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Constellation Project for Unit 3

In this unit, you will be required to choose a constellation and make a diagram of the relationship between the distance of the stars that make up the pattern of the constellation. Think of a shoe box. From one end looking through, you should be able to "see" the pattern of the constellation. From an adjacent side, you should be able to see the actual distances of the stars away from Earth (the viewing end). You may hang small objects, whatever you choose, to represent the stars and you will calculate the relative distances between the stars using a spreadsheet, either MS Excel or a Google Spreadsheet. You will be required to share your spreadsheet with the teacher, via email or "Share" with Google Drive to show that you learned how to use the program. You will choose your constellation from a hat and it will contain at least 8 stars. (No Canis Minor, sorry.) Check the links at the bottom for a "SpreadCheat." ...pun intended. 

There are 2 things you will turn in about your constellation:
1. Email or share your spreadsheet.
2. Shadow Box.

Handout I gave you the other day:

Astronomy Constellations Project

Excel / Spreadsheet Directions:

1.       Set up your headers as shown by the example on the other side of this paper.

2.       Find all the rest of your data (except distance from front of box) and fill in the rest of your columns.

3.       TIP: In order to have Excel calculate the distances for you, you can only put real numbers in the distance in light-years column. The column title already gives the units, so there should be no letters in that column. The same goes with the box that you write in the length of your box. This should just be a number.

4.       On the bottom of this paper, write out the formula for finding a ratio. You need to know how to do the calculation in order to tell Excel to do it.

5.       In order to get excel to make a calculation or do anything for you, start by telling it that you want that box to be equal to something “=”

6.       Here is where I want you to figure out most of it:

a.       Tips:

b.       “+” means addition

c.       “-“ means subtraction

d.       “*” means multiplication

e.       “/” means division

f.        “C4” means that you want it to use the value in box C4

g.       “$C$4” means that you want it to use that box and that box only for every single one of the calculations. Without the $ sign, it will choose the box down from the original when you “drag down” in excel. You will want to use the $ for the length of your box.

h.       When you have one full box programmed correctly, use the cursor in the bottom right side of that box to “drag down” to the rest of your distances to calculate for you.

i.         Formatting of numbers: Choose the number formatting option and choose 1 or 2 decimal places.

7.       When you are completely finished, save your document “Firstname_Lastname_Nameofconstellation Project.” Attach the spreadsheet to an email and send it to my work email. **If using Google Drive, share it with me, use:

8.       Lastly, print yourself a copy to use in class tomorrow.

Constellation:  Cassiopeia Length of Box: (cm) 32

Star Personal Orientation Distance from Earth (lightyears) Distance from front of box (cm) Star Type Apparent Magnitude
Shedir (Alpha Cas) Back leg of chair 228 1.78 Orange Giant
Caph (Beta Cas) Front leg of chair/Queen's legs 54 0.42 Yellow-White Giant
Gamma Cas Back/butt point 613 4.78 Variable with companion
Ruchbah (Delta Cas) Thoracic Curve of Back 99 0.77 Eclipsing Binary 
Epsilon Cas Head 442 3.45 Blue-White Giant
Kappa Cas Knees 4100 32.00 Blue-White Supergiant

Resource for distances:

Checked with Wikipedia. 


Kelsey Quinn,
Dec 20, 2012, 2:46 PM
Kelsey Quinn,
Jan 24, 2013, 8:53 PM