Astronomy C

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PM2017
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Re: Astronomy C

Postby PM2017 » October 6th, 2018, 8:32 pm

PM2017 wrote:
starstudent wrote:What are some good resources to use for astronomy if you're using a laptop for the event?

Same as a binder?

For DSOs Chandra is really helpful.
Back when I started, I used a lot of http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/hframe.html
My biggest resources are astronomy course lecture notes.You might have to do some digging, but they are incredibly useful.
There was some textbook I used to have for the math for astro, but the computer where I bought and downloaded it broke, so I no longer have access to it.


starstudent wrote:Thanks!


Disclaimer: Obviously, my first post is by no means sufficient to gain the knowledge needed to excel in this event.

Also, since I forgot a lot of resources in my first go around, here are some more:
DSOs:
APOD(APOD, or astronomy picture of the day, is basically what the name says. Each day, they post an astronomy image, and they often post things that are interesting to researchers. Guess how they choose the DSOs for astronomy... This is not great for info, but gives lots of images); Wikipedia (make sure to verify; also, many ESes make sure to avoid info from Wikipedia. Nonetheless, you can get a solid baseline from Wikipedia); SIMBAD (this is a database that has tons of numerical info, but it is by no means user-friendly and uses lots of industry jargon and abbreviations.); Google tricks (do something like "RCW 103 type:pdf" or "AB Aurigae site:edu" to immediately cut out irrelevant info. This is incredibly useful for well-known DSOs, and for obtaining advanced info); arxiv.org (Arxiv, which is actually pronounced "archive" -- the X is the Greek letter Chi -- is your goto for academic papers. I normally only read the abstract, and get the images, but sometimes read the whole paper. Regardless, it has some of the most in-depth info you would want. This should only really be used when you want to get very advanced; I would recommend getting a baseline for everything first, and then coming back to academic papers.); IOPscience (similar to arxiv);

Concepts:
This is our weakest area, and there's really no formula to this.
I really focus on lecture notes for these.
Here are some that have really helped me in the past (I won't give you all of them, because, well, I don't want to share all of my sources) If you can find them, Ohio State University Lecture Courses are really helpful, especially for beginners. I occasionally come across Caltech lecture notes, and those very complex, very, very fast.
The best way honestly is to just google things and find info about them. You must be persistent. If you want a piece of info, you may have to dig very deep to find something. I remember I was trying to find something, and I had to link a series of four links to get to what I needed. Also, be smart about Google searches. I can't exactly come up with examples off the top of my head, but try to be as specific as possible.

In general, what I do if find a source I like about a certain topic, after a google search. For example, I made this Google query: "type ii supernovae
Then, one of the results was: http://cse.ssl.berkeley.edu/bmendez/ay10/2000/cycle/snII.html. Ooh, nice. I like this. Perhaps other lecture notes by this same guy are also useful.
So, I cut the url from http://cse.ssl.berkeley.edu/bmendez/ay10/2000/cycle/snII.html to http://cse.ssl.berkeley.edu/bmendez/ay10. Oops, error 403, access denied. Perhaps I cut it too far. I'll try going to the directory below it. So the link I'll try next is http://cse.ssl.berkeley.edu/bmendez/ay10/2000/. Ah, now we're getting somewhere. Normally, I look for a link saying "lecture notes." There doesn't appear to be one here. So, I click on "Course Syllabus."
Cool, we're here: http://cse.ssl.berkeley.edu/bmendez/ay10/2000/schedule.html. I notice that each date seems to have some sort of link next to it. I click on the one next to " Th 6/1," because that topic seems important.
Voila! It works. I have just found a new resource that might be incredibly useful.
Obviously, you don't always get something first try. I simply chose an example that I knew would work, because I've used it in the past.

Side note: I've found the Australia Telescope National Foundation to be quite helpful: https://www.atnf.csiro.au/. You really have to dig, since most of the site is irrelevant to this, but there is some very good info there.

