In the example above where compared the field of view with the width of the

In the example above where compared the field of view

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different eyepiece. In the example above where compared the field of view with the width of the Moon, the quantity we were measuring was the TFOV—the field of view of an optical system that includes a certain telescope and a certain eyepiece. If you have binoculars instead of a telescope, the eyepieces are attached and can't be changed, so you have a fixed system with a fixed FOV. The angle of the FOV will be listed with the other features and specifications of any binocular you buy. In general, just remember that a higher magnification means a narrower FOV -- if you look at a distant object through a binocular that magnifies ten times, the object will fill more of the field than it would if viewed through a binocular that magnifies seven times. WEEK 1-Review Questions 1. What is the scientific method? Give a description of each of its parts. (See the scientific method chapter in the text for more on this). 1) Science begins with observation of the universe around us. Observation environment interpreted by senses and sense extenders Fact…uncontested observation available to all observers 2) Tentative explanations (hypotheses) are offered during “brainstorming” sessions. Often a hypothesis is described as an educated “guess”. 3) Predictions of a hypothesis are tested and either validated or denied by the observed facts. Experiments and peer review are essential ingredients in the process. 4) When the “best” answer emerges it becomes a scientific theory. But, remember in science theory is not an opinion, that is what we call a hypothesis. No explanation in science is considered to be absolute. Marcelo Gleiser reminds us, “No theory is ever complete or final, as new extremes ask for new formulations,
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and new formulations require experimental validation that, in turn, depends on available technologies.” Our scientific knowledge evolves with time as this class will well illustrate and it is a human endeavor with all the vulnerability that comes with our frailty. The march of time and the ability of human cultures to either accelerate or decelerate our progress in pursuing scientific “truth” also play major roles in our ability to understand as best we can our human experience in this amazing universe. 2. How are controlled experiments helpful in understanding the rules of nature? Experiments come in many forms that today include supercomputer modeling and nature itself. Shooting a high speed projectile into a rocky surface and recording the result with high speed photography can help us understand the nature of impacts. Under these conditions the slow motion photography allows us, like a replay in sports, to see things that normally would not be available to us because of the fast pace of the event. Experiments help us make the “correct call.” Although astronomers cannot often do controlled experiments, Nick Strobel reminds us that, “astronomer’s look for the experiments nature has set up for us and hone in on a few basic characteristics at a time. The best example is bending light by very massive astrophysical objects (gravitational lensing). This
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