Physics teacher shows students the stars

BY RISHABH JAIN

            Over the course of the past few months, Physics teacher Joel Good man has hosted multiple in-person astronomy nights for his students, the Physics Club, and anyone who was interested.

            He met with students in the parking lot of the high school in the evening and used his telescope to showcase the beauty of the night sky. Goodman wants “students to gain an appreciation of the natural environment along with explaining how science works and its connection to history, religion and society.”

            At the astronomy nights, attendees saw the Blood Moon, Saturn’s rings, the moons of Jupiter and the crescent of Venus. Senior Urooj Saeed said, “With Mr. Goodman’s telescope, it’s amazing to see planets from such far distances through a tiny lens. I never realized it but half of the time, something that I think is a start might actually be Jupiter.”

            Alongside the viewings, Goodman shared his knowledge of science. “The classic example is looking at the moons of Jupiter, just as Galileo did. Night after night, we can see the mons orbiting Jupiter. Galileo realized the Earth could not be the center of everything if those moons were orbiting Jupiter,” said Goodman. He also spoke about how to identify a satellite, the mythology behind constellations and daytime astronomy.

            During the forty years Goodman has been a teacher at OBHS, he has regularly shown his classes sunspots and even the transit of Mercury and Venus across the sun. For those interested in starting to learn about astronomy, Good man recommends “downloading an astronomy app and going out shortly after sunset. When you point your phone at the sky, the app will show you what you’re looking at.”

            To keep the astronomy spirit alive during the pandemic last year, the Physics Club used Zoom to bring the night sky objects, such as the moon, Mars and the Orion Nebula to everyone.

            Future astronomy nights are being planned, and the Physics Club is meeting tomorrow, Tuesday, February 15 in room 265. Follow them on twitter and Instagram at @obphysics for more information.

Posted on 2/14/22

Photos by Rishabh Jain

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