Observation Plan

For HELP with the Stellarium Software click HERE

Project: Create a viewing plan for an astronomical object that is in "good viewing" above GiG Harbor *sometime* on the night of your 21st birthday.

  • You may NOT choose a star.
  • Your object MUST be outside of our solar system
  • You may NOT choose M31 (The Andromeda Galaxy)

If you haven't already, please consult my *thoughtful* writing guide BEFORE you submit your plan.

Your Observation Plan MUST include:

    1. A title page to include your
    • Name
    • Class Period
    • The Common Name (if any) of the Object you plan to observe (for example "The Andromeda Galaxy")
    • The Catalog Name of the Object you Plan to observe (For example M31 or NGC 224, but you can go with the first one listed)
    • The Type of object you plan to observe.
    • The magnitude of your object
    • The coordinates of your object in Right Ascension & Declination
    • the Date of your planned observation
    • The Sidertial Time when you plan to observe your object

    Your observation plan must also include:

    If you haven't already, please consult my *thoughtful* writing guide BEFORE you submit your plan.

    1. Using full sentences, state why the object is in the correct position in the sky to observe.
    2. Is the moon going to influence your observation? (use full sentences to explain the degree to which the moon will impact your observations and why it will or will not do so. You'll need to find out where in the sky the moon is that night and what stage the moon will be in on that night. The MOON CALENDAR will be very helpful in that regard)
      • Hint: Do a Control-F search for the moon on the night of your observation.
      • Verify the position of the moon
      • Go to the moon calendar and determine what stage the moon is in. A full moon will be much brighter than a thin crescent
    3. To what degree is weather an issue to your observation?
    4. To what extent does the magnitude of your object influence your observation? (You'll probably need to do a wee bit of research on magnitude first)
    5. What filters do you plan to use and why? This is a bit more challenging. You'll have to research your object and find out the predominant elements/gasses present there.
    6. Now let's say that you were able to hop on a plane and go to Mauna Kea to observe your object the very next night.
      • what factors would possibly improve observing your object there?
      • what factors would possible make observing your object worse?


      If you haven't already, please consult my *thoughtful* writing guide BEFORE you submit your plan.

      Submit your work HERE and select "observation plan"


Helpful Links:

Steallarium webs site is here:

Moon calendar is here (there are also very cool moon calendars available for Android and Apple). Also, keep in mind that just because the moon is up does NOT necessarily mean you can't observe.... why?

Choosing color filters for planets is HERE. This may give you a general idea which filters to use for your object