lecture03

lecture03 - Astronomy 3: The Nature of the Universe...

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Astronomy 3: The Nature of the Universe Professor Alice Shapley Lecture 3: Science and History of Astronomy (NGC 1499 Image credit: Markus Noller, Deep Sky Images)
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Logistics • First homework quiz: due Monday, April 11 th , 10 pm. • Available today after class at CCLE website: https://ccle.ucla.edu/course/view/11S-ASTR3-2
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Logistics
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Logistics • Lab this week on “Naked Eye Astronomy” (planetarium!). • In case you are joining class this week, please contact Nassim Bozorgnia ( nassim@physics.ucla.edu ) about making up Week 1 lab.
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Review from Last Time • The Night Sky: celestial sphere, constellations, angular size/distance, local sky, celestial coordinates, daily and annual motion, zodiac. • The Seasons: cause of the seasons, precession of the Earth’s orbit. • The Moon: phases and eclipses.
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A Private Universe Excerpt from “A Private Universe”: 1987 documentary about students’ misconceptions regarding the cause of seasons and phases of the moon. Full video: http://www.learner.org/resources/series28.html
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Class Poll • What is the phase of the moon during a lunar eclipse? A. New B. Quarter C. Full D. Any of the above
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Class Poll • What is the phase of the moon during a lunar eclipse? A. New B. Quarter C. Full D. Any of the above
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In what ways do all humans employ scientific thinking? How did astronomical observations benefit ancient societies? What did ancient civilizations achieve in astronomy? Our goals for learning:
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Scientific thinking is based on everyday ideas of observation and trial-and-error experiments . It is something we all do: e.g. , observe that certain events seem to occur together infer causal relationship (David Hume, 18 th century Scottish Philosopher). Scientists are just trained to be more disciplined in this procedure and therefore become less prone to jumping to conclusions or simply believing in something without examining the evidence. As we proceed, remember to ask: “Why is this so? How do we know this?”
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• Astronomy is the oldest science. • There is ample evidence that ancient peoples observed and catalogued the motions of the sky. • WHY? Keeping track of time & seasons – for practical purposes, like agriculture – for religious and ceremonial purposes Aid to navigation Ancient people of central Africa (6,500 BC) could predict seasons from the orientation of the “horns” of the crescent moon relative to the horizon.
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Class Poll • At what time of day does a waxing crescent moon set? A. Noontime B. Just after sunset C. Midnight D. Any of the above
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Class Poll • At what time of day does a waxing crescent moon set? A. Noontime B. Just after sunset C. Midnight D. Any of the above
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daily timekeeping • tracking the seasons and • making accurate calendars • finding ways to mark solstices and equinoxes • monitoring lunar cycles • 19 years = 235 lunar cycles (the Metonic cycle) • monitoring planets and stars • predicting eclipses and more…
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lecture03 - Astronomy 3: The Nature of the Universe...

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