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Adapted from Dr. James Lochner USRA & NASA/GSFC Sandra Sweeney, Joseph Petsko Perkiomen Valley School District, PA.

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Presentation on theme: "Adapted from Dr. James Lochner USRA & NASA/GSFC Sandra Sweeney, Joseph Petsko Perkiomen Valley School District, PA."— Presentation transcript:

1 Adapted from Dr. James Lochner USRA & NASA/GSFC Sandra Sweeney, Joseph Petsko Perkiomen Valley School District, PA

2 NewtonEinstein

3 Our understanding of the nature of the Universe has changed as our questions and technology have changed.  What are some questions we might ask?  What are the tools we might use?

4 1.Give a description of the theory of gravity. 1.How does it explain the motions of the planets? 2.What prediction does it make for the bending of light, and the upcoming eclipse in 1919? Information Exchange (1918)

5  Einstein asked about the nature of gravity.  He discovered that gravity is curved space-time.  His theory predicted that light would bend when passing near a massive object.  Amount of deflection differed from prediction in Newton’s gravity.  1919 Solar Eclipse verified Einstein’s prediction.

6  Mass of the objects  Distance between them




10  Inertia: the resistance to change in motion and direction of motion in an object  The more mass something has, the more it resists a change in its motion – the more inertia it has!!!  Ex: car and marble lab


12  Shapley thought they were part of Milky Way bc he couldn't determine their true distance.  Hubble settled the question – when he determined the distance to Andromeda Galaxy.

13  1. Use apparent vs absolute magnitude  Apparent mag: how bright a star appears to be  Absolute mag: the actual brightness; if we could compare all stars at same distance

14  2. Use Cepheid variable stars  These are stars that vary in brightness over time  Henrietta Leavitt discovered relation btwn brightness variation and intrinsic brightness  Used this to determine distance

15  3. Use 100” Hooker telescope at Mt Wilson, CA  Better telescopes allowed astronomers to see further and with more clarity  Older 60” telescope was not adequate  Hubble determined distance to Andromeda Galaxy to be 900,000 LY (light years)– outside the Milky Way!!

16  A light year is the DISTANCE light travels in a year.light year  It is equivalent to 6 trillion miles (6,000,000,000,000)

17  Andromeda galaxy outside the Milky Way  There are other galaxies, also

18  Is the motion of galaxies static?  Is the motion of galaxies random?  Are the galaxies getting closer or further apart?  What data do we need to answer this question?

19  1. Red shift: observations showed most “nebulae” were red-shifted. That is they appeared red. appeared red  Stars moving away from us show light that is shifted to the red end of the visible spectrumshifted  Some nebulae appeared blue. What does that mean?  Stars moving towards us show light shifted to the blue end.

20  Understanding Doppler Effect helps in understanding redshift of light.  Demo: Hubble rubber band

21  Apparent shift of wavelengths as objects approach or move away  Wavelengths bunch up and get shorter as a wave approaches (higher frequency)  Higher pitch or blueshift  Wavelengths spread out and get longer as wave recedes (lower frequency)  Lower pitch or redshift Lower pitch or redshift

22  Refer to pg 17 in your Earth Science Textbook as we do this activity together Follow-up questions:  1. Did the distance between A and B or between C and B show the greater rate of change?  2. Did the rate of change for either set of dots differ during the first or second time period?  3. Suppose C and A represent galaxies and dot B represents the Earth. How does the distance between galaxies and Earth relate to the rate at which they are moving apart?

23  The Universe is expanding! The Universe is expanding

24 Use images of Cepheid stars and galaxies to determine their distances Put this together with their redshift data

25 Size of galaxy 100,000 light years

26  Hubble put together the redshifts with their distances.  Further galaxies are moving away at higher velocities than nearby galaxies!! Velocity Distance

27  Velocity: the distance traveled over a certain time in a given direction v=d/t *fundamental units are in ()  v = velocity, measured in meters per second (m/s)  d = distance, measured in meters (m)  t = time, measured in seconds (s)

28 1. If a star travels 3000 kilometers in ten seconds, what is its velocity? 2. How can you rewrite the formula v=d/t to solve for d? For t? 1. If a comet is travelling at 200 kilometers per second for 20 seconds, how far did it travel?


30  During the wartime blackouts in California, Walter Baade discovered two different populations of stars in Andromeda  This led to realizing there are two types of Cepheids, with two different period-luminosity relationships.  Hubble had unknowingly used the wrong relationship. Yardstick vs Metersticks

31  Steady State Theory: As universe expands, matter is created.  Big Bang: running expansion backwards leads us to a point of high density and high temperature from which universe originated. (Create everything all at once)

32  [show clip of 1955 Cosmic Times showing “Origin of Everything” article ?]

33 Fred Hoyle, Hermann Bondi and Thomas Gold see the movie The Dead of Night, in which the end of the story circles back to its beginning.  Unchanging situations need not be static  New matter can be created spontaneously as the universe expands (a few hundred atoms per year per galaxy)  Expansion of universe and creation of new matter balanced via a negative energy.  The universe is constant in its overall density

34 Starting from earlier work, George Gamow & Ralph Alpher worked out the conditions in the early universe  Universe is expanding from a state of high density and pressure.  Hydrogen & Helium were formed as universe cooled.  There should be left over a background radiation with a temperature of ~ 5 Kelvin Hoyle scoffed at this theory and coined the term “Big Bang”

35  Scientists Sort through Theories by examining Evidence and making Inferences Bowl of Evidence

36  Penzias and Wilson were using a 20-foot horn detector to make radio observations of the Milky Way.  Effort to reduce noise in the detector left them with a 3 K residual. But they didn’t know its origin.

37  Peebles and Dicke (Princeton) had just calculated an estimate for the temperature of the residual background temperature, and found it was detectable in the microwave region.  Peebles and Dicke were convinced that Penzias and Wilson had found it. This solved the Steady State vs Big Bang question.

38  Show clip from 1965 CT, with “Murmur of a Bang” and “Big Hiss”

39 How can we envision an expanding universe? 1965 CMB Activity

40  1919 - Confirmation of Einstein’s Theory of Gravity  1929 - Hubble’s discovery of Expanding Universe  1955 - Debate between Big Bang and Steady State  1965 - Discovery of the Cosmic Microwave Background  1993 - COBE Results; Development of Inflation Theory  2006 - Grappling with Dark Energy.

41  Our understanding of the Expansion of the Universe  Nature of Supernovae  The size and scale of the Universe A number of other themes also appear.  Impact of improved technology.  Role of Women in early astronomy.

42  Objectives: The students identify and describe unfamiliar scientist “heroes” that contributed to the field of science up to the year 1929.  Summary:  identify the women scientists of the Harvard College Observatory  use the world wide web to complete a product on one of the these unfamiliar scientific “heroes” that they discovered in their research.

43  A print of this Harvard College Observatory photograph was found in an album that had once belonged to Annie Jump Cannon.  These women assisted Pickering in measuring stars and features on the photographic plates. Pickering’s Harem

44 “Newsletter version” for individual student use

45  1919 & 1929 Posters and Lessons now Available  This presentation is available (with links to lessons)  1955 materials available soon.  Sign up for email updates

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