Astronomy 1011A, Section 650
Learning Outcomes: Chapters 1-5
1 Our Place in the Universe
Arrange the basic levels of structure in the universe in order of increasing size.
Summarize the major cosmic events that prepared the way for life on Earth.
Express approximate relationships between the sizes and distances of astronomical objects using scale
Describe how the major events leading from the Big Bang to the appearance of humans on Earth are
related in time.
Explain why we see objects at great distances as they were in the distant past.
Explain why we cannot observe the entire universe.
Describe how Earth rotates and moves through space.
Describe how the average distances between galaxies are changing with time.
2 Discovering the Universe for Yourself
Describe what can be seen in the sky with naked-eye observations.
Identify Earth's axis tilt as the primary reason for its seasons.
Explain how axis tilt affects the number of daylight hours and the path of the Sun in the sky at a
particular location on Earth.
Predict how a planet's seasons would change if its axis tilt were either larger or smaller.
Explain how apparent retrograde motion arises from the orbital motions of planets around the Sun.
Explain why Earth's orbital motions should cause small shifts in the apparent positions of nearby stars.
3 The Science of Astronomy
Explain how the accomplishments of ancient astronomers exemplified basic scientific thinking.
Recognize that the Greeks were the first culture to attempt to explain observations of nature with
Explain how Greek geocentric models of the solar system accounted for apparent retrograde motion.
Identify the main contributions of Copernicus, Tycho, Kepler, and Galileo to the Copernican Revolution.
Recognize the hallmarks of scientific thinking.
Distinguish scientific thinking from unscientific thinking.
Distinguish between scientific theories, hypotheses, and observations.