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Astronomy 2021 Lecture 1 - Jan 13th.docx

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Astronomy 2021A/B
Cameron Tsujita

Astronomy 2021 Lecture 1 – Jan. 13 • A lot of new info in this field o Mars exploration program  curiosity rover o Search for exoplanets  kepler spacecraft has found most  Stopped functioning in 2013  Wanted to find the fraction of earth analogues in other solar systems o Mission to Pluto  New Horizons  Since 2006  Encountered other planets on the way (Jupiter) • Used the gravitational pull to make it that far on relatively little fuel  Looking to use New Horizons to study bodies further than Pluto after research is done • TEXTBOOK o Life in the Universe 3 Edn. o Bennett & Shostak o Readings are TESTABLE • Some of other bodies (moons/planets) in our solar system has water o Ex. Ice caps on Mars, ice and subsurface liquid water on Europa • Many different exoplanets that have potential to house liquid water, and therefore life as we know it • Astrobiology = biology + astronomy + planetary science • Astronomy is the oldest science • Used to think universe was geocentric (earth in the middle of universe) o Wrong o All laws here apply to everywhere else in the universe • Biology might actually be common in the universe, just like physics and chemistry are o Evidence that organic molecules form easily and naturally o Evidence that life appeared early in the history of the earth o Evidence that earth life can survive in a broad spectrum of conditions (ex. Temps) • Places to search in solar system o Mercury – too hot AND too cold  In tidal lock with sun so one side always facing while one side always away o Gas giants – Jupiter and Saturn  No solid surface but there are satellites around them that might be good to search  Io and Europa – 2 jovian moons, good place to search • But they are so far away that we don’t have a lot of information on these • Have methane pools the size of the great lakes o These boundaries change, size of rivers and pools change sort of like seasons on earth o Uranus and Neptune – too far from the sun (too cold) o Mars is the best spot to search • Allen telescope array – being built in California to search for radio signals from intelligent extraterrestrial life • Extremophiles may be a good spot to research in order to find extraterrestrial life because many exoplanets have extreme conditions • Storms occur on all other planets with a gaseous atmosphere o Ex. Great red spot on Jupiter (giant storm) ****************************************** • How do we experience light? o It is a form of energy (can tell because we feel warmth from it) o Can measure the flow of energy in light in WATTS (1 watt= 1J/s) o Colours of light  White light contains all of the colours (why we see rainbow when pro
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