Online reading assignment question: confusing Midterm 1 astronomy topics

Astronomy 210 Reading Assignment 7, spring semester 2012
Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA

Originally uploaded by Waifer X

Wordle.net tag cloud for confusing 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/4989866/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 confusing 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
prograde retrograde planets, diagrams, eclipses
prograde retrograde, moon, telescopes
moonphases, rise set, eclipses
moonphases, rise set
precession, tilt, telescopes
history, moon set
history, everything, retrograde
lost dontunderstandhow
people, resolvingpower, telescopes
epicycles, tilt moonphases
spectra, blackbodyradiation, eclipses
history, eveningstars, morningstars
eclipses starwheel
horizons, eveningstars, morningstars
bizarre, why, uh
telescopes, quantumleaps, spectra
planets, starwheel rise set
granules blackbodyradiation parsecs
diagrams model diagrams
telescopes, history, retrograde
telescopepowers, history, magnitudes
blueshift, parallax, orbits
confusing, difficult, what
telescopes light telescopes
blackbody radiation, history
galaxies distances sunspots
continuous, emission, absorption spectra
moon set rise
visiblelight, radiowaves, adaptive optics
sun, moon set, telescopes
eclipses, starwheel, blackbodyradiation
telescopes, telescopepowers
moon planets revolution
sun, stars, temperature, Earth rotation
absorption, emission, continuous spectra
hard, toomuchinfo, lost notgrasping
math, gravity, stars
telescopes, telescopepowers, morningstars
sun, stars, magnitudes, distances
telescopes, history, laws
wavelengths, infrared, telescopes
history, moon rise set, eclipses
light spectra, wavelengths, starwheel
precession, Galileo, reflectors refractors
confusing, boring, difficult.
light wavelengths retrograde
continuous absorption spectra emission Kirchhoff'slaws
starwheel, telescopes, sun planets motion
moonphases, eclipses, circumpolar
spectra continuous emission absorption, light photons waves, blackbodyradiation

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

The following are all of the student responses to this question, verbatim and unedited.
"The prograde/retrograde motion of planets confused me."

"I get confused and have difficulty explaining eclipses the telescopes. It's confusing to me."

"The most confusing was learning the rising and setting times of the moon because its hard to remember the time that goes with the phase."

"moon phases"

"the electrons jumping levels and what kind of light is given off"


"Astronomers are the most confusing subject that will be on the midterm because my memory does not work well with long lists of names with life accomplishments attached."

"For me it's about remembering all the different astronomers and what they did because I mix them up."

"im having trouble remembering which person discovered what"

"learning about the different people and what they discovered about the planets, i cant remember who did what or what some of them even did."

"Moon phases confuse me."

"Spectras, because it is difficult for me to describe and notice the different ones."

"The Astronomers, all I gotta say. Did not like that part."

"The people. I cannot remember who did what very well at all."

"Definitely have a hard time knowing when something is on the horizon or what phase the moon is at a certain time of day."

"I don't understand what you line up to figure out what stars are going to be morning and evening."

"Retrograde and prograde motions of the planets. i don't get why the planets make little circles and appear to be in the same spot."

"Shadows. The penumbra, umbra, and negative shadows are very confusing to me. I keep getting them mistaken with one another."

"The sun rising questions (in east, south east, etc). I'm not too sure how to study that."

"I was confused by which of a telescopes powers is affected by which of its dimensions."

"just being able to look at diarams and find out where the planets were supposed to be on the horizon."

"Everything about telescopes! Mainly, the different parts and what they're used for."

"The most confusing subject for me is the telescope powers. I still don't fully understand LGP, resolving, and magnification power. And how to calculate these."

"Just the scale to which the distance of space is, like between stars and galaxies. Wtf!"

"The different people and what they did."

"Learning about telescopes was very difficult because there was a lot of information to learn, and a very in-depth instrument."


"I guess the sources for Kirchhoff's laws was a little confusing because it was difficult remembering which spectra came from which source."

"Moon set/ rise times."

"The most confusing subject covered so far would probably have to be telescopes and the mirrors, and lens, and everything that goes along with using one."

"Moon setting times i never understood because it was difficult because it changes."

"eclipses because I can't really tell which one is which"

"how to work the star wheel, i always mix up the am/pm times because it goes counter clockwise"

"What time the moon rises or falls will be very difficult."

