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Class Notes for Astronomy at George Mason University

Exam Study Guides for Astronomy Courses

Covers all exam topics.

ASTR 103 Lecture Notes - Lecture 8: Galilean Moons, Clyde Tombaugh, Rings Of Saturn

Chapter 8 The Outer Planets Jupiter and Saturn are the most massive planets in the solar system o Jupiter and Saturn are both much larger than Earth o Each is composed of 71 hydrogen, 24 helium, and 5 all other elements b...

Astronomy
ASTR 103
Harold Geller
ASTR 103 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Radio Window, Diffraction-Limited System, Light Pollution

Chapter 3: Light and Telescopes Telescopes o The fundamental purpose of any telescope is to gather more light than the unaided eye can o In many cases, telescopes are used to produce images far brighter and sharper than th...

Astronomy
ASTR 103
Harold Geller
ASTR 103 Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: Solar Wind, Spectroscopy, Radiant Flux

Chapter 5 Formation of the Solar System and Other Planetary Systems There are two broad categories of planets: Earthlike (terrestrial) and Jupiterlike (Jovian) o All the planets orbit the sun in the same direction and in ...

Astronomy
ASTR 103
Harold Geller
ASTR 103 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Dailymotion, Spherical Astronomy, Naked Eye

Chapter 1 Discovering the Night Sky Scientific Method a reiterative process based on observations, logic, and skepticism o Hypothesis a concept or idea that seems to explain a phenomenon or set of observations o Model ...

Astronomy
ASTR 103
Harold Geller
ASTR 103 Lecture Notes - Lecture 7: Caloris Planitia, Astrophotography, Gilbert Levin

Chapter 7 The other Terrestrial Planets and Their Comparisons to Earth Mercury Earthbased optical observations of Mercury are difficult o At its greatest eastern and western elongation, Mercury is never more than 28 degre...

Astronomy
ASTR 103
Harold Geller
ASTR 103 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Inferior And Superior Planets, Hyperbola, Semi-Major And Semi-Minor Axes

Chapter 2 Gravitation and the Waltz of the Planets Ancient Astronomers invented geocentric models to explain planetary motions o Like the sun and moon, the planets were believed to move on the celestial sphere with respec...

Astronomy
ASTR 103
Harold Geller
ASTR 103 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Chemical Substance, Big Bang, Dominant Wavelength

Chapter 4: Atomic Physics and Spectra Modern Atomic Physics o What is a Quark? Protons and Neutrons are grouped into quarks Down quarks and up quarks Subatomic particles of protons and neutrons are called quarks Nucleus of...

Astronomy
ASTR 103
Harold Geller
ASTR 103 Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: Mass Wasting, Van Allen Radiation Belt, Plate Tectonics

Chapter 6 The Earth and the Moon Earth Data lots of fun facts in really small font, like distance and mass and all that Minerals o Characteristics Naturally occurring Inorganic Definite crystalline structure o Uses The n...

Astronomy
ASTR 103
Harold Geller
ASTR 103 Lecture Notes - Lecture 23: Plate Tectonics, Interstellar Travel, Viking Program
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A Universe of Life - Searching for life everywhere - Planets, stars, galaxies, Big Bang ~ Conception of size and distance - Stars and the origins of chemicals - Formation of planets - Defining astrobiol...

Astronomy
ASTR 103
Geller
ASTR 103 Lecture Notes - Lecture 22: Planck Units, Fine Structure, Electroweak Epoch
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Some Basic Physics - Kirchoffs Spectral Laws ~ Continuous Spectrum: any body (ideal blackbody) that is at a temperature above 0 K ~ Emission Spectrum: any low pressure gas that you place a high voltage acros...

Astronomy
ASTR 103
Geller
ASTR 103 Lecture Notes - Lecture 21: Cosmological Constant, Friedmann Equations, Accelerating Expansion Of The Universe
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The darkness of the night sky tells us about the universe- this is known as Olbers Paradox - The Cosmological Principle ~ Most cosmological theories are based on the idea that on large scales, the universe ...

Astronomy
ASTR 103
Geller
ASTR 103 Lecture Notes - Lecture 20: Hypernova, Seyfert Galaxy, Radio Galaxy
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Quasars look like stars but have huge redshifts - These redshifts show that quasars are several hundred megaparsecs or more from the Earth, according to the Hubble law - To be seen at such large distances, qua...

Astronomy
ASTR 103
Geller
ASTR 103 Lecture Notes - Lecture 19: Dwarf Elliptical Galaxy, Barred Spiral Galaxy, Edwin Hubble
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When galaxies were first discovered, it was not clear that they lie far beyond the Milky Way The discovery of galaxies - At the beginning of the 20th century, what we now call spiral galaxies were referr...

Astronomy
ASTR 103
Geller
ASTR 103 Lecture Notes - Lecture 18: Henrietta Swan Leavitt, Cosmic Dust, Magellanic Clouds
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Interstellar dust obscures our view at visible wavelengths along lines of sight that lie in the plane of galactic disk William Herschel maps out the distribution of stars and gets: the universe of Herschel ...

Astronomy
ASTR 103
Geller
ASTR 103 Lecture Notes - Lecture 17: Inertial Frame Of Reference, Albert A. Michelson, Time Dilation
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The Speed of Light - Special Relativity becomes important in systems which are moving on the order of the speed of light - The speed of light is c=3X10^8 m/s - Galileo was the first person to propose th...

Astronomy
ASTR 103
Geller

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