Apparent Motion of The Sky Worksheet
Download Worksheet here.

Analyzing your Sky Data: 
Draw a large SQUARE on a blank piece of paper.

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Label each side of your square for the four horizons, 
write outside the box!  

  • Top will be NORTH
  • Bottom will be SOUTH
  • Left side <-  will be EAST
  • Right side -> will be WEST

Look at your South Horizon data. 

  • Draw four star dots near your Southern Horizon line inside your square.
  • Draw ARROWS indicating motion of these four stars over 30 mins.

Rotate your square counterclockwise. Look at your Eastern Horizon data. 

  • Draw four star dots near your Eastern  Horizon line inside your square.
  • Draw ARROWS indicating motion of these four stars over 30 mins. 

Rotate your square counterclockwise. Look at your Northern Horizon data. 

  • Draw four star dots near your Northern Horizon line inside your square.
  • Draw ARROWS indicating motion of these four stars over 30 mins. 

Rotate your square counterclockwise. Look at your Western Horizon data. 

  • Draw four star dots near your Western Horizon line inside your square.
  • Draw ARROWS indicating motion of these four stars over 30 mins.
  • Rotate your square counterclockwise. Look at your Polaris (north star) data. 
  • You should have the south horizon line back at the BOTTOM of your page.
  • Place a dot for Polaris about 2/3 of the way toward TOP of square, equal distance from each SIDE of square.
  • Sketch arrows showing motion of 6 stars relative to Polaris over 30 minutes.
  • Is your motion consistent with your other four pieces of data?

Write a “CLAIM” about your observations and analysis. 

  • Example: Stars are pulled around Polaris by the gravity of Polaris.

Can you think of several explanations that would prove your claim true or prove your claim false?
Can you come up with ideas or experiments/observations to validate or to dismiss any of the claims made by you or your associates?
What do you think is the most likely simple explanation for what you’ve just observed happen to the sky over several minutes of time?