Place and Time


Resources:, 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); by Nick Strobel


1.1 Astronomy

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

The calendar

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"

5. Precession of Earth's Axis

Precession: details


6. The Calendar - everything you never wanted to know about all calendars.


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