Astronomy notes 1.doc

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Department
Astronomy
Course Code
AST 118
Professor
Elizabeth Bozyan

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Description
Chapter 1 The scientific method: • Observation • Experimentation • Logic • Skepticism Model first seems to explain hypothesis • After testing if it correctly explains observations and predicts future observations, it is a theory • Model must always agree with the hypothesis In astronomy: • Start with observations • Then turn them into a theory The night sky and celestial sphere, chapter 1.5, 2.4 Astronomy; the study of the universe • Oldest of all the sciences Day → one earth rotation Month → one orbit of moon around the Earth Year → one orbit of the Earth around the sun In ancient cultures, astronomy was thought to influence peoples lives Modern astronomy is a pure science • Laws of physics as we know them are valid throughout the universe • Astronomy has no experimentation, only observation How many stars can we see on a clear night with no moons and no street lights? • Full sphere: 6,000 • Hemisphere: 3,000 • Extinction near horizon: 2,000 IAU= InternationalAstronomical Union Stars are not all the same distance from us Milky Way: band of light across the sky • Why? ◦ The shape of our galaxy and where we are located. It is a spiral galaxy. How do we find objects? • Everything is placed on a celestial sphere, Earth is in the center Right ascension: longitude Declination: latitude Zenith: directly over head Meridian: great circle goes through zenith and north celestial pole (
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