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Earth and Space. Part 1 – History of Astronomy. Ancient Astronomers - Egyptians. Created myths to explain the heavens Had “sun gods” and “moon gods” Built temples and pyramids with astronomical orientation. . Ancient Astronomers – The Maya.

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earth and space

Earth and Space

Part 1 – History of Astronomy

ancient astronomers egyptians
Ancient Astronomers - Egyptians
  • Created myths to explain the heavens
  • Had “sun gods” and “moon gods”
  • Built temples and pyramids with astronomical orientation.
ancient astronomers the maya
Ancient Astronomers – The Maya
  • Designed temples and pyramids so the Sun, Moon, stars and planets would be visible from the top or through certain windows at important times of the year.
  • Used the solar cycles to form a calendar.
  • Arranged battles and leadership transitions to align with the “gods” in the heavens.
ancient astronomers the chinese
Ancient Astronomers – The Chinese
  • Studied Rocketry
  • Documented “guest stars” (nebulae, comets)
  • Documented an “exploding star” in what we now know as the crab nebula
ancient astronomers stonehenge
Ancient Astronomers - Stonehenge
  • Constructed between 3100 and 2000 BCE on England’s Salisbury Plain
  • The alignment of the “heelstone” is with the location of the sun on the summer solstace (June 21)
  • May have been used to keep track of the solar-lunar eclipse cycles.
ancient astronomers the greek
Ancient Astronomers – The Greek
  • Greeks mapped and named constellations (Orion, Aries, Andromeda, Virgo, etc.)
  • Developed mythology around the characters in the stars – common for all civilizations, though the Greek are best known to us.
starter 4 30 13
Starter 4/30/13
  • Which civilization was famous for documenting “guest stars?”
  • What is an example of a “guest star?”
  • If I wanted to visit Stonehenge, where would I go on vacation?
  • Name one constellation.
ancient astronomers the greek1
Ancient Astronomers – The Greek
  • Ptolemy – believed in a “geocentric” universe (the universe revolves around the Earth.)
ancient astronomers the greek2
Ancient Astronomers – The Greek
  • The belief continued for many years, backed up by religious scholars – even with the rise of Christianity.
ancient astronomers copernicus 1473 1543
Ancient Astronomers – Copernicus (1473-1543)
  • Polish astronomer that proposed a helicentric view of the universe – that the Earth and planets revolve around the Sun
ancient astronomers copernicus 1473 15431
Ancient Astronomers – Copernicus (1473-1543)
  • Views were rejected by the Catholic Church, and he didn’t have the tools necessary to prove his theories
  • 50 years later, Galileo was able to prove Copernicus’s theory of a heliocentric solar system.
ancient astronomers galileo galilei 1564 1642
Ancient Astronomers – Galileo Galilei(1564-1642)
  • Patented a 10x telescope
  • Found that the surface of the moon is cratered
  • Discovered satellites orbiting Jupiter (moons)
ancient astronomers galileo galilei 1564 16421
Ancient Astronomers – Galileo Galilei(1564-1642)
  • His defense of Copernicus’s heliocentric idea prompted an Inquisition from the Catholic church.
  • For his beliefs, he was sentenced to house arrest in Florence.
  • Galileo was eventually pardoned by the Catholic church in 1992, while his namesake spacecraft headed toward Jupiter.
ancient astronomers isaac newton 1642 1727
Ancient Astronomers – Isaac Newton(1642-1727)
  • Came up with three laws of motion
  • Created the study of calculus, which was used to calculate planetary orbits.
then a bunch of other stuff
Then a bunch of other stuff…
  • 18th Century, William Herschel discovered Uranus
  • Early in the 19th Century Adams (English) & LeVerrier (French) independently calculated that there must be another planet beyond Uranus. First observed in 1846 by Hohan Galle, it was named Neptune
  • 1930 Clyde Tombaugh discovered Pluto.
  • 1910 Harlow Shapley estimated the size of the Milky Way.
  • W. H.Pickering and Annie J. Cannon calculated the surface temperatures of the stars.
  • Einstein (1905) developed the Theory of Special Relativity, based upon the idea that light travels at the same speed in all frames of reference.
  • Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin & Henry Norris Russell determined the composition of stars.
  • 1924 Edwin Hubble established that the Andromeda nebula and other "spiral nebulae" are star systems like the Milky Way at great distances.
  • 1929 Hubble & Milton Humason discovered that the Universe is expanding.
  • 1938 Hans Bethe determined that the Sun's energy comes from thermonuclear fusion reactions.
  • 1940s Karl Jansky observed that the nucleus of the Milky Way and other celestial objects are strong sources of Radio Waves in 1931. Radio Astronomy becomes an active field in the late 1940s.
  • 1948 George Gamov developed the Hot Big Bang Theory of the origin of the Universe.
  • 1960s X-ray & Infrared astronomy
  • 1965 Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson from Bell Laboratories discovered the cosmic microwave background radiation remnant of the Big Bang.
  • 1968 Jocelyn Bell (Burnell) & Anthony Hewish discovered Pulsars
earth and space1

