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Chapter 3 The Science of Astronomy. All we know is what we read in the newspapers… and on the rocks, the scrolls, temples, and clay tablets… It is important.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 3 The Science of Astronomy. All we know is what we read in the newspapers… and on the rocks, the scrolls, temples, and clay tablets… It is important."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 3 The Science of Astronomy

2 All we know is what we read in the newspapers… and on the rocks, the scrolls, temples, and clay tablets… It is important to recognize parallel developments occurred in many parts of the world including Asia, India, and the Americas, as well as later Europe. Early Astronomy

3 How did astronomical observations benefit ancient societies? Keeping track of time and seasons – for practical purposes, including agriculture – for religious and ceremonial purposes Aid to navigation

4 What did ancient civilizations achieve in astronomy? Daily timekeeping Tracking the seasons and calendar Monitoring lunar cycles Monitoring planets and stars Predicting eclipses And more…

5 China: Earliest known records of supernova explosions (1400 B.C.) Bone or tortoise shell inscription from the 14th century BC. "On the Xinwei day the new star dwindled." "On the Jisi day, the 7th day of the month, a big new star appeared in the company of the Ho star."

6 North American North American Native Petroglyphs: Anasazi drawing on a ledge in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico is thought to represent the supernova of 1054 AD.

7 Plains Indians Pawnee Indian Sky Map A chart embossed on hide appears to depict constellations of the northern hemisphere. From “ When Stars come down to Earth: Cosmology of the Skidi Pawnee Indians of North America.

8 One of the earliest civilizations known to have written records developed along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in what is now Iraq. King Hammurabi 1700-BC importance attributed to positions of the planets… astrology governed Babylon life. Detailed observations maintained over several centuries. Babylonian Astronomy

9 Babylonians Knew length of the year to accuracy of about 4 minutes. Divided year into 12 equal months of 30 days each. Babylonian number system based on 60. Angular system based on 360 degrees, 60 minutes to 1 degree, and 60 seconds to 1 minute. They had a 24 hour day they believed in symmetry of 12 hours each. 12 because of 12 lunar cycles per year. Later Chaldeans compiled records into tablets could predict solar, lunar and planetary positions As well as the occurrence of eclipses. Babylonian Clock & Calendar

10 Egyptian obelisk: Shadows tell time of day.

11 Ancient people of central Africa (6500 BC) could predict seasons from the orientation of the crescent moon

12 Days of week were named for Sun, Moon, and visible planets

13 England: Stonehenge (completed around 1550 B.C.)

14 England 1550 B.C.

15 Stonehenge Built in stages from 3000BC to 1800 BC late stone age into bronze age. One of many stone monuments found throughout Europe.



18 Mexico: model of the Templo Mayor The sun rises between the temples on the equinoxes

19 Someone among the ancient Anasazi people carved a spiral known as the Sun Dagger on a vertical cliff face in New Mexico. There the Sun’s rays form a dagger of sunlight that pierces the center of a carved spiral only once each year - at noon on the summer solstice.

20 Our mathematical and scientific heritage originated with the civilizations of the Middle East

21 GREEK DEVELOPMENTS Greek culture started in Crete.. seafaring culture.. 5000 years ago. Source of the legends most of our constellations are named from.

22 Greeks were the first people known to make models of nature. They tried to explain patterns in nature without resorting to myth or the supernatural. Greek geocentric model (c. 400 B.C.) Why does modern science trace its roots to the Greeks?

23 Pythagoras (550 BC) Claimed that natural phenomena could be described by mathematics

24 Pythagoras (c570-500 BC) of Samos established a school teaching the idea that natural phenomenon can be described by numbers. This laid the foundation for modern trigonometry and geometry. He is thought to have asserted the Earth is round and that all heavenly objects move in perfect circles. Anaxagoras (500-428BC) moon shines by reflected light, explains eclipses

25 Artist’s reconstruction of Library of Alexandria

26 Eratosthenes measures the Earth (c. 240 BC) Calculate circumference of Earth: 7/360  (circum. Earth) = 5000 stadia  circum. Earth = 5000  360/7 stadia ≈ 250,000 stadia Measurements: Syene to Alexandria distance ≈ 5000 stadia angle = 7° Compare to modern value (≈ 40,100 km): Greek stadium ≈ 1/6 km  250,000 stadia ≈ 42,000 km

27 Greek Mainland On mainland democratically ruled city-states arose, Athens, Sparta.5 th century BC, Plato ( 428-347BC) teacher of Aristotle., what we see is an imperfect representation of a perfect creation. …we learn more by reason than observation. Dominated western thought for 2000 years.

28 Underpinnings of the Greek geocentric model: How did the Greeks explain planetary motion? Earth at the center of the universe Heavens must be “perfect”: Objects moving on perfect spheres or in perfect circles.

