Big things are on the horizon for students in the astronomy program at Wasatch Academy! The semester-long course is an introduction to the universe beyond our planet. Students begin with a macro view by examining the cultural significance of various constellations and their locations in the sky. Once they have an understanding of the various shapes that are made up by the stars, students begin to look at more specific objects in the sky such as nebulae, star clusters, galaxies and the other planets in our solar system. This leads to exploratory questions such as “what are these objects?”, “how are they created?”, “what do they become in the future?”
The class relies on projects and regular observation sessions to encourage students to pursue inquiries explaining the universe that they see every night. Students will also investigate more locally observable phenomena such as solar and lunar eclipses, and the various phases of the moon. These are examples of the astrophotography taking place at Wasatch Academy, taken last night using one of the school telescopes and one of the art department’s digital single-lens reflex cameras.
The prominent crater in the dark patch among the southern cluster of craters is known as the Tycho crater. It is difficult to see in this photograph but there are peaks in the center of this crater. The height of these peaks is approximately a mile above the crater floor, which is just a little shorter than the prominence of Mt. Nebo.
The large crater in the left center of the moon, near the shadow side of the moon, is known as the Copernicus crater. It has a diameter of approximately 60 miles; roughly from Mt. Pleasant to Provo.
There is a large figure eight shaped dark region on the eastern side of the moon. The top half is called the sea of serenity and the bottom half is the sea of tranquility. The sea of tranquility is where Apollo 11 landed.