Earth and Space

Part 2 – Leaving Earth

the space race
The Space Race
  • Interest in space started during World War II and following, during the Cold War, as a means of defense and leadership in technology.
  • The Soviets were the first to launch an object into space on October 4, 1957
  • About the size of a beach ball, named Sputnik
  • Caught Americans off-guard
  • Worried this could be used to take nuclear bombs above the U.S.
  • NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) began in 1958 – the beginning of the “Space Race” with the Soviet Union.
mercury missions
Mercury Missions
  • 1958-1963 – Six manned missions
  • Goals:
    • To orbit a manned spacecraft around Earth
    • To investigate man's

ability to function in


    • To recover both man

and spacecraft safely.

mercury s success
Mercury’s Success
  • Alan B. Shephard – First man in space
  • John Glenn – First man to orbit Earth
gemini missions
Gemini Missions
  • 2-man missions
  • 1962-64: 10 manned flights
  • Goals:
    • To subject man and

equipment to space flight

up to two weeks in duration.

    • To rendezvous and dock with

orbiting vehicles and to maneuver the docked combination by using the target vehicle's propulsion system;

    • To perfect methods of entering the atmosphere and landing at a preselected point on land.
    • To gain additional information concerning the effects of weightlessness on crew members and to record the physiological reactions of crew members during long duration flights.
john f kennedy s challenge
John F Kennedy’s Challenge
apollo missions to the moon
Apollo Missions – To The Moon!
  • Apollo missions began in 1961 and continued for 11 years.
  • Cost $25.4 billion – the largest non-military technological endeavor by the U.S.
apollo 8
Apollo 8
  • First to go to the moon – December 24-25 1968
  • Orbited and came back
  • Famous for the astronauts reading from the book of Genesis as circling the moon.
apollo 11
Apollo 11
  • First lunar landing
  • “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” –Neil Armstrong (first man on the moon)
  • Second man on the moon- Buzz Aldrin
  • Michael Collins – third man on mission (stayed in main shuttle.)
unmanned missions
Unmanned Missions
  • 1958-2011 – Explorer Program – sends the first satellite
  • 1958-1978 – Pioneer Program – Explores the outer planets
unmanned missions1
Unmanned Missions
  • 1960-1964 – Echo Project – Communications Satellites
  • 1962-1963 – Telstar Project – For commercial communications satellites
unmanned missions2
Unmanned Missions
  • 1962-1963 – Mariner Program – Sent robotic probes to Mars, Mercury, and Venus
  • 1966-1968 – Surveyor Program – explored the options for soft landings on the moon
unmanned missions3
Unmanned Missions
  • 1974-1976 - Helios Probes – Studied solar processes
  • 1975 – Viking Program – Two probes sent to Mars
unmanned missions4
Unmanned Missions
  • 1977 – Voyager – 2 probes exploring the far reaches of the solar system
  • 1989 – Galileo – Studies Jupiter and its moons
unmanned missions5
Unmanned Missions
  • 1990 – Hubble Space Telescope –
  • 1991 – Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite – studies the layers of the atmosphere, including the ozone
unmanned missions6
Unmanned Missions
  • 1996 – Mars Global Surveyor – uses high resolution cameras to study Mars’s surface
  • 1996 – Mars Pathfinder – Robotic rover used to study the surface
unmanned missions7
Unmanned Missions
  • 2003 – Mars Exploration Rovers – robotic space mission using 2 rovers to explore the surface
    • Spirit and Opportunity
unmanned missions8
Unmanned Missions
  • 2006 – New Horizons Probe – sent to explore Pluto and its moons
  • 2011 – Mars Curiosity Rover - will search for evidence of past or present life
    • Just landed in August 2012
earth and space2

