FW: FAQ Lab Assignment?

Stephen Thompson (SThompson@esiusa.com)
Fri, 06 Sep 96 11:50:00 PDT

Observing the bright tumblers is indeed a terrific project for beginners. 
 Even though the old hands are doing some really cool work with these 
objects, simpler projects can be very instructive to the person doing the 
observing.  Taking the list of bright Zenit boosters and measuring each of 
their flash periods (even crudely) would make a great science fair project. 
 A graph of current flash period vs year of launch would produce a very 
impressive plot showing the gradual increase in period with time.  This 
graph would of course contain various kinds of scatter in the data, which 
would be the jumping off point for more sophisticated projects.  Over a 
period of years, even a casual observer could watch the bright, fast 
tumblers of 1996 slowly slide down and across the graph.  A good final exam 
question for Astronomy 101 would be to compare and contrast the 'Tumbling 
Booster Slowdown Graph' with the 'Hertzpsrung-Russell Diagram'  of stellar 
evolution.

Stephen

SThompson@esiusa.com
Tallahasee FL 30.5N 84W