29 Aristotle was Plato’s most famous student.…first to adopt physical laws and use the laws to explain what we see. Aristotle and Plato

30 Aristotle becomes Da’ Man Aristotle wrote and taught on philosophy, history, politics, poetry, ethics, drama and science. He did this well. Because of his success his works became the great authority for the next 2000 years. Astronomers (indeed all scholars) cited his work as the authority. If a thought was in conflict with his works it must be wrong… Ideas: The Universe is divided into two parts. The earth corrupt and changeable..and the heavens perfect and immutable. ( Notice the similarity with some theology.) Earth at the center of the universe. Geocentric. 56 crystalline spheres. Physics: Earth, water, air, fire. Seek natural order. Circular motion expected.

31 But this made it difficult to explain apparent retrograde motion of planets… Review: Over a period of 10 weeks, Mars appears to stop, back up, then go forward again.

32 The most sophisticated geocentric model was that of Ptolemy (A.D. 100-170) — the Ptolemaic model: Sufficiently accurate to remain in use for 1,500 years. Arabic translation of Ptolemy’s work named Almagest (“the greatest compilation”) Ptolemy

33 So how does the Ptolemaic model explain retrograde motion? Planets really do go backward in this model..

34 Introduced by Ptolemy (ca. A.D. 140) The Ptolemaic system was considered the “standard model” of the universe until the Copernican Revolution.

35 How was Greek knowledge preserved through history? Muslim world preserved and enhanced the knowledge they received from the Greeks Al-Mamun’s House of Wisdom in Baghdad was a great center of learning around A.D. 800 With the fall of Constantinople (Istanbul) in 1453, Eastern scholars headed west to Europe, carrying knowledge that helped ignite the European Renaissance.

36 Copernicus, Galileo, Tycho, and Kepler challenge the Earth-centered idea Copernicus (1473-1543): Proposed Sun-centered model (published 1543) Used model to determine layout of solar system (planetary distances in AU) But... Model was no more accurate than Ptolemaic model in predicting planetary positions, because it still used perfect circles.

37 Galileo (1564-1642) overcame major objections to Copernican view. Three key objections rooted in Aristotelian view were: 1.Earth could not be moving because objects in air would be left behind. 2.Non-circular orbits are not “perfect” as heavens should be. 3.If Earth were really orbiting Sun, we’d detect stellar parallax.

38 Galileo’s experiments showed that objects in air would stay with a moving Earth. Overcoming the first objection (nature of motion): Aristotle thought that all objects naturally come to rest. Galileo showed that objects will stay in motion unless a force acts to slow them down (Newton’s first law of motion).

39 Overcoming the second objection (heavenly perfection): Tycho’s observations of comet and supernova already challenged this idea. Using his telescope, Galileo saw: Sunspots on Sun (“imperfections”) Mountains and valleys on the Moon (proving it is not a perfect sphere)

40 Tycho thought he had measured stellar distances, so lack of parallax seemed to rule out an orbiting Earth. Galileo showed stars must be much farther than Tycho thought — in part by using his telescope to see the Milky Way is countless individual stars. If stars were much farther away, then lack of detectable parallax was no longer so troubling. Overcoming the third objection (parallax):

41 Galileo also saw four moons orbiting Jupiter, proving that not all objects orbit the Earth

42 Galileo’s observations of phases of Venus proved that it orbits the Sun and not Earth.

43 In the Ptolemaic model Venus should always be a crescent.. GG3


45 Galileo Galilei The Catholic Church ordered Galileo to recant his claim that Earth orbits the Sun in 1633 His book on the subject was removed from the Church’s index of banned books in 1824 Galileo was formally vindicated by the Church in 1992

46 Tycho Brahe (1546-1601) Compiled the most accurate (one arcminute) naked eye measurements ever made of planetary positions. Still could not detect stellar parallax, and thus still thought Earth must be at center of solar system (but recognized that other planets go around Sun) Hired Kepler, who used Tycho’s observations to discover the truth about planetary motion.

47 Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) Kepler first tried to match Tycho’s observations with circular orbits But an 8-arcminute discrepancy led him eventually to ellipses… “If I had believed that we could ignore these eight minutes [of arc], I would have patched up my hypothesis accordingly. But, since it was not permissible to ignore, those eight minutes pointed the road to a complete reformation in astronomy.”

48 Kepler’s First Law: The orbit of each planet around the Sun is an ellipse with the Sun at one focus. What are Kepler’s three laws of planetary motion?

49 An ellipse looks like an elongated circle What is an ellipse?

50 Kepler’s Second Law: As a planet moves around its orbit, it sweeps out equal areas in equal times.  means that a planet travels faster when it is nearer to the Sun and slower when it is farther from the Sun.

51 More distant planets orbit the Sun at slower average speeds, obeying the relationship p 2 = a 3 p = orbital period in years a = avg. distance from Sun in AU Kepler’s Third Law


53 Graphical version of Kepler’s Third Law

54 Thought Question: An asteroid orbits the Sun at an average distance a = 4 AU. How long does it take to orbit the Sun? A.4 years B.8 years C.16 years D.64 years Hint: Remember that p 2 = a 3

55 An asteroid orbits the Sun at an average distance a = 4 AU. How long does it take to orbit the Sun? A.4 years B.8 years C.16 years D.64 years We need to find p so that p 2 = a 3 Since a = 4, a 3 = 4 3 = 64 Therefore p 2 = 8 2 = 64, p = 8

56 99 years of astronomy

57 List Of Greek Achievements

58 How can we distinguish science from non-science? Defining science can be surprisingly difficult. Science from the Latin scientia, meaning “knowledge.” But not all knowledge comes from science…

59 The idealized scientific method Based on proposing and testing hypotheses hypothesis = educated guess

60 But science rarely proceeds in this idealized way… For example: Sometimes we start by “just looking” then coming up with possible explanations. Sometimes we follow our intuition rather than a particular line of evidence.

