Astronomy Book Notes

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Michael Wood- Vasey

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Chapter 1 11112013 52700 PM Chapter 1 Predicting the Motions of the Stars Sun and MoonThought Questions How was the universe created Where did the earth moon and sun come from What are the planets and stars made of And how do we fit in What is our place in the cosmic scope of space and timeSection 11Astronomy is both an ancient cultural practice and a cuttingedge science Scientific Method the approach used by scientists to explore physical reality that is based fundamentally on observation logic and skepticismNOTE the scientific method requires that our ideas about the world be consistent with what we actually observe Hypothesis a collection of testable ideas that seem to explain what is observed about physical realityIt is in developing a hypothesis that scientists are their most creative imaginative and intuitive The scientist uses logic to work out the implications of the hypothesis and to make predictions that can be testedA hypothesis is on firm ground only after it has accurately forecast the results of new experiments or observations Theory A body of related and rigorously tested hypotheses that can be pieced together to form a larger selfconsistent description of natureNOTE without theories there is no understanding and no science only a collection of facts A good theory is one that explains reality and that can be applied to explain new observationsAn important part of the scientific theory is its ability to make predictions that can be tested by other scientists
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