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Astronomy 2e

Collaborative Group Activities

Astronomy 2eCollaborative Group Activities

  1. With your group, consider the question with which we began this chapter. How many ways can you think of to prove to a member of the “Flat Earth Society” that our planet is, indeed, round?
  2. Make a list of ways in which a belief in astrology (the notion that your life path or personality is controlled by the position of the Sun, Moon, and planets at the time of your birth) might be harmful to an individual or to society at large.
  3. Have members of the group compare their experiences with the night sky. Did you see the Milky Way? Can you identify any constellations? Make a list of reasons why you think so many fewer people know the night sky today than at the time of the ancient Greeks. Discuss reasons for why a person, today, may want to be acquainted with the night sky.
  4. Constellations commemorate great heroes, dangers, or events in the legends of the people who name them. Suppose we had to start from scratch today, naming the patterns of stars in the sky. Whom or what would you choose to commemorate by naming a constellation after it, him, or her and why (begin with people from history; then if you have time, include living people as well)? Can the members of your group agree on any choices?
  5. Although astronomical mythology no longer holds a powerful sway over the modern imagination, we still find proof of the power of astronomical images in the number of products in the marketplace that have astronomical names. How many can your group come up with? (Think of things like Milky Way candy bars, Eclipse and Orbit gum, or Comet cleanser.)
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