This page is for collecting various ideas for mini-lectures which can be given at the Columbia Astronomy Outreach events. These are 10-15 minute talks on
- How the phases of the moons work
- How the phases of the moon relate to the positioning of the sun, moon, and earth. How to find the time if you know the time of the month. The ecliptic plane and planets.
- How people learn of the planets before modern telescopes.
- I'm not quite sure how this one would go, but would basically describe Newton's laws and then show simple things which you can calculate from it.
Like above, but about the cosmic distance ladder
- Orbital mechanics: How to track planets through our solar system
- first, explain how objects outside of our solar system are basically static on our time scales
- Ecliptic plane and 2D nature of things
Motion of planets around the sun -> motion of planets along ecliptic plane
- Motion of moons around planets.
- Retrograde motion
- Alternative biochemistries
- How do moons form?
- Celestial Navigation