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1 How Telescopes Changed our Understanding of the Universe STScI and NASA.

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Presentation on theme: "1 How Telescopes Changed our Understanding of the Universe STScI and NASA."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 How Telescopes Changed our Understanding of the Universe STScI and NASA

2 2 Before Telescopes We only had our eyes... and a variety of measuring instruments.

3 3 Is Earth the center of the universe? How far are the stars? What are they made of? Is there more than one galaxy? Did the universe have a beginning? Are there other planets outside of our solar system? Is the Solar System at the center of the Galaxy? And we had many questions…

4 4 Is Earth the center of the universe? Copernicus said “Sun” Aristotle said “Earth” Big Question 1: Is Earth or Sun at the center?

5 5 Galileo observes Venus Earth- centered System Sun- centered System What Galileo observed Used with Permission. Copyright Penn State University. Venus phases revealed! (Play Optional Movies)

6 6 Big Question 2: How far away are the stars? How far away are the stars? M34 image courtesy of Glenn Spielgelman

7 7 Parallax if stars were ~5000 times closer Courtesy of David Nash,

8 8 Parallax if stars were ~5000 times closer Courtesy of David Nash,

9 9 Your eyes marking Earth’s Orbit

10 10 Background of stars Courtesy of David Nash,

11 11 Distance to the stars revealed! Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Königsberg Observatory 1838 NOW 6 Months Later

12 12 Big Question 3: What are the stars made of? What are the stars made of?

13 13 Konigsburg Heliometer Fraunhofer 1814 Studying the Rainbow Simulated Spectrum of the Sun Sun Courtesy of Dr. John Beck

14 14 What is the Sun made of? KirchhoffBunsen OF THE SUN 1859

15 15 Confirmed: The Sun is a Star! = The stars are other Suns! 1863

16 16 Big Question 4: Where is the Sun in our Galaxy? Is the Solar System at the center of the Galaxy? ? Galaxy image credit: Hugo, Gaul, Block (KPNO Visitor Program), NOAO, AURA, NSF (modified)

17 17 Shapley observes dense star clusters... Globular Cluster M13 Courtesy of Glenn Spiegelman Mount Wilson 60-inch Reflector Telescope (completed in 1914) Courtesy of Gale Gant Harlow Shapley Henrietta Leavitt

18 18 Location of the Sun in the Galaxy? Galaxy image credit: Hugo, Gaul, Block (KPNO Visitor Program), NOAO, AURA, NSF - Globular cluster locations simulated If the Sun and planets were at the center, globular clusters would be evenly distributed around us. What did Shapley discover?

19 19 Location of the Sun in the Galaxy established! Globular clusters are distributed to one side of us. The Solar System is nearer the edge of the Galaxy! 1918 Galaxy image credit: Hugo, Gaul, Block (KPNO Visitor Program), NOAO, AURA, NSF - Globular cluster locations simulated

20 20 Big Question 5: One Galaxy or Many? M31 - Andromeda courtesy of G. Spielgelman NGC 1232 courtesy of M. Harms M51 courtesy of M. Harms Is there more than one galaxy?

21 21 Distance to “nebulae” determined! Edwin Hubble Mt Wilson 100-inch One of Hubble’s photographs of the Andromeda “Nebula” with Cepheid variable marked 1924

22 22 Revealing a universe full of galaxies Credit: Robert Williams and the Hubble Deep Field Team (STScI) and NASA

23 23 Big Question 6: Did the universe have a beginning? Did the universe have a beginning? Edwin Hubble’s data showed that the more distant galaxies are moving away faster than the closer galaxies. Image Credit: STScI

24 24 Evidence of Big Bang detected! 1965 Image courtesy of WMAP: map.gsfc.nasa.gov

25 25 Age of the Universe calculated! WMAP Hubble

26 26 Herschel’s telescope -- used to discover Uranus in 1781 William Herschel In our own solar system, telescopes found planets our eyes could not see. Are there other planets outside of our solar system? Big Question 7: Are there other planets?

27 27 Courtesy of W.M. Keck Observatory Geoff Marcy Other worlds discovered! Artist’s concept of extrasolar planet Artist: Lynette Cook 1990’s through Today

28 28 Telescopes have changed our understanding of the universe …

29 29 Is Earth the center of the universe? How far are the stars? What are they made of? Is there more than one galaxy? Did the Universe have a beginning? Are there other planets outside of our solar system? Is the Sun at the center of the Galaxy? answering some of the big questions…

30 30 The Sun is at the center of the Solar System The stars are other Suns, VERY far away. There are billions of other galaxies! The known universe began 13.7 billion years ago There are many other planets outside our solar system Solar System is about halfway out from the center of our Galaxy. answering some of the big questions…

31 31 … changing our understanding of our place in the universe! From the center of the universe… … to a very small planet in an immense expanding universe

32 32 And the more we learn, the more questions emerge! What is beyond Pluto in our Solar System? How do stars and planets form? How did galaxies form? Why is space expanding? Do other planets harbor life ? Why are there black holes in the center of galaxies?

33 33 Chandra Illustration: CXC/NGST Spitzer Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech GLAST Credit: General Dynamics C4 Systems Arecibo Image Courtesy of the NAIC Telescopes will continue to expand our understanding of our universe. Keck Image courtesy of NASA/JPL/Caltech


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