Chapter_1_ - Chapter 1 - Science and the Universe: A Brief...

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Chapter 1 - Science and the Universe: ABrief Tour1.1 - The Nature of AstronomyAstronomy- study of the objects that lie beyond our planet Earth and the processes bywhich these objects interact w/ one anotherHumanity’s attempt to organize what we learn into a clear history of the universe, fromthe Big Bang to todayEmphasize that science is aprogress report- one that changes constantly as newtechniques and instruments allow us to probe the universe more deeplyCosmosevolves- changes in profound ways over long periods of timeUniverse has evolved into a more hospitable place for life1.2 - The Nature of ScienceScience is not merely a body of knowledge, but amethodby which we attempt tounderstand nature and how it behavesBegins w/ many observations over a period of timeScientists canmodelthe particular phenomena we want to understandModels are always approximations of nature, subject to further testingAncient astronomers constructed a model that Earth was the center of the universe andeverything moved around it in circular orbitsModel updated by adding circle after circle to represent the movements of theplanets around EarthNew model has the Sun in the centerNew models or ideas are sometimeshypothesesResolving issues will require difficult observations done at the forefront of ourtechnology, and all such hypothesis need further testing before incorporating themfully into our standard astronomical modelsHypothesis must be a proposed explanation that can betestedMust perform an experimentAstronomy is sometimes called anobservational scienceMake our tests by observing many samples of the kind of object we want to studyand noting carefully how different samples varyNew instruments and technology can let us look at info, and they pass or fail inthe same way we would evaluate the result of a lab experimentHistorical Science- what we observe has already happened in the universe and we can do

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Term
Spring
Professor
GraemeSmith
Tags
Planet, Astronomical unit

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