Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA
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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/8230815/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.]
Moon Sun EarthDescribe your most interesting subject, and briefly explain why this subject interested you. (Graded for completion.)
planetarymotion, geologicalactivity, EMwaves
retrograde, planets, Moon
retrograde, EMwaves, lightgatheringpower
Sun, astronomers, planets
electrons, planets, moonphases
moonphases, planets, telescopes
awesome, mysterious, alluring, enlightening
starwheel, eclipses, Keplerslaws
moonphases, starwheel, planets
eclipses, stars, moonphases
moonphases, eclipses, telescopes
rotation, resolvingpower, turbulence
moonphases, eclipses, planets
ellipses, diurnalmotion, telescopepowers
starwheel, moonphases, planets
telescopes, moonphases, light
eclipses, telescopes, moonphases
moonphases, planets, light
Aristotle, telescopes, stars
zodiacsigns, planets, Newtonslaws
Moon, platetectonics, twinklingstars
moonphases, eclipses, IAUplanetclassification
neonlights, Polaris, zodiacsigns
moonphases, planets, eclipses
eclipses, telescopes, moonphases
moonphases, Emwaves, telescopes
moonphases, eclipses, zodiacsigns
moonphases, starwheel, eclipses
telescopes, Earth, Newton
moonphases, eclipses, sunrise, sunset
infrared, stars, sunlight
moonphases, planetfinding, starwheel
moonphases, starwheel, eclipses
starwheel, moonphases, telescopes
planets, lightpollution, starwheel
telescopes, eclipses, orbits
moonphases, sunrise, sunset
Moon, stars, light
starwheel, moonphases, planets
starwheel, eclipses, light
moonphases, solstice, equinox, tides, Moon
starwheel, planets, constellations
Moon, eclipses, gibbous
moonphases, eclipses, planetfinding
constellations, starwheel, moonphases, seasons
useful, cool, groovy
telescopes, umbra, annulareclipses
seasons, eclipses, lightpollution
telescopes, Moon, Sun
moonphases, telescopes, starwheel
telescopes, planets, starwheel
fascinating, amazing, incredible
The following are all of the student responses to this question, verbatim and unedited.
"keplers laws of elliptical motion, it was interesting because it was all based on observation"
"I primarily liked learning about (although I'm unsure to what degree we'll be tested on it), how predictions are made for the composition and density of other objects in the universe and how generalizations based on empirical data can be used to interpret observations elsewhere. Because I had wondered, and then I learned more."
"I really enjoyed learning about the ancient philosophers because it's interesting to learn about how people with limited historical data discovered some of the theories that we still utilize today."
"I really liked the section about eclipses. I have always found them interesting and before I knew the difference between a lunar and a solar eclipse I always thought they were the same thing with a different name. Know that I know the difference I think I like them even more."
"The most interesting subject for me so far would be the reason why we have 14 hours of sunlight during summer and 10 hours during winter. I always thought it was because of the weather, because it was either clear skies or really cloudy."
"My most interesting subject is the subject on Planets and how most of them are uninhabitable and why, because as a fan of sci fi movies I'm genuinely interested in other planets sustaining life."
"The moon fazes are the most interesting to me, I find it interesting that they all rise and set at different times."
"The different planets, and all their different characteristics;personally, was the most interesting."
"Learning about the other planets in our solar system has given me a greater appreciation for Earth, and the life that exist here. And for those reasons, it is the most interesting. the stuff we did with the star chart"
"I found the star wheel interesting because you can predict so much from just two little pieces of paper."
"Stars because they're beautiful and interesting, it's fun trying to locate them."
"I really enjoyed the moon phases. Simply because now I understand what each phase is and when it rises/sets."
"I thought the dual focus telescopes were pretty interesting, I thought it was interesting that we used two separate images and combine them for better resolution. It's like our eyes."
"Moon phases. I never knew how to tell what moon phase we are in. But now I do, and it is so simple and interesting. If you can accurately describe the moon phase people think you are much smarter!"
"The most interesting subject was the moon phases because I'll actually be able to use that a lot in everyday life."
"using the starwheel and finding the dates and times of when certain stars are visible was interesting for me because it's simple and seems the like the most helpful thing to take from astronomy."
"I thought the section about telescopes was interesting. I enjoy learning how things work."
"Umm, probably the moon phases, simply because I love the moon."
