Online reading assignment question: interesting Midterm 1 astronomy topics

Astronomy 210 Reading Assignment 7, Spring Semester 2010
Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA

Originally uploaded by Waifer X

Wordle.net tag cloud for interesting topics covered in Midterm 1, generated by responses from Astronomy 210 students at Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA (http://www.wordle.net/show/wrdl/1826463/Untitled).

Students have a weekly online reading assignment (hosted by SurveyMonkey.com), where they answer questions based on reading their textbook, material covered in previous lectures, opinion questions, and/or asking (anonymous) questions or making (anonymous) comments. Full credit is given for completing the online reading assignment before next week's lecture, regardless if whether their answers are correct/incorrect. Selected results/questions/comments are addressed by the instructor at the start of the following lecture.

List at least three words describing interesting subjects covered in class (up through this midterm). (Graded for completion.)

[Responses have been edited to consolidate related common subjects.]

Student responses
Sections 30674, 30676
light, stars, moon
sun, moon, stars
moonphases, spectra, comparingstars
moon, sun, stars
blackbodyradiation, quantumleaps, electromagneticradiation
eclipses, starbrightnesses, starwheels
sunspots, misosoup, telescopes
stars, light, moon
starsize, lumninosity, startemperature
stars, light, sound
moon, starwheels, telescopes
astronomers, stars, sun
fascinating, mesmerizing, wondrous
sun, Kirchhoffslaws, stars
telescopes, retrograde, moonphases
sunspots, absolutemagnitude, retrograde, convection, misosoup, granules
eclipses, moonphases, starwheels
telescopes, lightgatheringpower, resolvingpower
absolutemagnitude, apparentmagnitude
luminosity, starsize, startemperature, sun, moonphases
cool, fabulous, awesome
stars, sun, moon
stars, telescope, planetarymotion
stardistances, sun, radiotelescopes
seasons, astronomers, orbits
zodiac, telescopes, starwheels
interesting, fun, logical
telescopes, retrograde, planets
fascinating, fun, fantastic
retrograde, moonphases, philosophers
moonphases, starbrightnesses
gravity, atmopshere, ellipses
stars, telescopes, sun
light, spectra, astronomers, eclipses
moonphases, planets, astronomyinthemarketplace
stars, moonphases, telescopes
stars, eclipses, philosphers
gammarays, whitedwarfs, telescopes, supergiants, parsecs
moonphases, planetarymotion, eclipses
stars, light, sun
starwheels, moonphases
magnifyingpower, gibbous, astrology
stars, moonphases, seasons
moonphases, planetarymotion
moon, sun, planets
history, Galileo, Inquisition
stars, eclipses, telescopes
P-dog, zodiac, moon phases
eclipses, waxing, gibbous, Keplerslaws
stars, eclipses, philosophers
starwheels, moonphases, spectra
eclipses, crescent, gibbous
fascinating unbelievable wow
interesting, abstract, in-depth
moonphases, precession, wavelengths
eclipses, gammarays, starwheels
P-dog aliens stars
mooncycles, retrograde, sun
Keplerslaws, bluemoon, moonphases
eclipses, heliocentrism, geocentrism, telescopes
electrons, telescopes, stars
astrology, moonphases, astronomers
moonphases, eclipses, telescopes
moonphases, precession, stars
space, moon, MilkyWay
history, planetarymotion, stars
planetarymotion, telescopes, moonphases
stars, magnitude, electromagneticradiation
eh, ok, alright
orbit, lunar eclipses, solar eclipses
moonphases, stars, electrons
blackholes, starbrightnesses, astrology
stars, orbits, telescopes
stars, stuff
stars, spectra, P-dog
infinite, microscopic, void

Describe your most interesting subject, and briefly explain why this subject interested you. (Graded for completion.)

The following are all of the student responses to this question, verbatim and unedited.
"on how they came up with the theoies on how plantes move. How would you even know where to start and predicate such information"

"Stars, To me they are just sleeping giants that are absolutely mind bogaling in size and power.
Learning how the sun, moon, stars move was interesting because I can see it every day."

"I really enjoyed learning about the moon phases and the highest over head times. I never knew that each phase was highest overhead at a specfic time."

"suns was the most interesting subject because it has so many functions."

"quantum leaps- the concept was easy to understand and it made sense"

"the brightness and size of the stars. Its jus interesting how stars can be so huge and hot and yet they appear just a little dot in the sky."

"mm idk yet"

"Star and how big they are is the most interesting subject to me because it makes you realize your place in the world, its crazy!!!"

"I liked learning about the stars because that's what astronomy is all about.
moon phases because i could never understand it until this semester"

"I enjoyed learning about the temperature of stars and the various spectrums: absorption, continuous, and emission. It wasn't what I expected to learn about stars, but it was very interesting."

"they r all =ly interesting in sum aspects."

"Starwheels, because when i dont know what a group of stars is, its very easy to find out :)"

"Asronmers!!!! I love history, therfore it wasn't torture memorizing them. It just made since."

"Moon phases and their time had my interest because they were easy to understand."

"Determining the heat, luminosity, and distance of a star because I can look up into the night sky and know that a blue star is much hotter than a red star."

"the moon phases were confusing but interesting"

"Learning that astrology is sort of a pseudoscience, in that they don't account for precession."

"Eclipses by far, I have always been interested about they occurred. Now I know."

"Telescopes because it helps you understand another 'world.'"

"I loved working on apparent and absolute magnetude, it just clicked so easily for me. It is really cool to be able to tell where (approximately) a star is from earth just by comparing its magnetiudes."

