Spring 2010 Astronomy 110 MWF 9:30 &mdash 10:20

1. AN ORIENTATION TO THE UNIVERSE

We begin with a brief overview of the universe and the distances, ages, and sizes of various astronomical objects. We will then focus on our home planet and its motion, which plays a critical role in our observations the universe.


Reading

1.1 Our Modern View of the Universe
• What is our place in the universe
• How did we come to be?
• How can we know what the universe was like?
• Can we see the entire universe?
1.2 The Scale of the Universe
• How big is Earth compared to our solar system?
• How far away are the stars?
• How big is the Milky Way Galaxy?
• How big is the universe?
• How do our lifetimes compare to the age of the universe?
1.3 Spaceship Earth
• How is the Earth moving in our solar system?
(skim rest if you wish; we'll come back to it)
2.1 Patterns in the Night Sky
• What does the universe look like from Earth? (through p. 28, and "The Local Sky")
• Why do stars rise and set?
• Why do the constellations we see depend on latitude and time of year?
2.2 The Reason for Seasons
• What causes the seasons?
• How do we mark the progression of the seasons?

Online

  1. Set up your MasteringAstronomy account by following the instructions in the handout:

  2. Complete the Introduction to MasteringAstronomy assignment, due on Monday, 18 Jan 2010 at 9:00 am.

  3. Review the lecture slides.

Joshua E. Barnes      (barnes at ifa.hawaii.edu)
Updated: 16 January 2010
http://www.ifa.hawaii.edu/~barnes/ast110_10/orientation.html
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