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Wednesday, March 14, 2007


More practical astronomy experiments

DaveP links to a nice exercise in practical astronomy, finding out how wide your hand is. Huh? you say, how is that astronomy? The width of hands and fingers is often used as a quick way of measuring distances in the sky. This table (scroll down) shows some common distances associated with your hands. Robin Scargell at the Society for Popular Astronomy wants to know how accurate these "rules of thumb" are. So when you are out looking at Orion for the GlobeAtNiight's light pollution exercise, see what distances you can measure with your hand and report back to the SPA. The details of the experiment are at the SPA site linked above, but the long axis of the southern cross is 6 degrees

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