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Astronomy 1021 Study Guide - Comprehensive Final Guide: Photon, Table Tennis, Chemical Bond


Department
Astronomy
Course Code
ASTR 1021
Professor
Robert Cockcroft
Study Guide
Final

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Western
Astronomy 1021
FINAL EXAM
STUDY GUIDE

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The Scale of the Universe
Constellation of the week: Cygnus
- Latin for swan
- Hipparchus (190-120BC), Ptolemy (100-170AD)
- mythology: a disguise for Zeus
- flies across the Milky Way
Stars
- star: a spherical object that generates energy through nuclear fusion (H -> He)
- Sun is our closest star
- next closest: Proxima Centauri
- 1000s of stars visible in sky
- lots of varieties
- stars twinkle, planets do not (atmospheric turbulence)
- when looking at planet we can see a disc, stars we can only see pinpoint of light
Planets
- planet: a spherical object that orbits a star; dominates its orbit; reflects light; rock,
ice, gas
Moons
- moon (a.k.a. satellite): an object that orbits a planet
- Moon vs. moon
- also known as satellites
Schematic overview:
- solar system: the region around a star that includes planets, moons, other small
bodies
- Solar System vs. solar system
- may contain multiple stars
- most likely will contain multiple planets
- other small bodies:
- dwarf planets
- comets (icey)
- asteroids (rocky)
- galaxy: very big collection of stars (and solar systems), gas, dust, and dark matter
- Galaxy vs. galaxy
- Milky Way Galaxy
- Andromeda Galaxy (M31)
- different types
- nebula (Latin for cloud): huge interstellar clouds of gas
- four main types of nebulae (Ch. 14)
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- e.g. Pillars of Creation, Eagle Nebula
- Cat’s Eye Nebula
- Crab Nebula
- universe: the entirety of everything we know of; time, space and all its contents
- “the observable universe”
- Hubble Deep Field Image
- most of the “blobs” are distant galaxies
- the universe is littered with billions of galaxies
Big numbers
- how do we quantify these distances? Or big numbers in general?
- we need notation
- we have experience with data storage for example
- SN is a shorthand way for describing numbers
- e.g. 1 billion can be described as 1 followed by 9 zeros
- similar for decimal numbers, to the minus power
- every 3 added zeros we have a special name
- positive: move decimal to the right
- negative: move to the left
- to multiple or divide, multiply or divide the first part, then add or subtract the
exponents
- sometimes, you may not know the exact number for a question but can still get a
good idea, (estimate, or order of magnitude)
- Earth’s average distance from the sun = 1 AU (Astronomical Unit)
- Milky Way Galaxy: 10 to the power of 18 km
- largest galaxy: 6x 10 to the power of 19
- nebulae range a huge size over their lifetime
- size of the visible universe: 9x 10 to the power of 23 km
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