"the concept of the stars sizes is confusing."

"Knowing the directions via North, South, East, and West in relation to the motions of the stars, planets, sun and moon. It's just hard to keep straight because it's so dimensional."

"The different times that you will see new moon, gibbous, crescent etc.I get a little confused on when these differences take place."

"almost everything. I am just really having trouble grasping the concepts and applying them without set notes. and i think astronomy is just such a vast subject (universe is huge and confusing!) it just gets me all scrambled up"

"the moon phases, because they are hard to memorize"

"explaining what eclipse you would see from the diagram you give us. example: fall 2011 quiz 2 question 1"

"the sun, and the three different layers."

"I am very confused by telescopes and how they are measured and work. With light-gathering power, resolving power, and magnifying power, I was mixed up and confused on how they interact with each other."

"Honestly I feel fairly confused by most the things we have been doing. I didn't get much studying done this weekend and there is a good chance I am going to fail."

"the history part, because its really hard for me to take an interest in it"

"the star wheel because I get confused on which way to hold it."

"It's not for this exam... but I still don't understand how each star has a unique-but-constant EM signature"

"The most confusing subject is getting straight who did what when it comes to proving or disproving the way the solar system works"

"I seem to have struggled with solar and lunar eclipses. I don't quite know why, its just something about them that is hard for me to fully comprehend."

"sun layers its like a big lasagna i dont get the difference"

"its hard to place the absorption emission to either the photospher chromosphere."

"anything depending on location. like what time the sun will rise and set depending on the month. anything with locating when a moon will be highest overhead, or what planets will be visible at a certian time"

"Even though it is the most interesting, I seem to of been having trouble with the phases of the moon the past few quizzes. Opening the text should and has been helping that."

"The chart the involes size temp and luminosity. I had trouble grasping how the chart works. Please do a brief review of this would greatly appreciate it."

1 comment:

Patrick M. Len said...

Astronomy 210 Reading Assignment 7, spring semester 2012
Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA

Student responses (raw, unedited, unconsolidated)
Sections 30674, 30676

prograde/retrograde motion of planets, earth-moon diagrams, identifying eclipses.
For me it's "Eclipses..."
Prograde/retrograde, moon, and telescopes.
moon phasses, rise and set times, eclipses
finding where the moon is a a certain time
Precession, Tilt, Telescopes in general...
Astronomers, moon set times
Astronomers, remembering all the information and retrograde motion.
lost dont understand how
people, resolving power, telescope
Epicycles, tilt and moon phases
Spectras, Blackbody Radiation, and Eclipses.
Most of the sections were confusing.
The famous people, evening stars, morning stars.
The eclipses are a little tough and also positions of the constellations
Horizons, evening stars, morning stars
Bizarre, why, and uhm.
Telescopes, Electron Movement, Light Spectrums
Planets, star wheel and the time questions.
granules black body radiation parsec
diagram model diagram
TELESCOPES, astronomers, retrograde
telescope powers, history, absolute/apparent magnitude
Blueshift, parallax, orbits
Confusing, difficult, what????
Telescopes. Electromagnetic spectrum.Astronomical instruments.
blackbody radiation, astronomers
galaxies distances sunspots
continuous, emission, absorption
Moon set/ rise times.
visible light, radio wave, adaptive optics
sunalogies, moon setting times, telescopes
eclipses, star wheel, star sizes
telescopes, what design feature benefits what power
Moon, Planets, Revolutions
The sun's layers, the hotness of stars, the way the earth spins.
Explaining telescope powers.
Absorption, emission, and continous spectra. Not really sure which lights belong to which one without it showing the spectra.
hard!, too much info!, lost! not grasping!
math, gravity, star
the telescopes and how modifying diff things increases a power. also explaining what stars are morning stars.
Sun, star brightness and distance away
telescopes, astronomers, laws of astronomers
Wavelengths, Infrared, Telescopes
history, moon rise and set, eclipses
light spectrum, wave lengths, star wheel
I feel good with pretty much all the material
precession, Galileo, reflectors and refractors
Confusing, boring, difficult.
light wavelengths retrogrades
continuous absorption also the absorbtion spectrum emission kircchoffs
anything with the star wheel, telescopes, sun and planetary movement and patterns and all that jazz
Phases, Eclipses, Circumpolar
Spectra- Continuous emission and absorption, EM radiation-particle and wave, and black body radiation