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Lecture 1

ASTA01H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Edwin Hubble, Barred Spiral Galaxy, Particle Accelerator


Department
Astronomy
Course Code
ASTA01H3
Professor
Kristen Menou
Lecture
1

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Intro to Ast. & Astroph. 1: The Sun and Planets
Lecture 1
Chapter 1 — The Scale of the Cosmos: Space and Time
-CERN is the home of the Large Hadron Collider, the largest particle accelerator in
operation today, which was designed to simulate the beginning of the universe
-bubble chambers were an important tool for the study of particle physics from the
1950s to the 1980s, though they are now most likely to be seen as museum exhibits
-the rotation of Earth on its axis each 24 hours carries you eastward, as you cross the
sunset line into darkness, you say that the Sun has set
-the average distance of the Moon from Earth is 380 000km
-the average distance from Earth to the Sun is called the Astronomical Unit (AU),
which is 1.5x108km = 150 million km = 1.5x1011km
-the solar system consists of the Sun, its family of planets and some smaller bodies
such as moons, asteroids and comets
-planets are small, non luminous bodies that shine by reflecting sunlight
-the Sun is a star, a self-luminous ball of hot gas that generates its own energy
-it is about 110 times larger in diameter than earth, ~1.4 million km
-the Sun is a fairly typical star, a bit larger than average
-Earth orbits the Sun once a year
-light from the Sun reaches Earth in 8 minutes, but it takes over 4 hours to reach
Neptune
-one light-year (ly) is the distance that light travels in 1 year, ~1013km=63 000 AU
-one of the nearest stars to the Sun, Proxima Centauri, is 4.2 ly from Earth
-in other words, light from Proxima Centauri takes 4.2 years to reach us
-in the universe, there is a thin gas that fills the spaces between the stars
-a galaxy is a great cloud of stars, gas and dust bound together by the combined
gravity of all the matter
-the Milky Way is a great, cloudy band of stars ringing the sky
-our galaxy is called the Milky Way Galaxy, that has small spindle-like structures in the
center called a galactic bar
!1
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