Astronomy is strictly related to mathematics but in Italian high schools is not very studied so therefore we decided to promote the study with interdisciplinary projects done with the help of the INAF of Merate (Italy). The first project was done in the 2008/09 school year because the General Assembly of the United Nations proclaimed 2009 the International Year of Astronomy (IYA2009) since it was the fourth centenary of the publication of Kepler's first two laws of planetary motion in the Astronomia Nova and the first astronomical observations with the telescope by Galileo in Padua. The purpose of the first project was to replicate the Ptolemy’s geocentric model, supposing that the astronomer was a scholar of other planet in the solar system: Marptolemaeus, an hypothetical Martian astronomer, Indeed, as the earthly Ptolemaeus decided to put his own planet, the Earth, as point of reference, the same would do an astronomer born on Mars. The students have chosen Mars because it is the planet most similar to the Earth. The second project was intended to calculate the mass of Jupiter because the calculation of the mass of Jupiter is therefore essential to study the trajectory of the probes. Estimates of the mass of Jupiter were also made (1973) with the use of Pioneer probes. In order to calculate the mass, the students have chosen to observe the system constituted by Jupiter and the four Galilean satellites: Io, Europa, Ganimede, Callisto, in the annual time frame in which Jupiter is visible. The students acquired and analyzed 792 digital images of the Jupiter-Galileian satellite system, of the Moon and the Pleiades. The third project as the aim to complete the mathematical and geometrical planning as well as the construction of a fully working sundial, equipped with a solar calendar. It has also been necessary to choose the most suitable kind of sundial, taking account of its future location: finally, due to some technical needs (such as the difficulty in drawing all the necessary hour-lines with precision on the surface of a spherical sundial) a horizontal one has been decided. The position of the hour-lines and date-lines has been calculated and laid out through the application of some theorems about spherical trigonometry in order to sort out a spatial geometry problem. An important part of the project consists in planning a spreadsheet (with the application Microsoft Excel) which calculates the equations of hour-lines and date-lines for a sundial working in Central Europe.

### ASTRONOMICAL PROJECTS FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS

#### Abstract

Astronomy is strictly related to mathematics but in Italian high schools is not very studied so therefore we decided to promote the study with interdisciplinary projects done with the help of the INAF of Merate (Italy). The first project was done in the 2008/09 school year because the General Assembly of the United Nations proclaimed 2009 the International Year of Astronomy (IYA2009) since it was the fourth centenary of the publication of Kepler's first two laws of planetary motion in the Astronomia Nova and the first astronomical observations with the telescope by Galileo in Padua. The purpose of the first project was to replicate the Ptolemy’s geocentric model, supposing that the astronomer was a scholar of other planet in the solar system: Marptolemaeus, an hypothetical Martian astronomer, Indeed, as the earthly Ptolemaeus decided to put his own planet, the Earth, as point of reference, the same would do an astronomer born on Mars. The students have chosen Mars because it is the planet most similar to the Earth. The second project was intended to calculate the mass of Jupiter because the calculation of the mass of Jupiter is therefore essential to study the trajectory of the probes. Estimates of the mass of Jupiter were also made (1973) with the use of Pioneer probes. In order to calculate the mass, the students have chosen to observe the system constituted by Jupiter and the four Galilean satellites: Io, Europa, Ganimede, Callisto, in the annual time frame in which Jupiter is visible. The students acquired and analyzed 792 digital images of the Jupiter-Galileian satellite system, of the Moon and the Pleiades. The third project as the aim to complete the mathematical and geometrical planning as well as the construction of a fully working sundial, equipped with a solar calendar. It has also been necessary to choose the most suitable kind of sundial, taking account of its future location: finally, due to some technical needs (such as the difficulty in drawing all the necessary hour-lines with precision on the surface of a spherical sundial) a horizontal one has been decided. The position of the hour-lines and date-lines has been calculated and laid out through the application of some theorems about spherical trigonometry in order to sort out a spatial geometry problem. An important part of the project consists in planning a spreadsheet (with the application Microsoft Excel) which calculates the equations of hour-lines and date-lines for a sundial working in Central Europe.
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2019
Astronomy, High School Education
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: `https://hdl.handle.net/11311/1094328`
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