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### Lesson 5

Course: ASTRO 001, Spring 2008
School: Penn State
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Word Count: 822

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Goals After Learning completing this lesson, you should be able to answer the following questions: How is the length of a day defined? What is the difference between a sidereal day and a solar day? How are Time Zones determined? How do we define the duration of a lunar cycle? How is the length of a year defined? How does the position of the Sun relative to the Celestial Equator define the seasons? Units of...

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Goals After Learning completing this lesson, you should be able to answer the following questions: How is the length of a day defined? What is the difference between a sidereal day and a solar day? How are Time Zones determined? How do we define the duration of a lunar cycle? How is the length of a year defined? How does the position of the Sun relative to the Celestial Equator define the seasons? Units of Time Many of the units of time which we regularly use are derived from basic astronomical events. A.M. vs. P.M. Noon is defined as the time when the Sun crosses an observer's meridian. A.M. Ante Meridian (before the Sun crosses the meridian). P.M. Post Meridian (after the Sun crosses the meridian). Length of Day The length of a day is related to the rotation of the Earth. The length of time from one noon until the next is a solar day. This lasts 24 hours, on average. But the Earth doesn't sit still as it rotates. It also revolves around the Sun. Relative to background stars, the Earth takes only 23 hours, 56 minutes & 4 seconds to rotate. This is known as a sidereal day. It takes another 3 minutes, 56 seconds to reach noon again. (Note: motion is exaggerated to emphasize the effect. Actual difference in direction ~1o.) 1 o Length of a Solar Day The length of a solar day varies because the orbital speed of the Earth changes during the year. Mean Solar Day = average length of a solar day (24 hours). Equation of time = apparent solar day mean solar day. Can be as large as 17 minutes difference! Time Zones Due to the curvature of the Earth, local noon is different for people at different longitudes. We therefore have time zones to correct for this. One full circle equals 360o. A degree can be subdivided into arcminutes and arcseconds. One full day equals 24 hours. An hour can be subdivided into minutes and seconds. (60 minutes = 1 hour, 60 seconds = 1 minute.) We divide the circumference of the Earth into 24 time zones. Each time zone is 360o/24 = 15o wide. 360o 15o 1 All regions within a time zone record noon at exactly the same time, even though the Sun crosses an observer's meridian only for those located at the center of the time zone. Therefore, the Sun may cross the meridian up to 30 minutes before or after noon at your location, depending on where within the time zone you live. The Month The length of a month is related to the revolution of the around Moon the Earth. Like the day, the length of a month depends on how you measure it. A sidereal month is one revolution relative to background stars. (27 days 7 hours 43 minutes and 11.5 seconds) A synodic month is one revolution relative to the Sun (one lunar cycle). (29 days 12 hours 44 minutes and 2.8 seconds) Local time zone boundaries may vary based on distributions of populations. Some countries (like China) don't even use time zones. (Note: motion is exaggerated to emphasize the effect.) The Year The length of a year is related to the revolution of the Earth around the Sun. As before, the length of a year depends on how you measure it. A sidereal year is one revolution relative to background stars. (365.25637 days) A tropical year is one revolution relative to the Sun (one seasonal cycle). (365.24219 days) The difference is due to the precession of the Earth's axis. The Seasons The year is separated into four seasons, based on the position of the Sun relative to the celestial equator. Equinoxes twice a year where the ecliptic crosses the celestial equator. Days when daylight lasts exactly 12 hours everywhere. Vernal Equinox the Sun crosses from the southern hemisphere to the northern hemisphere. Marks the first day of spring. Autumnal Equinox the Sun crosses from the northern hemisphere to the southern hemisphere. Marks the first day of autumn. Solstices twice a year when the Sun is farthest away from the celestial o equator (at a declination of 23.5 ). Summer Solstice the Sun is highest in the sky at noon. Marks the first day of summer. Winter Solstice the Sun is lowest in the sky at noon. Marks the first day of winter. Calendars If a calendar year was only 365 days long, then we would have an error of roughly 1 day every 4 years. The Julian Calendar was created to take into account the fact that a year is approximately 365.25 days (not an integer number). The solution was to introduce leap years. Every 4th year, there are 366 days in a year (Feb. 29th is added). The Gregorian Calendar (our modern calendar) was created because one leap year every 4 years was not accurate enough. Since a Tropical year is not precisely 365.25 days, having exactly 1 leap year every 4 years brings the error down to 1 day in 128 years. To fully correct for this, centuries not divisible by 400 are not leap years. This brings the error down to only 1 day in 3300 years. 2
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Penn State - ASTRO - 001
Learning GoalsAfter completing this lesson, you should be able to answer the following questions: What is the scientific method and how do scientists use it to understand the world? What is parallax? How did the knowledge of parallax influence an
