ASTR 115: Stars and galaxies. "We are explorers. Our curiosity propels us to push the frontiers of human possibility and imagination. This is the core of NASA's mission - We dare to explore." - Michael D. Griffin Former NASA Administrator April, 2008.
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"We are explorers. Our curiosity propels us to push the frontiers of human possibility and imagination. This is the core of NASA's mission - We dare to explore."- Michael D. Griffin Former NASA Administrator April, 2008
“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.”
- Carl Sagan
Instructor: Tracy Furutani ([email protected])
Textbook (required): Astrophysics is Easy! by Michael Inglis
Course website: http://facweb.northseattle.edu/tfurutan
then click on the Astronomy 115 link
Note: This a hard-link integrated studies course with Barbara Goldner’s MATH 098 class. The classes run concurrently.
Labs: Hands-on exercises to reinforce lecture topics. Also, time will be set aside to teach problem solving techniques and review relevant lecture material. May be done in groups or individually.
Poster Project: Visual presentation of the term project. Handout will follow. Includes the writing of an abstract (summary) prior to the presentation.
Homework: Roughly one assignment per week, to be done outside of class time, though you should ask questions related to the homework in class. May require some outside reading. Each person should turn in their own assignment.
The Earth was small, light blue, and so touchingly alone, our home that must be defended like a holy relic. The Earth was absolutely round. I believe I never knew what the word round meant until I saw Earth from space.- Aleksei Leonov, USSR
It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn't feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.
— Neil Armstrong (Apollo XI)
The view of the Earth from the Moon fascinated me—a small disk, 240,000 miles away. . . . Raging nationalistic interests, famines, wars, pestilence don't show from that distance.
— Frank Borman (Apollo VIII)
Our Local Inventory:
What makes up our star system?
1)A single central star of spectral class “G2”, luminosity class V (yellow-dwarf, main sequence).
2)Two sub-stellar giant planets (Jupiter & Saturn)
3)Two icy-gas hybrid planets (Uranus & Neptune)
All of the above planets have large systems of satellites; some are planet-sized: Io, Europa, Ganymede, Callisto, Titan, and Triton)
4)Four much smaller rocky planets. (Mercury, Venus, Earth, & Mars)
5)Two areas of failed planetary debris
a) one rock-based (asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter)
b) one ice-based (Kuiper Belt starting at Neptune’s orbit) .
6)Several “dwarf planets” (e.g., Pluto)
7)An extended distribution of ejected or non-condensed debris (Oort Cloud)
The Sun and the Solar System
Any study of the solar system must start with the Sun…..
1) The sun contains 99.9% of all the mass in the solar system (Jupiter has most of the remaining 0.1%)
2) The sun dominates energy (and light) production at all frequencies (except in radio waves where human activity is stronger!)
3) Solar energy largely determines the temperatures of every object in the solar system.
4) Material from the solar atmosphere is the dominant component of interplanetary space.
Compared to the Sun, the planets are nearly inconsequential…..
The places we are most interested in don’t add up to very much……
The Sun dominates the solar system.
Our Local Inventory:
Where to learn more?