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AST 201 – Term Project
Plan Due: On Portal on February 8, 2016
Final Due Date: March 25, 2016
Late submissions will be penalized 20% per calendar day.
Learning Goals

1. To explore an issue in astronomy which is of interest to you personally.
2. To explore a significant discovery or controversy in the history of astronomy.
3. To develop your confidence in your ability to communicate scientific concepts clearly, in non-technical language.

Project Description

There are two possible project topics and three possible formats. The possible topics are: 1. Important Observation: Identify and explain a candidate for the most important astronomical observation made prior to the year 2000.
2. Controversy: Identify a significant scientific controversy from either the past or the present of astronomy, explain why it was a controversy, and how it was resolved (if it has been). The possible formats for the project are: 1. Podcast-style audio clip
2. Poster
3. Video You will need to choose one topic to research and one format in which to present your results.

Project Topics

Your project topic must be directly related to AST 201. There are many topics in astronomy that are not directly related to this course. AST 201 focuses on stars, galaxies, black holes, and the universe as a whole. Thus, topics related mainly to planets, exoplanets, and solar system objects (such as moons, asteroids, and comets) would be considered ineligible for this project.

Topic 1: Important Observation

Astronomical discoveries have been shaping our sense of ourselves for thousands of years. For example, the discovery that the Earth was not at the centre of the universe has had profound implications within and beyond astronomy. Similarly, many people say that the modern environmental movement was sparked in part by the famous “Blue Marble” picture of Earth from space. (These two examples are ineligible for this project.)

For this topic, you must select an important astronomical observation made prior to the year 2000 that has had a substantial and lasting impact within and preferably beyond astronomy. You should: 1. Explain what the observation is and how it was made
2. Establish why it was such an important observation.
3. Describe the impact this observation has had within and beyond astronomy.

Note that, for this topic, you have to choose an astronomical observation, not a theory or a simulation. An observation means some kind of discovery made by looking at the sky, either with the naked eye or with some kind of equipment, such as a telescope. It does not include mathematical theories, such as the theory of relativity, or computer simulations such as the Millennium Simulation. Remember that your important observation must be directly related to the content of
AST 201.

Topic 2: Scientific Controversy

Like most fields of science, the history of astronomy is filled with many controversies that have shaped the field and our understanding of the cosmos. One example (which is ineligible for this project) is the definition of a planet. Prior to 2006, the term "planet" wasn't rigorously defined. Most people, including astronomers, interpreted the word to mean "big, spherical things that orbit the Sun." In the late 1990's and early
2000's, several objects were discovered in the outer solar system whose size rivaled or exceeded that of Pluto. It seemed likely that many more similar objects would be found.
This created a problem: would we accept that there were dozens or maybe even hundreds of planets in the solar system, or would smaller objects like Pluto be given a new category? In 2006, the International Astronomical Union (IAU), which is the governing body of astronomy internationally, decided to implement a new definition of the word "planet" that would exclude objects like Pluto. This created a public outcry because of strong emotional attachments to Pluto and to a solar system with nine planets. It also created controversy among professional astronomers because the new definition of "planet" is complicated and highly technical. It's hard to explain to non-astronomers and requires some significant calculations even to decide whether an object is a planet or not.

This controversy has had long-lasting repercussions. Ten years later, there are many astronomers who still find the definition problematic and want it changed. They challenge it as a poor definition that doesn't draw a physically meaningful distinction between objects like Pluto and what we now call the eight planets of the solar system. They argue that it isn't easy to apply to objects in other solar systems. The debate has spread into the public consciousness, with questions about Pluto's planetary status being among the most commonly asked of professional astronomers. There are numerous internet memes about
"saving Pluto" and there have been public campaigns trying to convince the IAU to change the definition of "planet" to reinstate Pluto. Your goal is to find another controversy similar to the one surrounding Pluto's
"demotion." You should: 1. Explain what the controversy is and what the two (or more) sides are (or were).
2. Establish why the controversy is important.
3. Describe the impact the controversy has had within and beyond astronomy. Remember that your controversy must be directly related to the content of AST 201.

Project Formats

1. Short Podcast
Compose and record a one or two minute audio clip in which you make the case for the importance of your chosen observation or controversy. You can do this as a solo presentation, as an interview, in song, or whatever you like. Note that, if you choose the interview format and your interviewee is a classmate, you and the classmate still need to submit completely separate projects on different topics. There are lots of great examples already out there of how to do this sort of thing, such as: 60-Second Science: Some of the shorter “shorts” by Radiolab: Many of the examples in the “video” section below will also be helpful; many of them would work equally well in audio-only format. You almost certainly own a device capable of some audio editing. Your computer,

tablet, or smartphone should suffice. In the end, you should upload an audio file in
MP3 format, compressed to about 128 kbps. Your file should be less than 10 MB in size. There are lots of free audio-editing tools out there. One good one is Audacity: Your podcast MUST NOT be longer than 2 minutes. If your recording is longer than 2 minutes, we will stop listening at 2 minutes and grade you on what we’ve heard so far.