Calculations:
This is my strongest area, and there is (are) a (many) formula(e) to this.
There're a few things you absolutely need to know right off the bat if you want to experience any semblance of success in calculations for astronomy. They are: Kepler's laws (specifically the third); Distance Modulus (also called spectroscopic parallax, which is a misnomer); Parallax (probably the most basic equation you will need); Wien's law (and a general understanding of blackbodies); redshift (and Hubble's Law); and inverse square law of brightness (no added info, but I added this parenthetical for consistency.)
There's definitely a heck of a lot more, but I'll give you these to start you off, and let you figure your way out from there.
One of the best sources is the question marathons. Seeing as this year's hasn't matured yet, I'd look to QMs from years past, and see the types of problems people posted, and solve them. Like I said before, hyperphysics is another great starter source. To be honest, at that point I sort of just googled things and really learned as I went along. A lot of the equations on my calculation sheet came either when I was reading through something for section b (conceptual and general knowledge), and asked myself, "Hang on, is there an equation for this?", or "I wonder if these two things are related mathematically." So, I fired up a new tab on Google, and searched "[topic 1] and [topic 2] relationship." Another great resource is past tests. I believe half of my current equation sheet was made in response to the (in)famous Princeton 2017 test, that I got from somewhere (forgot where exactly).
Another way that has helped me recently is to try making (original) tests. This forces you to think about the ways things relate, and in trying to make a novel question, or series of questions, you may find something useful.


Also, soinc.org provides some sources as well. As was posted earlier, the webinar for this year has been released, and that is a very useful resource.
Another general resource, that I plan on getting soon if the textbook called "An Introduction to Modern Astrophysics" by Caroll and Ostlie. It's expensive, but I've heard very, very good things about it. (It's also used in many courses, including some of MIT's astrophysics courses)


In hindsight, seeing how many sources/tips I gave here, it would seem as if I didn't forget to add more sources originally, and I just didn't put any effort into my original post... My sincerest apologies.

I will continue to update this list as the season goes on; if anyone has suggestions for me to add, please let me know. Also, I finally feel helpful on this site, yay! (also whatever you do, please, please, please don't quote this whole post, if you decide for whatever reason to respond.)
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Re: Astronomy C

Postby syo_astro » October 7th, 2018, 2:15 pm

starstudent wrote:What are some good resources to use for astronomy if you're using a laptop for the event?


PM2017 wrote:...
Also, soinc.org provides some sources as well. As was posted earlier, the webinar for this year has been released, and that is a very useful resource.
Another general resource, that I plan on getting soon if the textbook called "An Introduction to Modern Astrophysics" by Caroll and Ostlie. It's expensive, but I've heard very, very good things about it. (It's also used in many courses, including some of MIT's astrophysics courses)
...
I will continue to update this list as the season goes on; if anyone has suggestions for me to add, please let me know. Also, I finally feel helpful on this site, yay! (also whatever you do, please, please, please don't quote this whole post, if you decide for whatever reason to respond.)


To PM2017's first point I quoted: Yes, soinc.org absolutely! Unfortunately, it seems like if there's issues with tests (i.e. Invites I wrote that with wrong math answers...) they are difficult to change on the website...apologies for that. Still, the materials are useful / legit practice (feel free to disagree:/). Also, Caroll and Ostlie is not super user friendly. I think it's good if you're maybe an excited senior, but it is practically a massive encyclopedia interspersed with very advanced material. I've also found out it is by no means used in every astro course, I've never even used it in college in fact!

I don't have a highly recommended galaxies textbook to be honest (I'm not a galaxies pro), but I always found that organizing various (free!!!) online resources is what worked best. It is an incredibly useful skill for life, kind of an inherent part of the event (b/c laptop) / a good astronomical skill, and that helps you find resources beyond Wikipedia. Even if you have all the information in the world, it won't help on a test if you aren't organized.