"Something that I found interesting was light, and various rays because of the various levels they reach and how they contribute to astronomy."
"Eclipses was the most interesting even though it was the most difficult for me to understand. i think its cool that the moon blocks the earth from the sun"
"Zodiac signs because its awesome how much energy was spent trying to discover them way back when it was all new"
"The moon and constellations because I love the moon it has strong meaning in my life and I have always wanted to get better at finding star constellations. Or for this class it would be the star wheel more than constellations."
"I think the most interesting subject of it would be the explanation of prograde and retrograde motion; the 'loop-de-loop' that the other planets appear to go through. It's baffling to think that it's all an illusion of us passing the planets!"
"Zodiac signs, because it was interesting to know that society believes thats the sign they were born to but in actuality thats the sign you would have been born to when the concept of zodiac signs was first conceived and mapped."
"I really liked going over the moon phases. Ever since, I've paid a way closer attention to what moon phase it currently is each day. (currently waxing gibbous)"
"Phases of then moon are very interesting to me because it is nice to know the basics about the moon and be able identify what phase it is in as well as its motion throughout the sky in everyday life. going over the star wheel because it shows where the stars are according to your location."
"I really enjoyed learning about zodiacs. I liked it because I have always been interested but not very informed on things besides myths."
"I loved finding constellations and such with the star wheel. Being able to pinpoint dates and times with the simple movement of finding the placement of stars interests me greatly."
"I really liked learning about all the people who had a hand in creating our solar system and figuring out how to understand what goes on up there. That was pretty cool."
"I find moon phases to be very interesting. I like knowing what the name is of each moon phase, and also the time they each rise and set."
"I liked learning about infrared light because I know you have to be on top of a mountain to get the clearest view. I liked using the star wheel to help me know where stars are at certain times and I liked knowing what I can and cannot see during different times of the day if I'm standing somewhere specific and the sun is placed somewhere specific."
"I found the moon phases the most interesting because now I always look up at the moon to see what phase it is in."
"I've always loved learning about moon phases and being able to use that knowledge when seeing the moon."
"The moon phases. I understand them and now can point it out to my friends =D."
"I think learning about the star map has been most interesting me because I can set it to the exact time and ate and see what the sky will look like. that is pretty cool!"
"i think the most interesting topic is the movements of stars and constellations the most interesting."
"the moon phases because it was difficult for me at first but I was able to grasp the concept and actually understand/remember them now."
"the moon because i enjoy starring at it"
"Moon phases, you see the moon all the time but I never knew the exact phases and I can now predict when a certain moon will rise or set."
"The most interesting subject for me was the moon phases and even though that is a really specific topic, I enjoyed learning about it the most. Learning about the phases was very interesting and the pattern of determining what phase a moon is in at a certain time is like piecing together a puzzle, which I find really fun."
"I think using the starwheel is interesting because you can actually learn a lot from it and you can control it."
"I really liked know what type of moon it is and when it rises and sets and is at its highest point."
"Planets, because theyre cool"
"I don't have a certain subject I like the most, but I do find it extremely interesting how much we know and how we determine the things we cover."
"I was so excited that I got 100% on the first quiz...so I had assumed I would remember everything for that last quiz...I was wrong. So, I will be reviewing moon phases a little more thoroughly. And, I've always loved the moon."
"Learning about the earth's rotation and the moon's phases."
"i really enjoyed learning about the moon phases because now i can look at the moon everyday and be able to tell; what type of moon it is, when it rises and sets, and also the phase it will be in the next week"
"I liked learning about the phases of the moon. It is a simple concept to grasp and now every night I can tell my friends what phase the moon is in."
"My favorite was the lunar and solar eclipses because so many civilizations knew how to predict when they would come without prior knowledge of star mapping. They just knew when it would come."
"Telescopes were always an object that I have been interested in as far as how they worked. So I am glad we got to learn about the different kinds and actually look through one at Saturn."
"Moon phases, its cool to know what they are called."
"Telescopes because I think they are amazing inventions that people have created to see things we cant see with the human eye or things we can see with the human eye up close."
"I think the moon phases will be easy because I memorized the diagram and I know when the moons set and their phases. I have finally mastered the star wheel it no longer gives me trouble!"
"The cycles of the moon and it was most interesting because once i got it, i got it! Now whenever i look at the moon i know where it is and how to tell when it will set and rise."