Astronomy Flash Cards Flashcards

Terms Definitions
Monique Campbell
2/3/11 period:7th
Spectrum
The variety of different wavelengths.
Galileo Galilei
First systemic astronomical observations with a telescope. The Starry messenger: telescopic observations. Milky Way composed of singles stars; mountains craters on moon; Jupiter has 4 moons; phases of Venus; ears on Saturn.
Protostar
Earliest stage of a star's life
Kinetic energy
energy of motion or movement
zenith
center of the domehighest pointpoint directly overhead
Quasar
Galaxy with black holes in the center
Angular momentum
momentum attributable to rotation or revolution. The angular momentum of an object moving in a circle of radius r is the product mXvXr. mass, velocity, and radius
Spring Equinox
sun shines equally on both hemispheres. Northern hemisphere=spring, southern hemisphere enters winter
who used a telescope for astronomical observation?
Galileo
Wavelength
The distance from one peak to another peak in a wave.
Great Red spot
a large, high-pressure storm on Jupiter
Nicolaus Copernicus
The controversial book of this famous person, published in 1543 (the year of his death), suggested that Earth and other planets orbit the Sun. Copernican Revolution: the dramatic change. Initiated by Copernicus, that occurred when we learned that earth is a planet orbiting the sun rather than the center of the universe.
Stellar evolution
gravity is being balanced by gas pressurehydrogen fuses heliumthe formation and development of stars
Reflecting telescope
Uses a curved mirror to collect and focus light.
Pulsar
A type of neutron star that emits a pulse of radio waves.
Hubble Space Telescope
it orbits earth. Its position above the atmosphere allows it to get undistorted views of heavens. It can observe infrared, ultraviolet, and visible light
what type of radiation never makes it to earth's surface?
electromagnetic radiation.
Open Cluster
A group of stars that has no organized appearance.
• Roche Limit
closest a moon can come to a planet
A scientific theory MUST
(1) Explain a variety of observations with a few simple principles, (2) Be supported by lots of evidence, (3) Not fail any crucial tests of validity
Briefly describe the four main theories for the origin of the Moon. Which one is currently in favor by scientists and why
Giant impact theory; sister theory; fission theory, capture theory. Fission theory: Moon separated from Earth by spin.
⇒ Not mechanically possible, requires high spin for Earth.
Sister theory: formed near the Earth but independently.
⇒ Cannot explain lack of nickel/iron core.
Capture theory: Moon was captured by Earth's gravity.
⇒ Not possible without third object. Can't explain chemical
similarities.
Giant impact theory: piece of the Earth separated by impact.
⇒ Explains chemical differences and similarities
what tool captures the most close up pictures of far away solar system objects?
cameras, sattlelight or probes.
What is a blackbody spectrum?
Something that emits light at all wavelengths
• Explain the role played by the greenhouse effect (or lack of it) in determining the characteristics of the atmospheres of Earth, Venus and Mars
Runaway greenhouse effect responsible for Venus climate.
Greenhouse failure on Mars; the temperatures are too low greenhouse gases freeze cause of less heating and are locked in polar caps.
Global warming on earth.
What two variables do we use to determine an object's celestial coordinates and what are the earthly analogues?
Right Ascension, analogous to longitude, and Declination, analogous to latitude (vertical position)
What explains why a planet will keep orbiting around the sun?
Conservation of Angular Momentum. Unless a torque is applied, angular momentum will be conserved
How can we describe a photon in terms of E-M?
It is an electromagnetic disturbance
Describe an eclipse of the moon (lunar eclipse) and an eclipse of the Sun (solar eclipse)?
Lunar eclipse: earth between sun and moon, earth's shadow falls on the moon.
Solar eclipse: moon between the sun and earth, moons shadow falls on earth.
What were the three major Aristotleian objections that Galileo overcame?
(1) Earth could not be moving because it would leave objects behind. (2) Non-circular orbits are not perfect and the heavens are. (3) If earth were really orbiting the sun, we should detect stellar paralax
What are the advantages of reflecting telescopes?
they do not blend light, and they are not made of glass.
How can we figure out the magnitude of the energy change?
By using Planck's constant and the frequency of the radiation emitted or absorbed
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