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ASTR-1040 - Physics 1040 Astronomy 1040Elementary Astronomy...

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Physics 1040/ Astronomy 1040- Elementary Astronomy Summer 2011 Instructor: Dr. Simranjit Kaur Homework 1: (Ch.1-10) Name: Alan Cedeno Date: 6/13/2011
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Chapter 1. Review and discussion: 1.Briefly describe the geocentric model of the universe. The geocentric model is were the Earth lay at the center of the universe and all other bodies moved around it. 2.The benefit of our current knowledge let us see flaws in the Ptolemaic model of the universe. What is its basic flaw? The major error lay in the assumption of a geocentric universe, compounded by the insistence on uniform circular motion, the basis of which was largely philosophical, rather than scientific, in nature. 3.What was the great contribution of Copernicus to our knowledge of the solar system? The heliocentric model. Copernicus asserted that Earth spins on its axis and, like all other planets, orbits the Sun. Not only does this model explain the observed daily and seasonal changes in the heavens, as we have seen, but is also naturally accounts for planetary retrograde motion and brightness variations. 4.What was the Copernican revolution? The critical realization that Earth is not at the center of the universe is now known as the Copernican Revolution. 5.What discoveries of Galileo helped confirm the views of Copernicus? -The Moon has mountains, valleys, and craters , terrain in many ways reminiscent of that on Earth. -The Sun has imperfections -dark blemishes now known as sunspots. By noticing the changing appearance of these sunspots from day to day, Galileo inferred that the Sun rotates, approximately once per month, around an axis roughly perpendicular to the ecliptic plane. -Four small points of light, invisible to the naked eye, orbit the planet Jupiter. He realized that they were moons, circling that planet just as our Moon orbits Earth. To Galileo, the fact that another planet had moons provided the strongest support for the Copernican model. Clearly , Earth was not the center of all things. -Venus shows a complete cycle of phases, much like the familiar monthly changes exhibited by our own Moon. This finding can be explained only by the planet's motion around the Sun. 6.Why is Galileo often thought of as the first experimental scientist? Galileo Galilei by his willingness to perform experiments to test his ideas- a radical approach in those says and by embracing the brad-new technology of the telescope, he revolutionized the way science was done, so much so that he is now widely regarded as the father of experimental science.
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7.Briefly describe Kepler's three laws of planetary motion. I. The orbital paths of the planets are elliptical (not necessarily circular), with the Sun at one focus. II. An imaginary line connecting the Sun to any planet sweeps out equal areas of the ellipse in equal intervals.
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