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Basics of Astronomy Outline

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SCI/151 Week 1 Assignment

Basics of Astronomy Outline
I. Our place in the universe
A. The modern view of the universe
1. The Sun is a star in our solar system that generates heat and light to our planet, Earth through nuclear fusion.
2. Our Milky Way galaxy is an island of stars in space with hundreds of billions of stars like our Sun.
3. The Big Bang is a theory of when the universe started expanding about 14 billion years ago.
4. The phase “looking out in the universe is looking back in time,” refers to the light from other stars we see at night happened in 1913 because light takes time to travel through space.
B. Where are we in the universe?
1. Earth’s place in the solar system is the third planet nearest to the Sun, a star. It is very small but the only dense planet with life forms.
2. The nearest stars to the Sun and compare the distance between the Sun and Earth
a. The nearest star system is Alpha Centauri that is 4.4 light-years away.
b. The distance between the Earth, and the Sun is 92,600,000 miles; it takes eight minutes for light from the Sun to reach Earth.
3. The Milky Way galaxy is about one hundred thousand light-years in diameter.
4. It is estimated that one hundred billion stars are in our galaxy.
5. The Earth is only four and one-half billion years of age in comparison to the universe is 14 billion.
C. Motion in the universe
1. Earth orbits the Sun at 66,000 miles per hour that is equal to 107,000 kilometers per hour, which is one hundred times faster than a speeding bullet.
2. Our Sun is moving fast at 40,000 miles per hour in the galaxy.
3. We do not notice the galaxies moving fast around the Milky Way galaxy at 500,000 miles per hour because of the enormous distance from us.
II. The sky and the science of astronomy
A. Explain the significance of the celestial sphere.
1. Directions and coordinate systems
a....

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