Value of Astronomy in the Scientific Endeavo1

Value of Astronomy in the Scientific Endeavo1 - allows...

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Value of Astronomy in the Scientific Endeavor Even though astronomers cannot do controlled experiments and they are confined to observing the universe from locations near the Earth, the universe gives us a vast number of different phenomena to observe. Many of these things cannot be reproduced in Earth laboratories. There are gas clouds in such a rarefied state that they give off radiation not seen on Earth. Some objects are so dense that their gravitational fields bend light so much that it is prevented from leaving the object! Many things that are unlikely or impossible on Earth are routinely observed in the cosmos. Many of the scientific theories in other fields make predictions of what would happen under very extreme circumstances. Sometimes those extreme circumstances are the only situations distinguishing two or more contradictory theories. Unfortunately, the scientists of those other disciplines cannot test their ``wild'' ideas---is it hogwash or reality? Astronomy
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Unformatted text preview: allows those theories to be tested. Very subtle and easily missed but crucial processes may be missed by observers focussing on the Earth, but the astronomer can see those processes magnified to easily noticeable levels in some other celestial object. In addition you will see later that the light coming from far-away objects in all parts of the universe tells us about the laws of physics (the rules of nature governing how physical things interact with each other) there. Astronomers find that the laws of physics discovered here on the Earth are the same throughout the cosmos. The fact that nature makes nearly an infinite variety of things from the same types of material we have here on the Earth and has those things interact with each other in so many different ways using the same rules we see followed here on the Earth is awe-inspiring....
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This note was uploaded on 12/15/2011 for the course AST AST1002 taught by Professor Emilyhoward during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.

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