LECTURE 1 - light can take much more time to travel How far...

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LECTURE 1 (1/15/08) What is Astronomy? The scientific description and explanation of the physical universe (origins, evolution, structure, constants, and  phenomena occurring in it). (a) applied physics,  “astrophysics” (b) mathematical science Why study Astronomy? Our place in the universe, both in space and in time.  How special is our place in the universe? 400 years ago, it was believed that the Earth was the center of the  universe.  Now we know that the sun isn’t the center of the universe but just apart of the Milky Way which  is apart of a billion galaxies. Astronomy has cosmic archaeology- we take advantage of the speed of light being finite. Nearby things 
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Unformatted text preview: light can take much more time to travel. How far out we can find distances in the solar system or the galaxy? It captures the imagination It should be apart of every educated person’s knowledge We need to know the facts that govern us. We need to understand the scientific method- reasoning and methods that those facts are established o Experimenting and gathering of data o Find trends and patterns in that data o Use basic principles which can account for the patterns in the trends o Then test predictions...
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course AST 301 taught by Professor Harvey during the Spring '07 term at University of Texas.

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