TeacherVision - Lesson Plans, Printables and more Free Trial  Member Benefits  Sign In    
Click Here
Mar 5, 2015
Search:   
We have merged TeacherVision's international content onto one website. Educators around the world can use TeacherVision.com to browse an extensive library of teaching materials. You can still find relevant content for Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States in our Educators' Calendars.  [x] CLOSE
|
 

Star Magnitude Graphing

Grade Levels: 4 - 6

Objectives:

  1. The students will be able to use a spreadsheet to record data on stars.
  2. The students will be able to graphically represent stars by magnitude and location.

Procedure:

  1. Using spreadsheet software (Microsoft Excel or ClarisWorks), instruct the students to transfer the information below into a chart. (Hint: You can click and drag to highlight the data in the chart below. Then copy and paste it into the spreadsheet.)
  2. The students can then create graphs to display the data.

    Magnitude is the degree of brightness of a star. In 1856, British astronomer Norman Pogson proposed a quantitative scale of stellar magnitudes, which was adopted by the astronomical community. He noted that we receive 100 times more light from a first magnitude star as from a sixth; thus with a difference of five magnitudes, there is a 100:1 ratio of incoming light energy, which is called luminous flux.

    Because of the nature of human perception, equal intervals of brightness are actually equal ratios of luminous flux. Pogson's proposal was that one increment in magnitude be the fifth root of 100. This means that each increment in magnitude corresponds to an increase in the amount of energy by 2.512, approximately. A fifth magnitude star is 2.512 times as bright as a sixth, and a fourth magnitude star is 6.310 times as bright as a sixth, and so on. The naked eye, upon optimum conditions, can see down to around the sixth magnitude, that is +6. Under Pogson's system, a few of the brighter stars now have negative magnitudes. For example, Sirius is . 1.5. The lower the magnitude number, the brighter the object. The full moon has a magnitude of about . 12.5, and the sun is a bright . 26.51!

    The Brightest Stars

    StarConstellationMag.Dist
    (l.-y.)
    Sirius Canis Major -1.6 8
    Canopus Carina -0.9 650
    Alpha Centauri Centaurus +0.1 4
    Vega Lyra 0.1 23
    Capella Auriga 0.2 42
    Arcturus Bootes 0.2 32
    Rigel Orion 0.3 545
    Procyon Canis Minor 0.5 10
    Achernar Eridanus 0.6 70
    Beta Centauri Centaurus 0.9 130
    Altair Aquila 0.9 18
    Betelgeuse Orion 0.9 600
    Aldebaran Taurus 1.1 54
    Spica Virgo 1.2 190
    Pollux Gemini 1.2 31
    Antares Scorpius 1.2 170
    Fomalhaut Piscis Austrinus 1.3 27
    Deneb Cygnus 1.3 465
    Regulus Leo 1.3 70
    Beta Crucis Crux 1.5 465
    Eta Carinae Carina 1-7 .
    Alpha-one Crucis Crux 1.6 150
    Castor Gemini 1.6 44
    Gamma Crucis Crux 1.6 .
    Epsilon Canis Majoris Canis Major 1.6 325
    Epsilon Ursae Majoris Ursa Major 1.7 50
    Bellatrix Orion 1.7 215
    Lambda Scorpii Scorpius 1.7 205
    Epsilon Carinae Carina 1.7 325
    Mira Cetus 2-10 250

    Free 7-Day Trial for TeacherVision®

    Sign up for a free trial and get access
    to our huge library of teaching materials!
    Start Trial

    Highlights

    Galactic Hot Dogs Reading Marathon
    Join the Galactic Hot Dogs Reading Marathon! Read each episode as it's re-released with newly revealed facts, behind-the-scenes illustrations, and the inside scoop. Make it official by pledging on the blog to read each chapter with Cosmoe. Your students will love following the exploits of these space travelers, and you'll love the educational elements that can easily be paired to the stories.

    Handwashing Awareness
    Kids are especially susceptible to contracting and spreading viruses during the winter months. Prevention starts with proper handwashing. Show students how to keep germs away.

    March Calendar of Events
    March is full events that you can incorporate into your standard curriculum. Our Educators' Calendar outlines activities for each event, including: National School Breakfast Week (3/2-6), World Orphan Week (3/4-11), Boston Massacre (3/5/1770), Daylight Saving Time Begins (3/8), International Women's Day (3/8), Teen Tech Week (3/8-14), Pi Day (3/14), St. Patrick's Day (3/17), Spring Begins (3/20), Make Your Own Holiday Day (3/26), and World Theatre Day (3/27). Plus, celebrate Deaf History Month (3/15-4/15), Music In Our Schools Month, Women's History Month, and Youth Art Month!

    Poptropica Teaching Guides
    Poptropica is one of the Internet's most popular sites for kids—and now it's available as an app for the iPad! It's not just a place to play games; each of the islands featured on the site provides a learning opportunity. Check out our teaching guides to four of Poptropica's islands: 24 Carrot Island, Time Tangled Island, Mystery Train Island, and Mythology Island.

    Take Our Survey!
    Help us improve TeacherVision by taking our brief survey. Thank you for your input!

    Women's History Month
    March is Women's History Month. Talk to your students about the accomplishments women have made—as well as the adversity they have faced.