How did the previous laboratory exercises help you to understand the scientific method and how astronomy uses observations to test hypotheses and theories?

In the past few weeks I have learnt a lot interacting with the Stellarium planetarium software. The software with a number of capabilities would allow me to do different kind of observations with a tone of features that come with it. This scientific method of the planetarium observations uses simulation as a way of observing planetary objects and has been a closer way of simulating the real world experience of an astronomer doing the actual observation of astronomical bodies. By interacting with the simulation software in a number of laboratory exercises, I was able to hypothetically understand the tangible and theoretical concepts and principles related to astronomy.

Which of the five activities did you find to be the most interesting or educational?

Despite carrying a number of laboratory activities, some were more involving, interesting, enlightening and educational for that matter. With the Stellarium planetarium software, a variety of simulation activities can be carried out using it. First, the feature packed simulation software enabled me to make 3D scenery observations of astronomical bodies. It was a stunning feature that impressed me. Secondly I was able make simulation on visualizing iridium flares; another interesting feature. I was also able to make visual simulations for the novae and supernovae. Another activity I undertook that ws interesting was the observations I made on skinnable landscapes, which I could observe in a spherical panorama projection. I was also abele to make eclipse simulation observations that gave me a real understanding of how eclipses occur.

Did you find the Stellarium program easy or difficult to use? What would you recommend to the programmer of Stellarium to make any changes or add any additional features?

Stellarium is a program I find easy especially on usability yet very real. A software gives any learner astronomer a visual learning aspect that is important. For learners like me, it helped me view the actual sky display and practice on star hopping during the night and day. Overall as a learner, I had a good experience with this simulation software and I would recommend it to other new learners.

If you had to use Stellarium to devise your own new laboratory exercise, what aspect of the program would you use? What astronomical objects would you focus on?

The one exercise I would undertake if I were to device one was atmospheric observation. It involves simulating the atmosphere using a set of time intervals. The sky will be bright during the day and will eventually start to fade out into darkness as night approaches indicating the end of daytime.

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