Lecture 2 - Lecture 2: Our Place in Space It is now clear...

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Lecture 2: Our Place in Space It is now clear that Earth is not central or special in its general properties (mass, distance from central star, etc.) The Sun is an average star The Milky Way is a typical spiral galaxy This leads to the “principle of mediocrity” or “Copernican principle” Copernican Principle The “principle of mediocrity” or “Copernican principle” states that physical laws are the same throughout the Universe This principle can be tested using the scientific method! So far, it seems to agree with observations perfectly One of the key ideas is that we can use light from distant objects to understand conditions there, using the work of Isaac Newton Multiwavelength Astronomy The color and energy of light are related to the Wavelength… Different wavelengths of radiation tell us about objects with different temperatures… Using Newton’s techniques, combined with our knowledge of atomic structure, we can use light to study distant objects… Scientific Method and Observation Transformed the search for meaning into a quest for objective truth We can deduce the properties of distant objects using observations The scientific method originated in the renaissance, and is still used today: Copernican Principle The validity of the “Copernican principle” is great news for science, because it means that we can learn about distant objects by analyzing the light that reaches us from them
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Lecture 2 - Lecture 2: Our Place in Space It is now clear...

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