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Class Notes for Astronomy at University of Alabama

Exam Study Guides for Astronomy Courses

Covers all exam topics.

AY 101 Lecture Notes - Lecture 15: Van Allen Radiation Belt, Solar Wind, Northern Hemisphere
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Earth's Atmosphere Earth's atmosphere is divided into four regions. The lowest of these regions is the troposphere. Here exists turbulence and atmospheric mixing due to convection currents (weather, for example). The atmos...

Astronomy
AY 101
Bailin
AY 101 Lecture Notes - Lecture 18: Escape Velocity, The Moons, Basalt
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Properties of Earth and the Moon Out of all the planets in the solar system, Earth is the only planet that scientists can study in detail. Atmospheric scientists can measure minute by minute atmospheric conditions (weathe...

Astronomy
AY 101
Bailin
AY 101 Lecture Notes - Lecture 11: Terrestrial Planet, Gas Giant, Planetary Science
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Terrestrial Planets, Gas Giant Planets The goal of planetary astronomy is to understand both the differences and the similarities (called comparative planetology) of the major objects in the solar system, includi...

Astronomy
AY 101
Bailin
AY 101 Lecture Notes - Lecture 12: Terrestrial Planet, Planetary Science, Plate Tectonics
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Comparative Planetology: Terrestrials While each of the terrestrial planets (the Moon can be considered one of these) has its individual characteristics, many of their differences may be understood in the context of their...

Astronomy
AY 101
Bailin
AY 101 Lecture Notes - Lecture 16: Transverse Wave, Outer Core, Asthenosphere
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Interior Structure: Core, Mantle, Crust The interior of Earth is not subject to direct investigation, but its properties must be indirectly deduced from the study of earthquake waves that propagate through the interior ro...

Astronomy
AY 101
Bailin
AY 101 Lecture Notes - Lecture 14: Protoplanetary Nebula, Planetary Nebula, Brown Dwarf
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Other Planetary Systems The first real observational evidence that other stars might produce planets came from infrared observations coming from cool dust around stars. Study of several nearby stars, such as Vega (the...

Astronomy
AY 101
Bailin
AY 101 Lecture Notes - Lecture 17: Uranius, Radiometric Dating, Planetary System
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The Age of Earth The age of Earth (and by inference, the age of most other objects in the solar system) is also not directly known. But related evidence can be studied, in this case, by the technique of radioactive dating...

Astronomy
AY 101
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AY 101 Lecture Notes - Lecture 13: Meteor Crater, Perseids, Incandescence
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Minor Objects: Asteroids, Comets, and More Four basic categories of smaller materials exist in the solar system: meteoroids; asteroids (or minor planets); comets; and dust and gas. These categories are differentiated on t...

Astronomy
AY 101
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AY 101 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Scientific Notation, Kilogram, An Angle
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Measurement Methods Astronomers use a variety of methods to quantify the natural phenomena that they measure. Because the physical factors that are measured in astronomy are sometimes quite large or small, astronomers use ...

Astronomy
AY 101
Bailin
AY 101 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Nicolaus Copernicus, Galilean Moons, Inferior And Superior Planets
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Foundations of Modern Astronomy Nicolaus Copernicus and the Heliocentric hypothesis Copernicus (14731547) was a Polish scholar who postulated an alternative description of the solar system. Like the Ptolemaic geocentric (E...

Astronomy
AY 101
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AY 101 Lecture Notes - Lecture 8: Equatorial Coordinate System, Celestial Sphere, Celestial Equator
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Naked-Eye Astronomy Human awareness of the universe began when people realized that they could observe objects in the sky, and that what they saw changed over days, months, and years. The sky To any observer on the gro...

Astronomy
AY 101
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AY 101 Lecture Notes - Lecture 10: Compressible Flow, Solar Wind, Momentum
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Introduction to the Solar System The solar system consists of the Sun, nine planets, some 60 or so moons, and assorted minor materials (asteroids, meteoroids, comets, dust, and gas). All of these objects are tiny in comp...

Astronomy
AY 101
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AY 101 Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: Chromatic Aberration, Refraction, Wavelength
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Electromagnetic Radiation (Light) The second great area of physics necessary to address the universe is the subject of light, or electromagnetic radiation. Visible light is the relatively narrow frequency band of electro...

Astronomy
AY 101
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AY 101 Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: Semi-Major And Semi-Minor Axes, Orbital Period, Physical Law
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Basic Physics In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, scientists discovered the laws of the motion of material objects. These laws help scientists to explain and predict the motions of celestial bodies. Keplers Three L...

Astronomy
AY 101
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AY 101 Lecture Notes - Lecture 9: Primary Mirror, Active Optics, Curved Mirror
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Telescopes and Observatories The primary purpose of a telescope is to collect light over a large surface area and secondarily to produce a magnification of the image of the objects under study. The site at which one or mor...

Astronomy
AY 101
Bailin

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