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Re: Astronomy C

Posted: April 12th, 2012, 4:16 pm
by Schrodingerscat
The DSO's are kind of like in Reach, but you don't need to identify them, and they're normally sort of obscure. You need to know the defining characteristics of them, and how they relate to the overall topic of that year. The [wiki]Astronomy/DSOs[/wiki] has a table with past DSO's.
It is definitely not always true that you don't need to identify them, as I have seen a test at competition where half the questions are virtually impossible unless you can identify the object.

Re: Astronomy C

Posted: April 12th, 2012, 5:05 pm
by Luo
Yeah, most tests I've encountered require identification of DSOs.

Re: Astronomy C

Posted: April 12th, 2012, 5:53 pm
by AlphaTauri
Hahahaha, you wish it was that simple. :twisted:

RFTS and Astro are similar in some ways, but VERY different in others. Astro basically has three main sections: DSO's, calculations, and conceptual stuff.

The DSO's are kind of like in Reach, but you don't need to identify them, and they're normally sort of obscure. You need to know the defining characteristics of them, and how they relate to the overall topic of that year. The [wiki]Astronomy/DSOs[/wiki] has a table with past DSO's.

The conceptual stuff varies from year to year. It is usually a broad astronomical topic, and the test questions can go very in depth. Basically, you have to know it inside and out.

The calculations are completely new from B to C. Some of them have to deal with distance, others luminosity, temperature, redshift, etc. You have to be able to use them in a given problem. There's a formula sheet on the Astronomy Wiki.

That's the gist of it. True, you have the background of RFTS, but this is like that on steroids. The good thing is, EACH partner is allowed a binder or laptop (without Internet access). It's pretty fun when you start studying it, and it's my favorite event by far, which is saying something considering how much I like Remote Sensing. :D
My two cents on what EAST said:
The DSOs are normally sort of obscure"? "Sort of obscure"? Half of them are so obscure that their names read like the contents of a can of alphabet soup and they don't even have a Wikipedia page. :| That being said, they are very fascinating, especially the more exotic objects like blazars or the pretty ones like planetary nebulas.

While the conceptual topic does vary from year to year, all the topics are interrelated so generally it's a good idea to study everything, with an emphasis on the current year's topic.

The calculations/formulas are quite fun at times - it's very satisfying to solve a difficult problem and know that you're doing the same kind of math as real astrophysicists. However, there are a LOT of formulas, and you have to know which one(s) to use. There's a reason that Astro is the only event that lets you bring programmable calculators.

And yes, it is very much like RftS on steroids, although thankfully without any constellation identification, and the leeway on resources is awesome (I <3 my astro laptop...which is also my regular laptop...which is a little temperamental/broken >.>).
Yeah, most tests I've encountered require identification of DSOs.
Every test I've ever seen required DSO identification, and some of them were literally like, "What DSO is this?"

Re: Astronomy C

Posted: April 12th, 2012, 8:33 pm
by syo_astro
For me, the amount asked on DSOs ranged. For invites there were fewer questions on DSOs, regionals had the whole test on DSOs except about 10 math questions. States was completely different since they asked things both outside the rules, on the DSOs, lots of calculations (basically they put everything in and then some). The questions really varied, some were ID, some were naming constellation, some were answering questions about motions occurring or other facts/concepts on the DSOs.

Some of the DSOs are random, but some of them I have seen be slightly more common. The calculations aren't that bad, but read the rules (should have brushed up a bit more on binary systems...would've finished states then). There is a variety like East mentioned.

My tip would be to research a lot and try to find old notes if you can. For me I basically researched everything I could on google, added all sorts of glossaries and notes from sites like AAVSO and chandra and combined that with some old notes I found. My partner then made it into a fantastic formatting. I do know other people just take all of wikipedia though...

The basics do help, and from what I hear RTFS helps a bit for astronomy. The event, like all of them, takes some work...for resources I think that it helps, but it should only be a quick reference since most tests have been long enough so that you don't have time to read through notes too much. But for me, I like the event too since I love astronomy :D .

Re: Astronomy C

Posted: April 12th, 2012, 10:05 pm
by Infinity Flat
There's a reason that Astro is the only event that lets you bring programmable calculators.
Optics lets you bring one too. But astronomy is the only event that allows laptops.

Re: Astronomy C

Posted: April 13th, 2012, 2:14 pm
by EastStroudsburg13
The DSO's are kind of like in Reach, but you don't need to identify them, and they're normally sort of obscure. You need to know the defining characteristics of them, and how they relate to the overall topic of that year. The [wiki]Astronomy/DSOs[/wiki] has a table with past DSO's.
It is definitely not always true that you don't need to identify them, as I have seen a test at competition where half the questions are virtually impossible unless you can identify the object.
I meant not like RFTS, where you go into an inflatable planetarium or get a star chart. Although when I think about it, they could be like "What DSO is in this constellation" if they wanted to be truly evil. My word choice was lacking there.

And like themachine said, the amount of DSO on a test varies. The Athens test had very few, while regionals was pretty DSO-heavy. The percentages will range per test, just like in all other events, but those three are the main ones.

Re: Astronomy C

Posted: April 14th, 2012, 10:25 am
by syo_astro
States was a bit ago, so I have a question. For one page they asked to name the color for a bunch of spectral classes and match a bunch of random stars to its respective class. The classes weren't too bad, but they also included W, L, and T. My main problem is how should I have matched the stars? I only remember that one was epsilon eridani, and I think most of them didn't match my examples. Is there some pattern to star names?

Re: Astronomy C

Posted: April 14th, 2012, 11:20 am
by EastStroudsburg13
The star name in Epsilon Eridani just signifies what constellation it's in and how bright it is within its constellation. Thus, the star is in the constellation Eridanus and it's the fifth brightest star in that constellation. Did they give you other information besides the star name?

Re: Astronomy C

Posted: April 14th, 2012, 11:24 am
by syo_astro
The star name in Epsilon Eridani just signifies what constellation it's in and how bright it is within its constellation. Thus, the star is in the constellation Eridanus and it's the fifth brightest star in that constellation. Did they give you other information besides the star name?
I am pretty sure they didn't...

Re: Astronomy C

Posted: April 15th, 2012, 3:25 pm
by Cheesy Pie
The star name in Epsilon Eridani just signifies what constellation it's in and how bright it is within its constellation. Thus, the star is in the constellation Eridanus and it's the fifth brightest star in that constellation. Did they give you other information besides the star name?
That's mostly true, but Rigel (Beta Orionis) is brighter than Betelgeuse (Alpha Orionis). The Greek letter name (or whatever it's called) also has something to do with the star's location in the constellation