Module #1 REVIEW.docx - ASTRONOMY u2013 the study of the...

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ASTRONOMY – the study of the whole universe in which you live in SCIENTIFIC NOTATION – recording very small/large numbers using powers of 10 ASTRONOMICAL UNIT (AU) – average distance from Earth to the Sun 150 million km, 1.5 x 10 8 km LIGHT YEAR (ly) – the distance that light travels in one year Closest star to Earth – Proxima Centauri (4.2ly away) Not possible to see any distance larger than 13.8 billion light years GALAXY – large system of stars, star clusters, gas, dust and nebulae orbiting a common center of mass Our galaxy = Milky Way o 80,000ly in diameter o Contains over 100 billion stars PLANET – non-luminous body in orbit around a star Our solar system consists of the sun and its planets, asteroids, and comets Problem with studying astronomy? keeping proper sense of scale COSMIC CALENDAR January 1 st – big bang March 1 st – milky way forms August 15 th – solar system forms September 30 th – primitive life begins December 15 th – complex living structures form December 25 th – dinosaurs roam Earth December 30 th – end of dinosaur era CONSTELLATION – stellar patterns identified by name; also, region of sky containing the star pattern IAU established 88 official constellations (Latin or Greek names) Don’t represent group of stars, but section of the sky BRIGHTNESS OF STARS: Hipparchus – first to document stars by their brightness Ptolemy – brightness of the star is related to intensity of light produced by the star MAGNITUDE SCALE – the astronomical brightness scale The larger the number, the fainter the star Limitations: - Some stars so bright magnitude extends into negative numbers - Some stars emit ultraviolet light – invisible to human eye CERN A high-energy, physics research facility in Geneva, Switzerland PLANCK LENGTH Smallest length that theoretically makes sense; 10 -35 SPIRAL ARMS Long spiral pattern of bright stars, clusters, gas, and dust.

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