ACTIVITY:  Introduction to Starry Night Software





For all questions below, unless stated otherwise, all observations are from Sacramento and the year is assumed to be the current year.

1.   According to Starry Night, what’s the latitude of Sacramento?

38° 39.6' N

2.   Find the Sun on ___Febraury 28 at noon PST____. What times will it rise and set (give answers to the nearest minute)?

6:39 am (±1 min)

 am (±1 min)

5:56 pm (±1 min)

3.   For the date given in Question #2, set the time to three hours after the time of the setting Sun. Write the time here: _________[8:56 pm]_____________ Is the Moon in the sky (Yes or No)?


The following questions are all to be answered for the date given in Question #2 and the time given in Question #3.

4.   If the Moon is above the horizon in Question #3, when will it set? If is below the horizon, when will it rise?

Rises at 8:01 am or 8:37 am (the next day)

5.   What are the right ascension and declination of ___Betelgeuse_____?

5h 56.094m                  (± .050m)

7° 24.406'

 (± .050′)

6.   For the same date and time, what are the altitude and azimuth of the object in question #5? Round both your answers to the nearest degree.



7.   For the celestial object in Question #5, what is it magnitude?


8.   Find the planet ___Venus___. What constellation is it in? What percentage of its illuminated side do we see from Earth?


16.66% (or 17%)


9.   Find the Messier object that is closest in the sky to the planet given in Question #8. What type of object is it and how far away is it (in light-years)? Zoom to about 70º field of view – get rid of horizon

Galaxy (M74)

20000000 ly

10. Find ___Algieba____. What constellation is it in and what is its magnitude?


About 2.00

The following questions are not dependent on any of the previous date and time requirements.

11. Find Messier object ___M31___. What is the name of the object?

Andromeda Galaxy

12. Using the “Angular Separation” tool, determine the angular separation between ______M31_______ and _____M33_______. Give the answer to the nearest degree.

15° (± 1°)

13. With help from the “Angular Separation” tool, determine how many stars on the 21 Stars to Know list lie within __30__ degrees of the object in Question 5.


4 (excluding object in Question 5)