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Using Tracker to Measure the Length of the Sidereal Day
North Carolina Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers Event
At Davidson College we are currently re-vamping our introductory astronomy course to include a laboratory for the fall of 2012. As part of this endeavor, we are upgrading our observing and astrophotography equipment and techniques. One laboratory in the "naked-eye astronomy" portion of the course is focused on measuring the sidereal day. Instead of measuring the angular displacement of stars from canned star trail images, we propose to use a group of still 30-second images taken 9 ½ minutes apart. To analyze these images we use the free and open-source Tracker video analysis program to measure the sidereal day. We use the feature in Tracker which automatically creates a "movie" of still images and then allows the user to define the time interval between images. In this talk we show our preliminary results and propose possible future improvements.
Submissions are due by Nov 18, 2011