"i really liked learning about star color, brightness, size and placement in the sky."

"solar eclipses because I'm a dark, angry person."

"the moon was the most interesting because now whenever i look at it i try to figure out the stage it is in"

"I really enjoyed learning about the stars, how they're born and how they die."

"Telescope and its powers and how they work, because it is interesting."

"how they measure the distance of stars, it's pretty cool how they can measure without having to leave earth"

"The history of the astronomers is what I found most interesting. I loved learning where the flow of ideas and discoveries has led us."

"the subject that i found most interesting would be the zodiac signs because i find astrology very interesting and even have a book or two on it"

"i have no idea. its all interesting dude!"

"retrograde becasue its seems gnarly."

"The most interesting subject for me was the different moon phases. This subject interested me because at first it seemed hard to understand, but then, once I caught on, it was fun."

"The most interesting subject was retrograde motion because of the appearance of a planet's motion across the sky which is actually only seen by the eye and not actually occuring."

"light/start brightness. It is interesting to find out how bright stars are and why they are that way."

"the sun and how it makes plants move faster when they are closer to it."

"Astronomy because I like learning about the solar system."

"history of the astronomers. it's very interesting to me how they discovered certain things. then again I like history."

"is this as in more interesting subject in astronomy? if so moon phases because i can see them and conceptually grasp the idea of whats happeneing."

"the moon cycles because i la la love the moon"

"I liked learning about moon phases, because I had always wondered about that."

"tars because there are so many and they come in many shapes and sizes."

"I was interested in retrograde motion. The movements of our planet and the planets around us sparks my imagination."

"the most interesting subject that i have learned about so far would have to be this course because as a little kid i used to look up at the stars and wonder why are there little lights blinking back at me."

"Moon phases were most interesting to me because it gives me a better understanding of how the earth, sun and moon move with respect to each other."

"I really like to learn about the history of astronomy, probably because I am a history major."

"The star wheels because at first they looked really hard to use but were actually really easy once you got the hang of it"

"Key features of a telescope as my Dad built one in the late 60s."

"Zodiac Signs, because I am really interested in how the zodiac signs effect our relationships and personalities."

"the moon phases because now i can identify them and impress people"

"liked learning about the phases of the moon because I always wondered why it changed shapes."


"The most interesting subject has got to be the star wheel and the dates and times when different constellations are visible. I loved learning about how the Earth's procession has altered the astrological signs and the discrepancy that occurs with regards to astrology and the signs of the zodiac."

"Eclipses because you do not see them very often."

"moon phases because i always wondered"

"moon phases because its easy to understand and seems pointlessly useful"

"Stars because there are so many and they come in many shapes and sizes."

"Mapping stars and learning how the moon phases work was most interesting to me."

"Eclipse: I find it interesting what makes either a solar or lunar eclipse happen and where the best spots to see it are."

"The movement of stars in the sky, because i didnt realize how they appeared to move in relation with the earth."

"the moon stages because i really never knew how the cycle was"

"The 'Astronomers' section was awesome. I have always been interested in the history of things."

"I really enjoyed learning about the moon and the different phases of the moon. I never paid attention to how the moon rotated and changed or realized the fairly complex system that it follows. Now I find myself looking at the moon every night and I can tell exactly what stage its in, when it rose/set, when it will be at its highest point."

"Constellations because I was always curious as to what I was looking at."

"rt because i like to draw"

"The moon's phases because the moon is something that i look at most nights"

"I honestly don't know"

"quantum physics, because its 4 times the amount of physics that i need"

"I liked the rotation of the moon around the sun because it was difficult to grasp the concept however once you have it i feel its really cool to know."

"liked reading about Newtons laws. My favorite being the second. I dug it because i play futbol and as mid-fielder/ right wing on free kicks I would cross the ball from the right and it would bend in a sort of banana shape towards my fowards. I liked reading about my actions on the pitch and relating it to astronomy terms"

"i like learning about the stars brightness and we tell there true brightness"

"i think learning about star rotation has been the most interesting because i never noticed how they moved until i looked at the star wheel"

"it was interesting to learn how precession changed how the constellations alligned with the sun changing what month everyone actually is."

"i thoroughly enjoy weight training...its a great way to shape up the bod for beach season"

"Understanding the lunar cycles was neat, we see the moon almost every night and understanding the rising and setting times was something I found cool."

"math, because i can figure out the answer i don't have to know the answer"

"The birth of modern science, although briefly explained in class, was the most interesting to me. "

"When learning about the different astronomers and their contributions to the science world, it allowed me to make connections between astronomy and other science and mathematics, such as calculus, quantum mechanics, and modern physics. This made me realize that astronomy is connected to everything we know, and this simple idea motivates me to want to discover what is still unknown to mankind at any necessary risks. As an engineer, this goal seems right in my grasp."

"My most interesting subject so farvis the theories of all the scientists. Its cool knowing what they thought the universe was like back in the day."

"Electromagnetic rays are cool because they are both electro and magnets in forms of rays"

"Astronomy isn't really my thing, I wouldn't say anything has struck me as super interesting. sorry
the movement of the stars overnight, i had no idea they moves at all before taking the class
the stars because its a nice easy concept"

"anything to do with stars. chicks dig it"

"tars, because I find it interesting how there are so many out in space and how they are formed/destroyed."

"everything about the suns and size and luminosity, because it is on such a large scale"

"human sexuality"

"The sun, I like learning about the reactions and composition of the sun."

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