2. Video
This option is similar to the podcast option, but in video form. Great examples of this kind of thing are everywhere. YouTube users AsapSCIENCE and Vihart are especially good. Be as creative as you like with the form of your video. For example, you could record yourself doing a demonstration, singing a song about astronomy, drawing a series of pictures, or whatever you like. Some great examples of this sort of thing can be found on these YouTube channels: Vi Hart:
Asap Science:
Minute Physics:
Numberphile: Your video should consist entirely of original material. It MUST NOT UNDER ANY
CIRCUMSTANCES include clips of video from other sources, even if that material is in the public domain. You may include images from other sources, as long as they comply with the guidelines in the “Originality” section below. You can upload your video to any STREAMING video site you like, such as, YouTube, Vimeo, or Dropbox. Also, make sure we can
STREAM your video (i.e. play it instantly online without downloading it). Because of the huge range in possible file sizes and formats, we will not download videos to grade them. Your video should not be longer than 2 minutes. We will stop watching after 2 minutes and grade you on what we have seen up to that point. Make sure that privacy settings on your video are set so that anyone can see it.
If they’re set wrong and we can’t view your video, you’ll get zero on this project. Check that your video is publicly visible by trying to view it on a computer on which you are not signed in.


This is a great option for those of you with some artistic or design skills. Your goal is to design a poster—preferably in 11” x17” (ledger) format—that makes the case for the importance of your chosen observation or controversy in a visual format. The excellent web comic xkcd often features posters which illustrate some point about astronomy. You can use all sorts of software to make a great poster. Illustrator, Keynote,
PowerPoint, Photoshop, OpenOffice Impress, and many other tools will do the job.
Campus computer labs are available if you don’t have a computer of your own. You can also make the poster by hand and then scan it in and submit the scan. You can take a photo of your poster and submit that, but this has been known to produce poor results. If we can't see your poster clearly because your poster is blurry, you will receive a grade of zero and we will not regrade it. Make sure that you submit a clear photo! Your poster should have as little text as possible: it's a poster, not an essay with pictures. There is no firm word limit, but if you're into the range of 300 or more words, you're probably writing too much. We will definitely reduce your grade if your poster is more of an essay than a visual representation of your case for your observation or controversy. Your poster should be submitted as a high-quality JPG, PNG or PDF file, not larger than about 5 MB in size. We will not accept any other file format. If you upload a PPT, PPTX, Pages, OpenOffice, or PhotoShop file (as just a few examples), you will receive a grade of zero and your project will not be regraded. Term Project Plan To help you get started, we’d like you to prepare a brief plan for your project. It should answer these two questions: 1. What is the observation or controversy you're going to be addressing? Why do you think this observation or controversy is important?
2. What format will you use for the project?

Your plan should total no more than 250 words, or one double-spaced page. The deadline is February 8, 2016. Hand your plan in on Portal by copying and pasting your text into the assignment form linked from the “Term Project” page. DO NOT upload a separate file, such as a PDF or Word doc. Full instructions will be available on the submission page on Portal.

Getting Help

We want this project to be a fun experience for you. We also want it to be a great opportunity to learn. To help you along, we’re making several sources of help available: 1. The discussion boards on Portal. Get help here from TAs and instructors any time.
2. Instructor office hours. Bring your work and we’ll try to give you helpful tips on how to improve.
3. Drop-in help sessions with a support TA. We’ll schedule these periodically throughout the semester according to demand.

Marking Scheme

This project will be worth 8% of your final grade in this course. That 8% will be broken down as follows: Plan
Did your project plan make a strong case for the importance of a particular controversy or observation? Is your topic relevant to AST 201?
Was the language you used clear, free of unnecessary jargon, and easy to understand? Was the audio, video or poster presentation clear and easy to understand?
Did you choose an observation or controversy that has had a significant impact within the science of astronomy? Did it have a significant impact beyond astronomy? Have you clearly and accurately explained the controversy or observation in simple, non-technical language?
Did you present your results in a polished, professional

How to Submit Your Work

All of your work for this project must be submitted on Portal. Click the “Term
Project” link in the sidebar on this course’s Portal page for information.

Acceptable Formats

For posters, the only acceptable file formats are JPG, PNG, and PDF. For podcasts, the only acceptable formats are mp3 and m4a. For video, your video should be posted on a streaming site. We will not download video files to view them.

If you submit your project in any other format, it will receive a grade of zero and we will not regrade it. You will not have an opportunity to resubmit in the correct format. If you need help figuring out how to get your work into the right format, we are happy to help: post on the discussion board or come see us during office hours.

Late and Incomplete Work

The deadline for the project is March 25, 2016. You have most of the semester to complete this project, so effective time management should enable you to hand it in on time. Late submissions will be penalized 20% per calendar day. Also, please note that it is your responsibility to make sure that your submission is complete and submitted on time. If you view your project on Portal, and you see a partiallyfilled blue pie chart as in the attached screenshot, it means your project is NOT submitted and you will receive a grade of zero if this is not fixed by the deadline.

If your project is in this state, look for the "Submit", "Save", or "Continue" button at the on that page and make sure your project is fully submitted.