Penn State - ASTRO - 001
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Penn State - ASTRO - 001
Learning GoalsAfter completing this lesson, you should be able to answer the following questions: What are Newton's three laws of motion? What is inertia? What is the difference between mass and weight? How does the force exerted on an object af
Penn State - ASTRO - 001
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Penn State - ASTRO - 001
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Penn State - ASTRO - 001
Learning GoalsAfter completing this lesson, you should be able to answer the following questions: SpectraWhen we study light from other objects, we can pass that light through a prism or diffraction grating to spread the various wavelengths
Penn State - ASTRO - 001
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Penn State - ASTRO - 001
Learning GoalsAfter completing this lesson, you should be able to answer the following questions: What is the main purpose of using telescopes for astronomical observations? What are the two main types of optical telescopes? What are the advantag
Penn State - ASTRO - 001
Learning GoalsAfter completing this lesson, you should be able to answer the following questions: Does anything exist in the space between stars? What is it composed of? How do we observe it? How is an emission nebula created? What does one look
Penn State - ASTRO - 001
Learning GoalsAfter completing this lesson, you should be able to answer the following questions: How does a cloud of gas and dust eventually collapse to form a solar system? How big is the original cloud compared to the size of the solar system?
Penn State - ASTRO - 001
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Penn State - ASTRO - 001
Learning Goals Basic FactsThe Solar System is composed of: 1 Star the Sun 9 Planets Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune &amp; Pluto Dwarf Planets 3 officially classified so far (Ceres, Pluto &amp; Eris) Over 100 Moo
Penn State - ASTRO - 001
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Penn State - ASTRO - 001
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Penn State - ASTRO - 001
The Moon Basic FactsThe Moon is Earth's only natural satellite. Due to its smaller size, it does not have enough gravity to hold onto an atmosphere. Due to tidal coupling, we always see same side of the Moon. The Moon does not have a &quot;Dark side&quot;, b
Penn State - ASTRO - 001
Mercury Basic FactsOur view from Earth Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun. Mercury has no significant atmosphere. It temporarily holds on to gases ejected by the Sun, but its low gravity and high temperatures prevent it from retaining an atmo
Penn State - ASTRO - 001
Planetary InteriorsMagnetic FieldsFactors which contribute to a planet's magnetic field strength: Liquid metallic core charges free to move. Rapid rotation need to move charged particles quickly.limited liquid core ?too small cooled off
Penn State - ASTRO - 001
JupiterJupiter is by far the largest planet in our Solar System. Over 99% of the mass of our Solar System is found in the Sun. About 70% of the remaining mass is found in Jupiter. Jupiter is composed mostly of Hydrogen and Helium (like the Sun), cap
Penn State - ASTRO - 001
Saturn's RingsShepherd MoonsWhile all of the jovian planets have ring systems, Saturn's is most spectacular, so we will use this planet as the prime example. Saturn's rings are composed mostly of ice particles, ranging in size. The rings are not
Penn State - ASTRO - 001
PlutoDeviations in the orbits or Uranus and Neptune led astronomer Percival Lowell to suggest that a ninth planet existed beyond their orbits. In 1930, Clyde Tombaugh discovered Pluto, but it was located 6o away from Lowell's predicted position. Ast
Penn State - ASTRO - 001
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Penn State - ASTRO - 001
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Penn State - ASTRO - 001
Points Awarded Points Missed Percentage200 0 100%1. A nanometer is a _ of a meter. A. thousandth (10-3) B. millionth (10-6) C. billionth (10-9) D. trillionth (10-12) Nano is the prefix which represents one billionth (or 10 -9). See lesson 1 for d
Penn State - ASTRO - 001
Points Awarded Points Missed Percentage200 0 100%1. Your friend in Germany calls you at 6PM (midnight his time). While talking he mentions that he can see a gorgeous full moon very high in the sky at the moment. You look outside. What do you see?
Penn State - ASTRO - 001
Points Awarded Points Missed Percentage200 0 100%1. _'s three laws of planetary motion were derived based on observational data collected by _. A. Kepler, Brahe B. Copernicus, Ptolemy C. Einstein, Aristotle D. Newton, Galileo Brahe made detailed
Penn State - ASTRO - 001
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Penn State - ASTRO - 001
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Penn State - ASTRO - 001
Quiz: WebQuiz 6https:/cms.psu.edu/section/content/Default.asp?WCI=pgTool%5FQuiz.WebQuiz 6please complete by midnight, Thursday, Feb. 21Utilities &gt; Submissions &gt; View submission by MILLER, SCOTT (STM10) on 2/25/2008 10:17:56 PMPoints Awarded P
Penn State - ASTRO - 001
Points Awarded Points Missed Percentage32 8 80%1. Both Venus and Mars have atmospheres which are almost completely composed of carbon dioxide. Why does Venus experience a runaway greenhouse effect while Mars doesn't? A. Venus is bigger than Mars
Penn State - ASTRO - 001
Points Awarded Points Missed Percentage27 3 90%1. Shepherd satellites are defined as: A. Moons that confine a narrow ring. B. Moons that orbit inside the system of rings. C. A type of moon that orbits another moon. D. Moons that follow the exact
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