To PM2017's second point I quoted: Could maybe expand the wiki with that (there are some links, I forget how detailed they are)? Also, you should put warnings like "don't quote this whole post" at the start of your post in bold;).
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Re: Astronomy C

Postby RobertYL » October 11th, 2018, 4:30 pm

I'm not sure if this has been asked already, but when gathering constants and numbers for each of the DSOs, should we grab them all directly from SIMBAD? Because I found conflicting numbers from Wikipedia and SIMBAD. Going through the references I saw that Wikipedia cited a NASA database with old papers. But I am unsure which numbers the test writers will use. So would it be good to have both of the numbers? Or just keep the most recent one (most likely from SIMBAD)?

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Re: Astronomy C

Postby Unome » October 11th, 2018, 5:43 pm

RobertYL wrote:I'm not sure if this has been asked already, but when gathering constants and numbers for each of the DSOs, should we grab them all directly from SIMBAD? Because I found conflicting numbers from Wikipedia and SIMBAD. Going through the references I saw that Wikipedia cited a NASA database with old papers. But I am unsure which numbers the test writers will use. So would it be good to have both of the numbers? Or just keep the most recent one (most likely from SIMBAD)?

Keep both, and ideally also understand the history behind the different measurements. It might help you figure out which one to put on a test when it's asked for.
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Re: Astronomy C

Postby PM2017 » October 11th, 2018, 6:38 pm

Unome wrote:
RobertYL wrote:I'm not sure if this has been asked already, but when gathering constants and numbers for each of the DSOs, should we grab them all directly from SIMBAD? Because I found conflicting numbers from Wikipedia and SIMBAD. Going through the references I saw that Wikipedia cited a NASA database with old papers. But I am unsure which numbers the test writers will use. So would it be good to have both of the numbers? Or just keep the most recent one (most likely from SIMBAD)?

Keep both, and ideally also understand the history behind the different measurements. It might help you figure out which one to put on a test when it's asked for.

I'm still rather perplexed as to how you did all this in one hour per DSO like you said last year...
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Re: Astronomy C

Postby Unome » October 11th, 2018, 7:50 pm

PM2017 wrote:
Unome wrote:
RobertYL wrote:I'm not sure if this has been asked already, but when gathering constants and numbers for each of the DSOs, should we grab them all directly from SIMBAD? Because I found conflicting numbers from Wikipedia and SIMBAD. Going through the references I saw that Wikipedia cited a NASA database with old papers. But I am unsure which numbers the test writers will use. So would it be good to have both of the numbers? Or just keep the most recent one (most likely from SIMBAD)?

Keep both, and ideally also understand the history behind the different measurements. It might help you figure out which one to put on a test when it's asked for.

I'm still rather perplexed as to how you did all this in one hour per DSO like you said last year...

That was just the first run. I did a second run before Nationals where I went into more depth and improved my notes. That one was more like 2 hours each.
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Re: Astronomy C

Postby PM2017 » October 11th, 2018, 7:53 pm

Unome wrote:
PM2017 wrote:
Unome wrote:Keep both, and ideally also understand the history behind the different measurements. It might help you figure out which one to put on a test when it's asked for.

I'm still rather perplexed as to how you did all this in one hour per DSO like you said last year...

That was just the first run. I did a second run before Nationals where I went into more depth and improved my notes. That one was more like 2 hours each.

It takes me around 4 hours to get my first run done...
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Re: Astronomy C

Postby starstudent » October 13th, 2018, 7:27 am

PM2017 wrote:
PM2017 wrote:
starstudent wrote:What are some good resources to use for astronomy if you're using a laptop for the event?

Same as a binder?

For DSOs Chandra is really helpful.
Back when I started, I used a lot of http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/hframe.html
My biggest resources are astronomy course lecture notes.You might have to do some digging, but they are incredibly useful.
There was some textbook I used to have for the math for astro, but the computer where I bought and downloaded it broke, so I no longer have access to it.


starstudent wrote:Thanks!


Disclaimer: Obviously, my first post is by no means sufficient to gain the knowledge needed to excel in this event.



Wow, this is really helpful, thanks a lot!