Originality of Your Work and Citing Sources

All of the work that you submit for this project must be your own original work, created specifically for this course. It can’t be something you’ve submitted for credit in another course and it can’t be someone else’s work. The only exceptions are the use of public-domain or Creative Commons licensed images and sound effects, which can be used as long as appropriate credit is given. Failure to appropriately credit the sources of your material is a serious breach of academic integrity and will be treated as such. If you’re not sure whether what you’re doing is allowed, consult the university’s guidelines on avoiding plagiarism:

All projects that use external sources (which will be nearly every project) must include a bibliography in a common format (MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.). However, you MUST include the full URLs for any content you use which came from the internet. It is not sufficient to simply say that the item came from "Web", even if that is what is recommended for your chosen bibliography format. For example, most MLA style guides suggest you omit the URL from a citation to a web site, like this: Smith, Jane. “Humans land on Mars.” Cable News Network, 21 Jan. 2034. Web. 1 Feb. 2034.

We require you to include the URL, like this: Smith, Jane. “Humans land on Mars.” Cable News Network, 21 Jan. 2034. Web. 1 Feb. 2034. .

Make sure you are citing the original source of the material. For example, this image appears on many websites:

You might have found that image on,, or, but those are not the original source. Credible websites will give credit to the original creator.
In this case, says " (Illustration: NASA/WMAP Science Team)", from which you should be able to determine (with a little Googling) that the original source of the image is here:

So, it would be the NASA website that you would cite, not any of the other sites on which the image happens to appear. If you can't find the original source for an item, don't use that item.

Rights to Your Work

We anticipate that this project will result in a lot of really fun, thought-provoking submissions. We’d like to be able to share these with other students (for example, at the start of class in Con Hall or on a bulletin board on campus) and perhaps even the general public (for example, on a university web site). We will certainly not modify, sell, or otherwise do nefarious things with your work. If you want, you could put a Creative
Commons ( license on your work. If you’d rather that your work not be shared, please include a note to that effect in writing when you submit you project.

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...Introduction In this task I have been asked to write a report on my understanding of one level of government. I will be discussing central government including the democratic election process and other important facts. The central government is the government at the level of the nation state and also they maintain national security and international diplomacy, they can also make laws over the whole country. The roles that the central government focus on are making laws, defending the nation and signing treaties or agreements with other nations.The democratic election processes is where all peoples of this country over the age of 18 are allowed to vote. It is written within our constitution that all people have an entitlement to vote. You would also have to be 21 and over to enter the election. An election is a formal decision-making process by which a public chooses an individual out of the constituency To be a candidate there is no selection process if you are an individual representative and are eligible you may stand for office. To be eligible you need to be at least 18 years old, you must be a British citizen or a citizen of the Irish Republic or even another member state of the European Union. A selection procedure only becomes needed when you have to insure that the best candidate or the candidate most likely to win the seat is selected. If you are standing as a independent representative there are no candidate selection procedures as long as you are eligible......

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...the European Union on UK business organisations | | Introduction Understanding the Business Environments hep us understand how an organisation or business runs and what manager roles are and what a stockholder is and how environment in the business or outside it may harm it or not. Employees will also play a really important role in a business and how the organisations businesses will also cause a problem. Understand the situation that the organisation will face and knowing the products that should be sold according to the customers needs and providing it according to the environment that the customers also live in. 1.1 Identify the purposes of different types of organisation An organization means a group of people that work together in a business or a private company. Organizations are private or public meaning that they are non-governmental organization. What qualification does an organization need to be an organization and what differs between the organization all over the world. The main idea that an organization will have is to complete achievements and to reach their goals. Organizations are also cable to do more and may also differ in sizes and each organization will differ in their goals each one will have a specific goal in mind to get to or achieve. Which will make the organizations have different plans or ideas that will make the organizations or businesses to be individual properties or partnership or cooperatives the rest will be government......

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...only when it is needed, and only in the amount that it is needed.”) concept created and developed by Kiichiro Toyoda, the founder and second president of Toyota Motor Corporation. Waste was seen as excess inventory in some cases, irrelevant processing steps in other cases, as well as defective products too. All these “waste” elements interlinked with each other to create more waste, which eventually impacted on the corporation itself. The automatic loom invented by Sakichi Toyoda didn’t just only automated work which used to be performed manually but also built the capability to make judgements into the machine itself. In turn this eliminated both defective products and the associated wasteful practices. Sakichi successfully succeeded in tremendously improving both productivity and work efficiency. Kiichiro Toyoda inherited this philosophy and set out to realise his belief that “the ideal conditions for making things are created when machines, facilities, and people work together to add value without generating any waste.” He developed methodologies and techniques for eliminating waste between operations between both lines and processes. The result was the Just-in-Time method which was helped by Taiichi Ohno, who created the basic framework for the Just-in-Time method. By ensuring thorough implementation of jidoka (meaning “Automation with human touch” and the Just-in-Time method, Eiji Toyoda increased workers productivity by adding value and realised the Toyota Production......

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