Astr 2100 Descriptive Astronomy
Fall 2017 - Assignment 2
due Wednesday August 30th 2017



In class we looked at the size of the local neighborhood of the universe, that is the Solar System. In this assignment I want you to find the distances and sizes of some objects outside our Solar System. Express all your answers in light years. (Note: If you find the distance quoted in parsecs, then 1 parsec = 3.26 lyr. We will discuss parsecs in more detail later.)
  1. The distance to the Pole Star, also known as Polaris. In which constellation is it located?
  2. The distance to a relatively nearby star, Zuben El Genubi. (Spelling sometimes varies.) In which constellation is it located?
  3. The approximate diameter of the Milky Way galaxy
  4. The approximate thickness of the disk of the Milky Way galaxy
  5. The distance from the Earth to the center of the Milky Way galaxy. In which constellation is it located?
  6. The distance from the Earth to the open cluster known as either the Pleiades or the Seven Sisters.
  7. The name and distance to the closest galaxy other than the Milky Way.
  8. The distance to the Triangulum Galaxy.
  9. The approximate distance to the furthest known object in the universe, a quasar, also known as an active galaxy.