Edition 03 of the Astronomy On-line Newspaper

Are you ready to test your skills?

Following a long preparatory period, the organisers have now released the first two astronomical exercises within the Test Your Skills Shop. More will follow soon!

This area of Astronomy On-Line is divided into three levels, according to the complexity of the exercises: Basic Middle and Advanced.

Exercises at the Basic Level can be solved by students with very little astronomical background. They should be useful for students of age group 12 - 14 years, although this may vary from country to country, depending on the curricula.

The Middle Level is somewhat more demanding, but will not be too difficult for most astronomy-interested, 15-16 year old students.

The Advanced Level contains more complex exercises (17+ years), calling for a good grasp of astronomical concepts, knowledge about trigonometry, some physics, etc. These exercises will be challenging for most participants.

At this moment, two exercises in the Advanced section are available.

The first of these deals with the determination of the Moon's parallax, by means of observations from two sites. This method was successfully used by two French astronomers in 1752 and the exercise is based on their measurements.

The second exercise concerns the determination of the speed of light, by means of observations of Jupiter's moons, as this was first done by Ole Roemer in 1676. You will find it interesting to follow the step-by-step explanation of how this was possible. Moreover, by consulting a modern table with eclipse timings for the moon Io, you may `discover' the finite speed of light yourself.

More exercises will be published in this Astronomy On-Line Shop from now on, as they become available from the authors, most of whom are founding members of the European Association for Astronomy Education.

Kindly direct all related question to the authors, whose names and email addresses are indicated at the end of the exercise texts.

Richard West
ESO Education and Public Relations Department

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Last update: Oct 14, 1996