The number of moons of Jupiter and Saturn has been updated in the "Solar System - selected topics" presentation again, as of Dec. 9, 2023.
In the past I might have considered asking "which two planets have the most moons?”. Even with as freqently as this information changes, that is a pretty safe question. However, I will stay away from that particular question this year.
The image at this link is a good representation:
The students will need to be more specific. The 1st quarter can be called "waxing half" and the 3rd quarter can be called "waning half".
"Mechanics" refers to the way the bodies move in relation to each other, including rotation and revolution. The geometry of eclipses could theoretically fall under this topic; however eclipses questions have their own category in our classification.
Coaches will receive a score breakdown that lists the general topics and the number of points your team scored for each. For example, Eclipses: 5 out of 18 possible points; or Constellations: 14 out of 23 possible. Information or performance on specific questions will not be reported.
Use the 36-page star charts provided – not anything else you may see online. The kids will be given a star chart (from the 12 pages that don't have lines or names) with a box around a group of stars that make up a constellation, or an arrow pointing to a particular star or cluster. They may draw in lines if it helps them figure out where they are on the chart, but they don’t have to. They will be expected to name the constellation or star or cluster indicated.
This topic is covered in a couple of the posted resources. Check out the 2018 workshop video at time stamp 48:45. Also see page 19 of the "Solar System Selected Topics" study guide.
As stated in the rules: "be able to identify these constellations and specific stars or star cluster [as listed], on a star chart of any month with no constellation lines visible."
Said another way, if we point to a specific star, or circle a group of stars that comprise a constellation, they should be able to name it with reasonable spelling. Only the ones listed in the rules.
We won’t draw the constellation lines to assist them, and don't require the students to connect stars in a constellation pattern. The students may draw constellation lines on the test if they wish.
Ursa Major is one of the constellations which the students should know. The Big Dipper is an asterism, which is a collection of stars that has been given another name, and in this specific case happens to be a subset of the stars included in Ursa Major. Some asterisms include stars from multiple constellations.
Students will not be given credit if they substitute the name of an asterism for the name of a constellation.