Central High School
Mr. Don Wafer's
Astronomy Class
at The Muncie Community Schools' Planetarium
Muncie, Indiana

Objective: To be able to predict and observe the apparent path the sun follows and the direction the sun sets each evening.

In the classroom Mr. Wafer discussed how to use a magnetic compass along with magnetic declination. We divided into teams of at least four people and decided on a location that would have an open space. We were looking for a large field unobstructed by trees. Each person must make five observations. Each person makes one observation per week. Each team will then have over twenty observations. We are to record the time of the observation and note the weather.

Player's Club Golf Course

Each Friday we had to bring in our poster board to let Mr. Wafer see the progress we were making.

At the location, we selected a site facing directly west using our magnetic compass. We used this location for the rest of the project. We never changed the location.

We drew a horizon on our poster board and labeled the cardinal points. We placed round stickers on the poster each day we made an observation. This is to indicate where the sun was located at sunset on that day. We also wrote the time the observation was made.

Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana

We had sixty days to complete the project. The sixty day period included the Autumnal Equinox during the fall semester and the Vernal Equinox during the spring semester. After the sixty days, we brought the projects to class to finish. Neatness, accurateness, and originality were important. Mr. Wafer had questions we had to answer from looking at the data of our observations.

The principal of Central High School judges the projects. We all tried to do our best. The top two projects are hung at the Muncie Community Schools' Planetarium for everyone to see.

In the spring we found that the sun does not set in the exact same place every night. Looking west, the sunsets moved from the south end toward the north end. What was most amazing is that on the Vernal Equinox, the sunset was directly due West!