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ASTRO 101

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ASTRO 101

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  1. ASTRO 101 Principles of Astronomy

  2. Instructor: Jerome A. Orosz (rhymes with “boris”)Contact: • Telephone: 594-7118 • E-mail: orosz@sciences.sdsu.edu • WWW: http://mintaka.sdsu.edu/faculty/orosz/web/ • Office: Physics 241, hours T TH 3:30-5:00

  3. Text: “Discovering the Essential Universe, Fifth Edition”by Neil F. Comins

  4. Course WWW Page http://mintaka.sdsu.edu/faculty/orosz/web/ast101_fall2012.html Note the underline: … ast101_fall2012.html … Also check out Nick Strobel’s Astronomy Notes: http://www.astronomynotes.com/

  5. Astronomy Help Room No appointment needed! Just drop by! Where: Room 215, physics-astronomy building. When: • Monday: 12-2, 4-6 PM • Tuesday: 12-1 PM; 4-6 PM • Wednesday: 12-2, 5-6 PM • Thursday: 4-6 PM

  6. Homework • Homework due September 18: Question 11 from Chapter 2 (In what ways did the astronomical observations of Galileo support a heliocentric cosmology?) • Write down the answer on a sheet of paper and hand it in before the end of class on September 18.

  7. Homework • Go to a planetarium show in PA 209: • Wednesday, September 12: 12:00 PM -- 12:30 PM • Thursday, September 13: 12:00 PM – 12:30 PM AND 12:30 PM – 1:00 PM • Friday, September 14: 12:00 PM – 12:30 PM AND 12:30 PM – 1:00 PM • Monday, September 17: 12:00 PM – 12:30 PM AND 12:30 PM – 1:00 PM • Thursday, September 20: 12:00 PM – 12:30 PM AND 12:30 PM – 1:00 PM AND 4:00 PM – 4:30 PM • Friday, September 21: 12:00 PM – 12:30 PM AND 12:30 PM – 1:00 PM • Get 10 points extra credit for homework part of grade. • Sign up for a session outside PA 209. • Hand in a sheet of paper with your name and the data and time of the session.

  8. Next: The motion of the planets

  9. A Brief History of Astronomy

  10. Stonehenge (c. 2000 B.C.) Stonehenge was probably used to observe the sun and Moon. Image from FreeFoto.com

  11. The great pyramids of Egypt were aligned north-south.

  12. A Brief History of Astronomy • An early view of the skies: • The Sun: it rises and sets, rises and sets… • The Moon: it has a monthly cycle of phases. • The “fixed stars”: the patterns stay fixed, and the appearance of different constellations marks the different seasons. • Keep in mind there were no telescopes, no cameras, no computers, etc.

  13. A Brief History of Astronomy • But then there were the 5 “planets”: • These are star-like objects that move through the constellations. • Mercury: the “fastest” planet, always near the Sun. • Venus: the brightest planet, always near the Sun. • Mars: the red planet, “slower” than Venus. • Jupiter: the second brightest planet, “slower” than Mars. • Saturn: the “slowest” planet.

  14. A Brief History of Astronomy • By the time of the ancient Greeks (around 500 B.C.), extensive observations of the planetary positions existed. Note, however, the accuracy of these data were limited. • An important philosophical issue of the time was how to explain the motion of the Sun, Moon, and planets.

  15. What is a model? • A model is an idea about how something works. • It contains assumptions about certain things, and rules on how certain things behave. • Ideally, a model will explain existing observations and be able to predict the outcome of future experiments.

  16. Aristotle (385-322 B.C.) • Aristotle was perhaps the most influential Greek philosopher. He favored a geocentric model for the Universe: • The Earth is at the center of the Universe. • The heavens are ordered, harmonious, and perfect. The perfect shape is a sphere, and the natural motion was rotation.

  17. Geocentric Model • The motion of the Sun around the Earth accounts for the rising and setting of the Sun. • The motion of the Moon around the Earth accounts for the rising and setting of the Moon. • You have to fiddle a bit to get the Moon phases.

  18. Geocentric Model • The fixed stars were on the “Celestial Sphere” whose rotation caused the rising and setting of the stars.

  19. This is the constellation of Orion

  20. The constellations rise and set each night, and individual stars make a curved path across the sky. • The curvature of the tracks depend on where you look.

  21. Geocentric Model • The fixed stars were on the “Celestial Sphere” whose rotation caused the rising and setting of the stars. • However, the detailed motions of the planets were much harder to explain…

  22. Planetary Motion • The motion of a planet with respect to the background stars is not a simple curve. This shows the motion of Mars. • Sometimes a planet will go “backwards”, which is called “retrograde motion.”

