The US Space Force Advanced Technology & the Opportunity to Discover Discussion

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Natural Darkness
Institution Affiliation


Natural Darkness

People require seven to nine hours of sleep to recuperate from physical exertion. The
need for sleep is also used to consolidate learning and memory. Sleep is necessary for proper
physiological and psychological functioning of a human being. People who work for long
periods without rest risk losing their immune function and prolonged period without sleep will
cause death. In the developed world, most people tend to work day and night without sleep,
which causes serious health consequences (Bogard, 2013). The health risks are heart disease and
obesity, among other conditions. When people sleep, they engage in dreams that may serve
different roles in their health. The dreams serve as a therapist since they confront emotional
dramas in our life. The dreams also act as memory aides since they help individuals store
essential memories and issues learned in our life, get away with unimportant memories.
One of my friends supported that sleep and dreams both help in storing memories. He
argued that when he is awake, he can learn different things, and during sleep, he begins to recall
it better and memorize the knowledge gained. There are occasions in which he has some vivid
dreams. When he eats high-carbohydrate food and gets enough energy, such food consumption
leads him to have vivid dreams.



Bogard, P. (2013). The end of night: searching for natural darkness in an age of artificial light.
Hachette UK.

Copyright ©2021, Prof. A. Lee

updated 1/27/21

You will be looking at the night sky using free Planetarium Software, called Stellarium-Web version.
Brand new, Web-based Stellarium:

Optional: You can download the User Guide, but it is for the stand-alone (older) version of Stellarium so it is slightly different. (top right icon)


Get rid of the grey column on the left by clicking on the hamburger icon top left (but on the night sky


Your screen should show you located in a field of grass at night, facing north.

Set your present location. Click on the small grey rectangle at the bottom left corner. Use your
present location. Click on ‘Autolocation’. (as a backup use St. Cloud, MN)

Write Location here: _____Al-Qasim- Saudi Arabia_________________________________


Set present time. Click on the small grey rectangle with the time and date at the bottom right corner.

Click on the clock icon ‘Back to real time’. You might see daytime or nighttime.

Write Present Time here: ___23:24 - Daytime________________________________



Facing South. Drag the horizon around to face due South ‘S’. Zoom out if needed.
Take a screen shot of the sun or any stars seen at this time. Paste it to the last page of this
lab ‘1- Facing South’.

Find Sunrise by moving the screen to face ‘E’ east, and use the arrows under hours and minutes
to step back/forward in time until you see the Sun directly above the east horizon.


Copyright ©2021, Prof. A. Lee


updated 1/27/21

Take a screen shot. Paste it to the last page of this lab ‘2- sunrise-east’

Write Sunrise time here: _____07:00:19_______

Find ‘High Noon today’ by facing due ‘S’ south and following the same steps only this time click
the hamburger icon to bring back the grey column to the left and click ‘View Settings’. Then click
‘Meridian’. This is an imaginary line that runs due south, overhead (zenith), and due north. It will
help you position the Sun directly in the south, highest in the sky.
-> Take a screen shot, Paste it to the last page of this lab ‘3- high-noon’

Write the High Noon time here: ____12:20:23________
Turn off the Meridian and the grey column on the left.

Find Sunset by facing due ‘W’ west and follow the same steps as with finding sunrise. ->
screen shot, Paste it to the last page of this lab ‘4-Sunset today’

Take a

Write the Sunset time here: ____18:30:17________
Now let’s find some other celestial objects…

Where is the Moon?
Using the Search bar located on the top center of the window. Type in: Moon
Fill in the blank column in the table based on the information given by Stellarium. (Use the same date
and location as previously or indicate the new parameters here.)
Your Moon Data:
Rise time
Set time


383730.28 km
1737.4 km

Take a screen shot, Paste it to the last page of this lab ‘5-Moon today’

Can you find the Dippers?
Move time to approximately 1 hour after sunset. Face due North. Look for seven bright stars that make
a bowl and handle shape, this is the ‘BIG DIPPER’. Note: URSA MAJOR (contains the BIG DIPPER)
& URSA MINOR (contains the LITTER DIPPER). These are nicknames. Use the outside edge of the


Copyright ©2021, Prof. A. Lee

updated 1/27/21

scoop of the BIG DIPPER to extend a line north until you bump into the North Star, Polaris, which is
the end of the handle of the LITTLE DIPPER.
Take a screen shot, Paste it to the last page of this lab ‘6-Big Dipper & Little Dipper in
10. What is the bright seasonal constellation in the south/overhead?

Move time to approximately 1 hour after sunset. Face due South. You can turn on the constellations, stick
figures, and the artwork (optional) using the icons on the bottom center of the screen.

Write the name of the brightest sta...

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