Paper Plate Education
Activity: Latitude by Polaris
In this compound design for the northern hemisphere, the student makes a dial that shows the correlation between the observed altitude of Polaris and the observers latitude.
Draw the earth centered on a plate, and label.
Include labels for the equator, celestial equator, north pole, north
celestial pole, and latitude hash marks. Because
Polaris is so far away, its light can be considered reaching the earth in
parallel lines. Draw and label the
lines of sight to distant Polaris. Cut
a slit around two thirds of the edge of the earth, but not the lower left third.
Construct the two pointers.
Draw the boat and the horizon indicator perpendicular to the line
extending from the center hole to the star pointers pivot point hole.
Highlight the labeled To Horizon and To Polaris arrows.
With paper fasteners, affix the star pointer under the horizon pointer,
which slides under the slit.
Contributed by Chuck Bueter.
GLPA Proceedings, 1999, p. 35.
[Note: This activity is included in the Paper Plate Astronomy video/DVD/streaming video.]
Copyright ©2012 Chuck Bueter. All rights reserved.