  23. Planetary Motion • Here is a plot of the path of Mars. • Other planets show similar behavior. Image from Nick Strobel Astronomy Notes (http://www.astronomynotes.com/)

  24. Aristotle’s Model • Aristotle’s model had 55 nested spheres. • Although it did not work well in detail, this model was widely adopted for nearly 1800 years.

  25. Better Predictions • Although Aristotle’s ideas were commonly accepted, there was a need for a more accurate way to predict planetary motions. • Claudius Ptolomy (85-165) presented a detailed model of the Universe that explained retrograde motion by using complicated placement of circles.

  26. Ptolomy’s Epicycles • By adding epicycles, very complicated motion could be explained.

  27. Ptolomy’s Epicycles Image from Nick Strobel’s Astronomy Notes (http://www.astronomynotes.com/).

  28. Ptolomy’s Epicycles

  29. Ptolomy’s Epicycles • Ptolomy’s model was considered a computational tool only. • Aristotle’s ideas were “true”. They eventually became a part of Church dogma in the Middle Ages.

  30. The Middle Ages • Not much happened in Astronomy in the Middle Ages (100-1500 A.D.).

  31. Next: The Copernican Revolution

  32. The Sun-Centered Model • Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543) proposed a heliocentric model of the Universe. • The Sun was at the center, and the planets moved around it in perfect circles.

  33. The Sun-Centered Model • The Sun was at the center. Each planet moved on a circle, and the speed of the planet’s motion decreased with increasing distance from the Sun.

  34. The Sun-Centered Model • Retrograde motion of the planets could be explained as a projection effect.

  35. The Sun-Centered Model • Retrograde motion of the planets could be explained as a projection effect. Image from Nick Strobel’s Astronomy Notes (http://www.astronomynotes.com/)

  36. Copernican Model • The model of Copernicus did not any better than Ptolomy’s model in explaining the planetary motions in detail. • He did work out the relative distances of the planets from the Sun. • The philosophical shift was important (i.e. the Earth is not at the center of the Universe).

  37. Tycho Brahe (1546-1601) • Tycho was born in a very wealthy family. • From an early age, he devoted himself to making accurate astronomical observations. • He received a great deal of support from the king of Denmark, including the use of his own island.

  38. Tycho • Tycho lived before the invention of the telescope. • His observations of Mars were about 10 times more accurate than what had been done before.

  39. Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) • Kepler was a mathematician by training. • He believed in the Copernican view with the Sun at the center and the motions of the planets on perfect circles. • Tycho hired Kepler to analyize his observational data.

  40. Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) • Kepler was a mathematician by training. • He believed in the Copernican view with the Sun at the center and the motions of the planets on perfect circles. • Tycho hired Kepler to analyize his observational data. • After years of failure, Kepler dropped the notion of motion on perfect circles.

  41. Kepler’s Three Laws of Planetary Motion • Starting in 1609, Kepler published three “laws” of planetary motion:

  42. Kepler’s Three Laws of Planetary Motion • Starting in 1609, Kepler published three “laws” of planetary motion: • Planets orbit the Sun in ellipses, with the Sun at one focus.

  43. Ellipses • An ellipse is a “flattened circle” described by a particular mathematical equation. • The eccentricity tells you how flat the ellipse is: e=0 for circular, and e=1 for infinitely flat.

  44. Ellipses • You can draw an ellipsed with a loop of string and two tacks.

  45. Kepler’s Three Laws of Planetary Motion • Starting in 1609, Kepler published three “laws” of planetary motion: • Planets orbit the Sun in ellipses, with the Sun at one focus.

  46. Kepler’s Three Laws of Planetary Motion • Starting in 1609, Kepler published three “laws” of planetary motion: • Planets orbit the Sun in ellipses, with the Sun at one focus. • The planets sweep out equal areas in equal times. That is, a planet moves faster when it is closer to the Sun, and slower when it is further away.

  47. Kepler’s Second Law • The time it takes for the planet to move through the green sector is the same as it is to move through the blue sector. • Both sectors have the same area.

  48. Kepler’s Three Laws of Planetary Motion • Starting in 1609, Kepler published three “laws” of planetary motion: • Planets orbit the Sun in ellipses, with the Sun at one focus. • The planets sweep out equal areas in equal times. That is, a planet moves faster when it is closer to the Sun, and slower when it is further away.

  49. Kepler’s Three Laws of Planetary Motion • Starting in 1609, Kepler published three “laws” of planetary motion: • Planets orbit the Sun in ellipses, with the Sun at one focus. • The planets sweep out equal areas in equal times. That is, a planet moves faster when it is closer to the Sun, and slower when it is further away. • (Period)2 = (semimajor axis)3

  50. Kepler’s Third Law