Measuring Lightscapes.” Why is it becoming more rare for people to see the Milky Way? Why does the NPS consider viewing the Milky Way an important part of the parks experience?
2a.
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Go to the Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) app or website for July 2, 2012 (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap120702.html) and watch the video clip “Zooming into the Center of the Milky Way.” Why is there a shift in wavelengths of the selected pictures? On APOD, run a search for “Milky Way” to look at some of the best photographs of it. Where were the pictures taken from? Can you see the Milky Way from your location on a clear night?
2b.
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Why does the galactic center have to be observed in infrared and X-ray wavelengths? Go to the “Milky Way Galaxy” page of the Chandra X-ray telescope website (http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/category/milkyway.html) and to the Spitzer infrared telescope website (http://spitzer.caltech.edu). Are there any new images of the galactic center? What has been learned?
3.
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Go to the websites of the two main groups studying the supermassive black hole at the galactic center: the UCLA Galactic Center Group (http://astro.ucla.edu/~ghezgroup/gc) and the Galactic Center Research group at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (http://mpe.mpg.de/ir/GC). Watch some of the time-lapse animations of the stars orbiting something unseen. Why is it assumed that the unseen object is a black hole? What new results are these groups reporting?
4.
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Go to the Milky Way Project website (http://www.milkywayproject.org/). This citizen science project aims to sort Spitzer telescope observations of the dusty material in the galaxy. Log in with your Zooniverse account name, and read the information under “About” and “Tutorial.” Participants in this project have already discovered some of these bubbles (http://spitzer.caltech.edu/images/4938-sig12-002-Finding-Bubbles-in-the-Milky-Way). Start looking.
5.
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Go to the HST website and watch the videos about the possible collision of the Milky Way and Andromeda (http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/galaxy/2012/20/video). Read the report under “The Full Story.” Now do a Web search on this story, which received a lot of press in 2012. Did other astronomers dispute this study later? Is it still receiving a lot of press attention?

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