HW1solutions - UCSB Winter 2008 Astro 1 - Homework #1...

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UCSB Winter 2008 Astro 1 - Homework #1 Solutions Kevin Moore 1/09/08 1.3 How are scientific theories tested? Scientific theories are tested through experiments and observations. Scientists work out the predictions of their theory (usually using mathematics) and then devise experiments to look for the predicted effects. A theory that makes predictions in conflict with observations must be thrown away or revised. 1.5 Describe one reason why it’s useful to have telescopes in space. Here are three acceptable reasons: Placing telescopes in space avoids the general deterioration of light as it passes through our atmosphere known as atmospheric extinction - and thus increases the amount of light available for the telescope to collect. In addition, it avoids the shimmering effects due to atmospheric turbulence that cause stars to twinkle. The Earth’s atmosphere absorbs certain parts of the electromagnetic spectrum (for example ultraviolet and infrared radiation), so telescopes on the Earth’s surface cannot detect such signals effectively. Putting the telescope above the atmosphere allows these wavelengths to be observed. A telescope in space does not need to correct for the Earth’s rotation while looking at an object, and has more freedom of where it can look since it’s not bound by Earth’s daily rotation. 1.10 What is the difference between a solar system and a galaxy? A solar system consists of a star (eg. the Sun) and all the objects that orbit it - planets, asteroids, comets, etc. A galaxy is a huge collection of billions of stars (the Sun itself orbits around the center of the galaxy much like the Earth orbits around the Sun). 1.11
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course ASTRO 1 taught by Professor Antonucci during the Winter '08 term at UCSB.

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HW1solutions - UCSB Winter 2008 Astro 1 - Homework #1...

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