# 11/15/99Norm Herr (sample file) Making a Quadrant The quadrant is a device for measuring the altitude of an object (the angle of elevation of an object.

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11/15/99Norm Herr (sample file) Making a Quadrant The quadrant is a device for measuring the altitude of an object (the angle of elevation of an object above the horizon) We can use this instrument to discover patterns in our solar system. For practice we shall measure the altitude of buildings and trees.

11/15/99Norm Herr (sample file) Quadrant Glue a copy of the quadrant drawing to a piece of cardboard and cut out the quadrant shape. Cut a drinking straw to the same length as the straight edges of the quadrant drawing, and tape this straw to the edge of the straight side. Poke a small hole where the dot in the corner is and pass a length of string through so it hangs freely from the hole. Now attach a weight to this piece of string so it hangs vertically downwards.

11/15/99Norm Herr (sample file) Using the Quadrant Sight the object whose altitude you wish to measure using the drinking straw: its altitude in degrees is then given by the point where the string crosses the scale on your quadrant.

11/15/99Norm Herr (sample file) Altitude of the Sun As it would damage the eyes to look directly at the Sun a different method of using the quadrant is needed in order to measure its altitude. 1. Hold the quadrant so that the straw points in the direction of the Sun but do not look through the straw. 2.Aim the straw so you can see the shadow of the straw on the palm of your hand. 3.Adjust the position of the straw until a small circle of light forms on your palm. 4.Read the altitude of the Sun from your quadrant.

11/15/99Norm Herr (sample file) When this happens the straw is pointed directly at the Sun. Each cloudless day repeat this measurement at the same time. We shall try to determine a pattern about the Sun’s altitude.

11/15/99Norm Herr (sample file) When outside each student must try to obtain their own measurement for the Sun’s altitude. Also, when outside, find the altitude of the school and two other objects. Record your results.

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