61 Hallmarks of Science: #1 Modern science seeks explanations for observed phenomena that rely solely on natural causes. (A scientific model cannot include divine intervention)

62 Hallmarks of Science: #2 Science progresses through the creation and testing of models of nature that explain the observations as simply as possible. (Simplicity = “Occam’s razor”)

63 Hallmarks of Science: #3 A scientific model must make testable predictions about natural phenomena that would force us to revise or abandon the model if the predictions do not agree with observations.

64 What is a scientific theory? The word theory has a different meaning in science than in everyday life. In science, a theory is NOT the same as a hypothesis, rather: A scientific theory must: —Explain a wide variety of observations with a few simple principles, AND —Must be supported by a large, compelling body of evidence. —Must NOT have failed any crucial test of its validity.

65 Chapter S1 Celestial Timekeeping and Navigation

66 Much of this chapter has already been covered Sidereal and solar day Sidereal and synodic month Leap years RA and dec Motion of the stars in the sky Motion of the sun through the sky Tropic of Cancer and Capricorn

67 Special Locations of Planets

68 Opposition: Planet is opposite of the sun in the sky. Conjunction: Planet is in the same part of the sky as the sun. –Inferior conjunction: inferior planet is between the earth and sun (transits can occur here) –Superior conjunction: the sun is between the earth and planet. Greatest Elongation: Planet is farthest east or west from the sun in the sky.

69 Venus Transiting the Sun

70 Exam I Chapter 1 - Our Place in the Universe universe light year observable universe Scale of the universe astronomical unit ecliptic vernal and autumnal equinox summer and winter solstice What causes seasons? precession

71 Chapter 2 - Discovering the Universe for Yourself constellations & Asterisms celestial sphere north and south celestial poles celestial equator & ecliptic zenith altitude right ascension & declination Approximate angualr measurements latitude & longitude Celestial prime meridian circumpolar zodiac lunar phases lunar eclipses solar eclipses direct motion and retrograde motion parallax Reason for the seasons Solar vs sidereal day

72 Chapter 3 - The Science of Astronomy Day Month Year How does Eratosthenes measure the Earth? Pythagoras Aristotle Ptolemy epicycle geocentric model Copernicus heliocentric model Tycho Brahe Kepler Kepler’s laws (including calculations) ellipse focus semimajor axis period eccentricity Galileo

73 S1- Celestial Timekeeping and Navigation Sidereal and solar day Sidereal and synodic month Leap years RA and dec Motion of the stars in the sky Motion of the sun through the sky Tropic of Cancer and Capricorn Opposition Conjunction Greatest eastern and western elongation

74 Chapter 6 Telescopes Reflector vs Refractor –Types, advantages, disadvantage, optics involved. Telescope mounts Light Gathering Power (calculation) Resolution(Calculation) Magnification (Calculation) Maximum magnification (calculation) Adaptive optics Interferometry CCD imaging Atmospheric absorption of light Hubble

75 EQUATORIAL COORDINATE SYSTEM EXERCISE 1. The point in the sky directly overhead. 2. The circle dividing the sky into eastern and western halves. 3. Locate the North Celestial Pole precisely in the Bryan sky. 4. Over what point on Earth is the North Celestial Pole? 5. The Celestial Equator is a circle on the sky that crosses the horizon at which two points? 6. How far from the zenith is the Celestial Equator when it crosses the Celestial Meridian for an observer in Bryan? 7. The yearly path of the Sun. 8. The points where the path of the Sun crosses the Celestial Equator. 9. The origin of the RA, DEC coordinate system. 10. The RA of Canopus ( Carini).

76 11. The RA of Spica ( Viginis). 12. Between Spica and Canopus the star farther east. 13. Compared to the terrestrial system of latitude and longitude, RA corresponds to___. 14. The DEC of Arcturus ( Boötis). 15. The DEC of Antares ( Scorpii). 16. Between Arcturus and Antares the star farther north. 17. Compared to the terrestrial system of latitude and longitude, DEC corresponds to___. 18. Name four points on the Celestial Meridian (these can be compass points, special positions on the celestial sphere, but not star names, coordinates, etc.) 19. The most northerly position of the Sun is called the ___ and occurs about ___ each year.

77 20. The coordinates of the Autumnal Equinox. 21. The DEC of the zenith. 22. The RA of the winter solstice. 23. The DEC of the North Celestial Pole. 24. The second brightest star in the constellation of Orion has the Bayer designation ___ and the common name ___. 25. Which constellation is the Sun in on the day of the Vernal Equinox?

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