Place and Time
Resources: geometry.about.com, Peter H. Dana, The Geographer's Craft Project, Department of Geography, The University of Colorado at Boulder; Royal Observatory, Geenwich; Plymouth State College Meteorology Program student project.; Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (hosted by University of Arizona); astronomynotes.com by Nick Strobel
a. Describe the chemical
composition and physical structure of the universe
b. Describe and diagram the physical structure of of the three main galaxy types
c. Describe the structure of the solar system and its place in the Milky Way galaxy
d. Distinguish between stars and planets
e. Recognize that stars vary in color, size and luminosity
f. Describe a simple model of how fusion in stars produces heavier elements and results in the production of energy, including light
g. Compare and contrast the physical characteristics, including gravity of rocky and gaseous planets
i. Describe the regular and predictable patterns of stars and planets in time and location
j. Explain how Kepler's Laws describe orbital motion
k. Explain and predict changes in the moon's appearance (phases)
l. Describe the use of astronomical instruments in collecting data, and use astronomical units and light years to describe distances
1. Cartesian Coordinates (Coordinate Systems)
2. Lattitude and Longitude
Geometry of a Sphere
Longitude and Latitude and the Equator, Hemispheres, Tropic of Cancer, and Tropic of Capricorn
3. The equation of time
Cartesian Coordinate system
One solar day: one rotation of Earth relative to the Sun
One year: one revolution of Earth around the Sun (365.25 days)
One month: periodic phase changes of the Moon (29.5 days)
One week: seven celestial bodies visible to the unaided eye- Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn.
The precession of Earth's Axis (period = 25,800 years)
Because precession of the equinoxes is clockwise and Earth is revolving counterclockwise around the Sun, the tropical year is approaximately 20 minutes shorter than the sidereal year.
Tropical Year vs the Anomalistic (Sidereal) Year.
4. The Seasons- a higher level summary, including more information on Sidereal year
Quick Jump to pages
The Seasons detail- good animation for understanding. You may have to increase the text size of the browser. To do this, click on "View", select "Text Size" and then select "larger" or "largest"
- What is the sun?
- Why are there seasons?
- Why does solar heating vary?
- Declination of the Sun
- Seasonal Temperatures
- Incorrect statement on this page. Remember: Sunlight is energy, and energy is heat, so the heat that a location receives is directly related to the amount of energy that reaches the Earth's surface.
- Modifications in italics to make the statement correct. Remember: Sunlight is energy, and the sun's energy can be changed to heat as the infrared rays from the sun increase the kinetic energy of the molecules of all things it touches. The faster molecules move, the hotter a substance becomes. So the amount of sunlight that a location receives is directly related to the amount of energy that reaches the Earth's surface and directly related to it's conversion to heat.
5. Precession of Earth's Axis
6. The Calendar - everything you never wanted to know about all calendars.
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