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class notes-3 - Astronomy 1101 17:46 Astronomy the branch...

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Astronomy 1101 17:46 Astronomy: the branch of science dealing with object and phenomena that lie beyond  the Earth’s atmosphere.  Star: a large, glowing ball of gas that generates heat and light through nuclear fusion.  Planet: a moderately large object that orbits a star; it shines by reflected light. Planets  may be rock, icy, or gaseous in composition. Moon (or satellite): an object that orbits a planet.  Asteroid: a relativity small and rocky object that orbits a star Comet: a relatively small and icy object that orbits a star Solar (star) system: a star and all the materials that orbits it, including its planets and  moons Nebulae: an interstellar cloud of gas and/or dust Galaxy: A great island of stars in space, all held together by gravity and orbiting a  common center.  The Milky Way Galaxy: a great island of stars in space all held together by gravity and  orbiting a common center
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Universe: the sum total of all matter and energy; that is, everything within and between  all galaxies Astronomical distance: one of earth’s distances from the sun. Light-year: the distance light can travel in one year.  Meteor: a small body of matter from outer space that enters the earth’s atmosphere,  appearing as a streak of light (shooting star) Meteorite: a meteor that has hit the earth Aurora: is a natural light display in the sky particularly in the high latitude (Arctic and  Antarctic) regions, caused by the collision of energetic charged particles with atoms in  the high altitude atmosphere.
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17:46 The Astronomy Time Machine: Light is the main tool used by Astronomers Light has a finite speed (186,000 miles per second) Light can travel around the Earth 8 times in 1 second Light can travel ~2300 times to NOLA and back in 1 second The Solar System Sun: largest star  Mercury: very rocky, many craters, we can usually see it when the sun is either setting  or rising Venus: volcanoes, rocky surface Earth: craters, volcanoes Earth’s moon: craters, volcanoes Mars: rocky, volcanoes Asteroids and Meteors: belts of small asteroids and meteors that are usually very far  apart. Some fall to the surface of the Earth creating shooting stars or meteor showers.  Not spherical.  Jupiter: has rings,  Saturn: has rings, Uranus: has rings, Neptune: has rings, Pluto: has a moon, not a planet, orbital plane is not in ecliptic like other planets, Kuiper Belt Objects: dirty, icy, chunks of debris, usually in an orbit
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17:46 Comets: A kuiper belt object that gets pushed from orbit Before the belt: Terrestrial Planets More rocky More dense Some have volcanoes, craters Closer together Closer to the sun
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