Earth and Space

Part 3 – The Solar System

the solar system the sun
The Solar System: The Sun
  • Formed 4.6 billion years ago
  • 109 times bigger than Earth
  • Made mostly of hydrogen and helium
  • Consists of hot plasma and magnetic fields
  • Undergoes thermonuclear fusion
  • Energy travels to Earth in Electromagnetic Waves
the solar system the sun1
The Solar System: The Sun

About 93 million miles from Earth – That distance is used as a standard unit of measurement in astronomy (astronomical unit or AU)

Takes light 8 min 19 sec to reach Earth from the Sun

Considered a “yellow dwarf” type star

the solar system mercury
The Solar System: Mercury
  • Closest to the sun – the sun would appear 3 times bigger
  • No atmosphere – temperatures range from 800F in the daytime to -280F at night.
  • 1 Mercury year = 88 Earth days
  • 1 Mercury day = 53 Earth days (rotates very slowly!)
  • Cratered surface
the solar system venus
Covered by a thick atmosphere

Mostly CO2 and Sulfuric Acid

Very hot surface; high atmospheric pressure

1 year = 225 Earth Days

1 day = 117 Earth Days

Probes needed to study surface – clouds too thick

Any probes that land are quickly destroyed by the high temperatures.

The Solar System: Venus
the solar system mars
Cold and with very little atmosphere

Volcanoes – Olympus Mons is largest in solar system

Dust storms

Large equatorial canyon -  Valles Marineris

Polar ice caps – grow and shrink with climate

Evidence of past flooding – perhaps small oceans. Where did water go?

The Solar System: Mars
the solar system mars1
The Solar System: Mars
  • 1 year = 687 Earth days
  • 1 day = 24 hours 37 minutes
  • Temperature range from -125F to 23F
  • 141,633,260 miles from the sun
  • 2 moons
the solar system jupiter
Atmosphere of hydrogen and helium – may have turned into a star if bigger

4 large moons with distinct characteristics

Io is volcanically active

Europa may have a liquid ocean beneath the frozen crust

Ganymede is the only moon known to have its own magnetic field

Castillo may also have water beneath the crust

The Solar System: Jupiter
the solar system jupiter1
The Solar System: Jupiter
  • Total of 49 moons; most small
  • Clouds made of ammonia
  • “stripes” are belts of strong east-west winds
  • Great Red Spot is strong storm that has been observed over 300 years
  • 1 year = 4331 Earth days
  • 1 day = 9 hours 56 minutes
  • 483,682,810 miles from the sun
the solar system saturn
Mostly hydrogen and helium

Yellow/gold bands come from fast winds and rising heat

Ring system extends hundreds of thousands of kilometers from the surface – made mostly of water and ice

52 moons – Titan is the largest

The Solar System: Saturn
the solar system saturn1
The Solar System: Saturn
  • 885,904,700 miles from the sun
  • 1 year = 10,759 Earth days
  • 1 day = 10 hours 39 minutes
the solar system uranus
Made mostly of hydrogen and helium with some ammonia and methane

Blue/green color comes from the methane

Direction of rotation is tipped over – possibly from a collision with a large body early in its history

27 known moons

11 known rings

The Solar System: Uranus
the solar system uranus1
The Solar System: Uranus
  • 1,783,939,400 miles from the sun
  • 1 year = 30,687 Earth days
  • 1 day = 17 hrs 15 minutes
the solar system neptune
The Solar System: Neptune
  • Like Uranus, composed mostly of hydrogen and helium
  • Blue in color due to methane
  • 6 rings; 13 known moons (largest is Triton)
  • Thin atmosphere growing slightly warmer
  • Large storms swirling
  • Has layers of liquid – have observed geysers
  • Very center core may be solid
the solar system neptune1
2,795,084,800 miles from the Sun

1 year = 60,190 Earth days

1 day = 16 hours 7 minutes

The Solar System: Neptune
planet song
Planet Song
the solar system dwarf planets
The Solar System: Dwarf Planets