Tasks

The Following is taken from Pages 33 & 34 of the Edexcel Specification

Students cannot select both their observational tasks from the same row in the observation task table. For example, not A1 and B1, A2 and B2 etc.

 

 

 

 

Unaided
observations

Choose one task from this list.
    

Aided
observations

Choose one task from this list.

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A1

Lunar Features

Produce a series of naked-eye drawings of three lunar surface features. Use them to show their changing appearance at different lunar phases.

 

 

B1

Lunar Features

Produce a series of telescopic drawings and/or photographs of three lunar surface features. Use them to show their changing appearance at different lunar phases.

Lunar Features

A2

Meteor Shower

Observe a meteor shower. Record meteor trails on a drawing of the stellar background from sketches and estimate magnitudes of the meteors. Locate and show the position of the radiant.

 

B2

Meteor Shower Photography

Use long-exposure photography to obtain photographs of a meteor shower. Estimate magnitudes of the meteors. Locate and show the position of the radiant.

Meteor showers

A3

Drawings of Lunar or Solar Eclipse

Using a suitable method of observation (lunar — direct, solar — pinhole projection), produce a series of drawings showing the progress of a lunar or solar eclipse.
WARNING: The Sun must NOT be viewed directly, with or without optical aids.

 

B3

Photographs of Lunar or Solar Eclipse

Using a suitable method of observation (lunar — direct, solar — projection), produce a series of photographs showing the progress of a lunar or solar eclipse.

WARNING: The Sun must NOT be viewed directly, with or without optical aids.

- Eclipses

- Safety

- Lunar Eclipse

- Solar Eclipse

A4

Constellation Drawings

Observe and make detailed drawings of three different constellations, recording dates, times, seeing and weather conditions and noting colours (if possible) and magnitudes by comparison with reference stars.

 

 

B4

Constellation Photography

Produce photographs of three different constellations, recording dates, times, seeing and weather conditions. Use the photographs to identify colours and magnitudes by comparison with reference stars.

 

- Star Trails

A5

Drawings of Celestial Event

Produce a series of drawings to record the passage of a suitable celestial event, for example a transit, occultation or comet.

 

 

B5

Telescopic Drawings or Photographs of Celestial Event

Produce a series of detailed telescopic drawings or photographs to record the passage of a suitable celestial event, for example a transit, occultation or comet.

- Planning to observe

A6

Shadow Stick

Use a shadow stick to record the direction of the Sun at different times on at least two days and hence determine (a) the time of local noon and (b) the observer’s longitude.


 

B6

Sundial

On at least three widely-spaced dates, compare the time shown on a correctly-aligned sundial with local mean time. Use these data to determine the accuracy of the sundial used.

- Shadow Stick

- Sundial

 

A7

Levels of Light Pollution

Use repeated observations of the faintest stars observable to quantify the effect of light pollution at two different sites.

 

B7

Photographic Measurement of Levels of Light Pollution

Use the magnitudes of the faintest stars visible in long exposure photographs to quantify the effect of light pollution at two different sites.

- Light Pollution

- Star Trails

A8

Sunspots

Use a pinhole to project an image of the Sun onto a suitable background and observe and record sunspots over a sufficiently long period of time to determine the Sun’s rotation period.
WARNING: The Sun must NOT be viewed directly, with or without optical aids.

 

 

B8

Sunspots

Use a small telescope to project an image of the Sun onto a suitable background and observe and record sunspots over a sufficiently long period of time to determine the Sun’s rotation period.
WARNING: The Sun must NOT be viewed directly, with or without optical aids.

 

- Sunspots

- Safety

- Planning to observe

A9

Light Curve of a Variable Star

Use a series of naked-eye estimates of the magnitude of a suitable variable star over a sufficient period of time to determine the period of the star.

 

B9

Light Curve of a Variable Star

Use a series of telescopic estimates of the magnitude of a suitable variable star over a sufficient period of time to determine the period of the star.

- Cepheids

- Planning to observe

A10

Estimating Stellar Density

By counting the numbers of visible stars within a certain area of sky, estimate and compare the density of stars in the sky, parallel with and perpendicular to the plane of the Milky Way.

 

 

B10

Measuring Stellar Density

Use binocular/telescopic observations or original photographs to measure and compare the density of stars in the sky, parallel with and perpendicular to the plane of the Milky Way.

- Planning to observe

 



 

B11

Drawings of Messier Objects

Use binoculars/telescope/robotic telescope to produce detailed drawings and/or photographs of at least three Messier/NGC objects.

 

- Messier

- Planning to observe

     

B12

Measuring the Sidereal Day

Take long-exposure photographs of the circumpolar stars around Polaris or the south celestial pole and use them to determine the length of the sidereal day.

- Day

- Star Trails