PHYS 3154 Observational Astrophysics
National Weather Service, Blacksburg
Click icon for Blacksburg weather forecast,
radar, and satellite images
Current Lunar Phase
(Assumes your computer clock is accurate)
Current USNO Master Clock (UTC)
(Refresh page to update
Click inside box to see a running clock)
- Use the Quick Links at the left to navigate this site.
This home page displays
generally useful information on the weather, sky conditions, time, today's Sun
and Moon rise/set, and current lunar phase --- almost all the images shown are
links to extensive information. The course syllabus, project handouts,
and PDF lectures, are available at the Scholar site for this course. This course is one
of the required courses for the Astronomy
Minor offered by the Physics Department at Virginia Tech.
- The course centers around use of
the 14-inch Optical Telescope at the Martin Observatory, and the
2.3m Radio Telescope ("Small Radio Telescope") on Robeson Hall.
- EST, EDT, UTC, LST and All That
begins on the second Sunday in March, and EST will resume on the
first Sunday in November (see When Does
Daylight Time Begin and End? at the USNO). Coordinated Universal
Time is UTC = EST + 5 hours. The current UTC and LST (Local Sidereal
Time) at the Martin Observatory are calculated and displayed at the
right, assuming your computer's clock is accurately set. Also shown is
an accurate UTC snapshot from the USNO/NIST master clock (a running
display of the current UTC is available by clicking on the digital clock display).
- Martin Observatory Clear Sky Clock
- Top row shows the predicted cloud cover (white is cloudy, dark blue is clear).
The second row shows the predicted transparency (white is opague, dark blue is transparent).
Each square is a one hour interval; the red vertical lines represent upcoming midnights.
The Clear Sky Clock also provides extensive
for the current year (lunar phases, solar/lunar rise/set times, etc.),
and provides other maps and data specific to the Martin Observatory, all originating from the USNO.
Past Student Images and Results
Newspaper Article (Courtesy of the Roanoke Times) Showcasing Student Results,
Image of M51 by Adam Drake, Victor Gehman, Seth Hornstein, and Chad
King (using the 0.4m telescope, PHYS 3154, Spring semester 1999).
Image of students Mark Blackmon, (Professor John Simonetti), Richard Fortgang, Katleen Hale, and Natalie Smith
(some of the "pioneers" of this course from 1999) by Tatsu Takeuchi.
Current Lunar Phase provided by the U.S. Naval
Observatory's Astronomical Applications Department.
USNO Master Clock display provided by the U.S. Naval
Observatory's Time Service Department.
Martin Observatory Clear Sky Clock provided by Clear Sky Clock.
SRT image from Haystack Observatory
Observational Astrophysics Home Page
Virginia Tech Physics Department