Astro 3 final studyguide

Astro 3 final studyguide - Astro 3 Final Study...

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Astro 3 Final Study Guide…Summaries 09/03/2008 16:51:00 Exam Multiple choice Exam: Thursday, March 20, 2008 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM MS 4000A E Chapter Review: Introduction Early observers grouped the stars visible to the naked eye into patterns called  constellation  which they imagined were attached to a  vast  celestial sphere  centered on the Earth.  Constellations have no physical significance, but are still used to label regions in the sky.  Celestial coordinates  are a more precise way of specifying a star’s location on the celestial sphere.   The nightly motion of the stars across the sky is a result of the Earth’s  rotation  on it’s axis.  Because of the Earth’s  revolution  on it’s  axis around the Sun, we see different stars at night at different times of the year.  The Sun’s apparent yearly path around the celestial sphere  (or the plane of Earth’s orbit around the Sun) is called the  ecliptic .  We experience seasons because Earth’s rotation axis in inclined to the  ecliptic plane.  At the  summer solstice , the Sun is highest in the sky and the length of the day is greatest.  At the  winter solstice , the Sun is  lowest and the day is shortest.  Because of  precession , the orientation of the Earth’s axis change slowly over the course of thousands of  years.      As the Moon orbits Earth, it keeps the same face permanently turned towards our planet.  We see lunar  phases  as the fraction of the  Moon’s sunlit face visible varies to us.  A  lunar eclipse  occurs when the Moon enters Earth’s shadow.  A  solar eclipse  occurs when the  Moon passes between Earth and the Sun.  An eclipse may be  total  if the body in question is completely obscured, or  partial  is only a portion  of the surface is affected.  If the Moon happens to be too far from the Earth for its disk to completely hide the Sun, an  annular eclipse  occurs.  Because the Moon’s orbit around Earth is slightly inclined to the ecliptic, solar and lunar eclipses are relatively rare events.   Astronomers use  triangulation  to measure the distance to planets and stars, forming the foundation of the  cosmic distance scale the family of distance-measurement techniques used to chart the universe.   Parallax  is the apparent motion of a foreground object relative to  a distant background as the observer’s position changes.  The larger the  baseline —the distance between the two observation points—the  greater the parallax.   The  scientific method  is a methodical approach employed by scientists to explore the universe around us in an objective manner.  A 
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