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Re: Astronomy C

Postby pb5754[] » October 16th, 2018, 2:18 pm

There was some discussion on last year's thread about this, so I guess I'll post this here:
Astro FAQs

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Re: Astronomy C

Postby l0lit » October 27th, 2018, 4:53 pm

Would external flash drives be allowed in this event? 2.d states that information should be stored so that is offline, therefore I would think so. There was also a rules clarification last year that allowed it, but it has since been deleted.

If a supervisor does not allow it, it might take a long time to be able to clear space and actually transfer the files, time which I may not have. In this case, is it safe to try to debate with the supervisor?

Of course, the safest option would be to manually copy the files right before competition, but considering the size, I would heavily prefer not to.

What do you recommend?
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Re: Astronomy C

Postby Unome » October 27th, 2018, 5:20 pm

l0lit wrote:Would external flash drives be allowed in this event? 2.d states that information should be stored so that is offline, therefore I would think so. There was also a rules clarification last year that allowed it, but it has since been deleted.

If a supervisor does not allow it, it might take a long time to be able to clear space and actually transfer the files, time which I may not have. In this case, is it safe to try to debate with the supervisor?

Of course, the safest option would be to manually copy the files right before competition, but considering the size, I would heavily prefer not to.

What do you recommend?

The safest solution is to compress your files and transfer them ahead of time.
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Re: Astronomy C

Postby syo_astro » October 27th, 2018, 5:46 pm

Unome wrote:
l0lit wrote:Would external flash drives be allowed in this event? 2.d states that information should be stored so that is offline, therefore I would think so. There was also a rules clarification last year that allowed it, but it has since been deleted.

If a supervisor does not allow it, it might take a long time to be able to clear space and actually transfer the files, time which I may not have. In this case, is it safe to try to debate with the supervisor?

Of course, the safest option would be to manually copy the files right before competition, but considering the size, I would heavily prefer not to.

What do you recommend?

The safest solution is to compress your files and transfer them ahead of time.


Indeed, but I think what you're looking for is a clarification? Definitely try submitting one regardless (nothing official can be stated here, which is what you'd need if you wanted to argue an ES).
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Re: Astronomy C

Postby PM2017 » October 27th, 2018, 7:23 pm

syo_astro wrote:
Unome wrote:
l0lit wrote:Would external flash drives be allowed in this event? 2.d states that information should be stored so that is offline, therefore I would think so. There was also a rules clarification last year that allowed it, but it has since been deleted.

If a supervisor does not allow it, it might take a long time to be able to clear space and actually transfer the files, time which I may not have. In this case, is it safe to try to debate with the supervisor?

Of course, the safest option would be to manually copy the files right before competition, but considering the size, I would heavily prefer not to.

What do you recommend?

The safest solution is to compress your files and transfer them ahead of time.


Indeed, but I think what you're looking for is a clarification? Definitely try submitting one regardless (nothing official can be stated here, which is what you'd need if you wanted to argue an ES).


Yes, I think you should do that, especially since last year they released an FAQ clarifying that we could, in fact, use flash drives.
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Re: Astronomy C

Postby Adi1008 » October 28th, 2018, 12:13 pm

Hi all,

dkarkada and I ran Astronomy together at this weekend's UT Invitational. In case any of you are interested, here's the test and the key, which can also be found on his beautiful website.

I am personally quite happy with how the scores turned out and I think that we were able to have a good mix of easy, medium, and difficult questions. Several teams scored extremely highly on the matching/MC sections (perfect scores or near perfect scores), while the FR section towards the end appeared to separate the teams pretty well. In terms of actual numbers:

Maximum possible score: 181
Mean: 82.4
Standard Deviation: 32.3
Sample Size: 19

As always, if you notice any mistakes or have any questions about the test or key, please let us know! And if you are going to the MIT Invitational and doing Astronomy, we'll see you there!

Note (10/30/18): Name pointed out an error in the key for question 43. This has been fixed and the key online has been updated!
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Re: Astronomy C

Postby pb5754[] » November 15th, 2018, 4:09 pm

Just wondering... do you guys save websites/files on your computer as HTML or PDF files?


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