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Astronomy 2e

For Further Exploration

Astronomy 2eFor Further Exploration

Table of contents
  1. Preface
  2. 1 Science and the Universe: A Brief Tour
    1. Introduction
    2. 1.1 The Nature of Astronomy
    3. 1.2 The Nature of Science
    4. 1.3 The Laws of Nature
    5. 1.4 Numbers in Astronomy
    6. 1.5 Consequences of Light Travel Time
    7. 1.6 A Tour of the Universe
    8. 1.7 The Universe on the Large Scale
    9. 1.8 The Universe of the Very Small
    10. 1.9 A Conclusion and a Beginning
    11. For Further Exploration
  3. 2 Observing the Sky: The Birth of Astronomy
    1. Thinking Ahead
    2. 2.1 The Sky Above
    3. 2.2 Ancient Astronomy
    4. 2.3 Astrology and Astronomy
    5. 2.4 The Birth of Modern Astronomy
    6. Key Terms
    7. Summary
    8. For Further Exploration
    9. Collaborative Group Activities
    10. Exercises
      1. Review Questions
      2. Thought Questions
      3. Figuring for Yourself
  4. 3 Orbits and Gravity
    1. Thinking Ahead
    2. 3.1 The Laws of Planetary Motion
    3. 3.2 Newton’s Great Synthesis
    4. 3.3 Newton’s Universal Law of Gravitation
    5. 3.4 Orbits in the Solar System
    6. 3.5 Motions of Satellites and Spacecraft
    7. 3.6 Gravity with More Than Two Bodies
    8. Key Terms
    9. Summary
    10. For Further Exploration
    11. Collaborative Group Activities
    12. Exercises
      1. Review Questions
      2. Thought Questions
      3. Figuring for Yourself
  5. 4 Earth, Moon, and Sky
    1. Thinking Ahead
    2. 4.1 Earth and Sky
    3. 4.2 The Seasons
    4. 4.3 Keeping Time
    5. 4.4 The Calendar
    6. 4.5 Phases and Motions of the Moon
    7. 4.6 Ocean Tides and the Moon
    8. 4.7 Eclipses of the Sun and Moon
    9. Key Terms
    10. Summary
    11. For Further Exploration
    12. Collaborative Group Activities
    13. Exercises
      1. Review Questions
      2. Thought Questions
      3. Figuring for Yourself
  6. 5 Radiation and Spectra
    1. Thinking Ahead
    2. 5.1 The Behavior of Light
    3. 5.2 The Electromagnetic Spectrum
    4. 5.3 Spectroscopy in Astronomy
    5. 5.4 The Structure of the Atom
    6. 5.5 Formation of Spectral Lines
    7. 5.6 The Doppler Effect
    8. Key Terms
    9. Summary
    10. For Further Exploration
    11. Collaborative Group Activities
    12. Exercises
      1. Review Questions
      2. Thought Questions
      3. Figuring for Yourself
  7. 6 Astronomical Instruments
    1. Thinking Ahead
    2. 6.1 Telescopes
    3. 6.2 Telescopes Today
    4. 6.3 Visible-Light Detectors and Instruments
    5. 6.4 Radio Telescopes
    6. 6.5 Observations outside Earth’s Atmosphere
    7. 6.6 The Future of Large Telescopes
    8. Key Terms
    9. Summary
    10. For Further Exploration
    11. Collaborative Group Activities
    12. Exercises
      1. Review Questions
      2. Thought Questions
      3. Figuring for Yourself
  8. 7 Other Worlds: An Introduction to the Solar System
    1. Thinking Ahead
    2. 7.1 Overview of Our Planetary System
    3. 7.2 Composition and Structure of Planets
    4. 7.3 Dating Planetary Surfaces
    5. 7.4 Origin of the Solar System
    6. Key Terms
    7. Summary
    8. For Further Exploration
    9. Collaborative Group Activities
    10. Exercises
      1. Review Questions
      2. Thought Questions
      3. Figuring for Yourself
  9. 8 Earth as a Planet
    1. Thinking Ahead
    2. 8.1 The Global Perspective
    3. 8.2 Earth’s Crust
    4. 8.3 Earth’s Atmosphere
    5. 8.4 Life, Chemical Evolution, and Climate Change
    6. 8.5 Cosmic Influences on the Evolution of Earth
    7. Key Terms
    8. Summary
    9. For Further Exploration
    10. Collaborative Group Activities
    11. Exercises
      1. Review Questions
      2. Thought Questions
      3. Figuring for Yourself
  10. 9 Cratered Worlds
    1. Thinking Ahead
    2. 9.1 General Properties of the Moon
    3. 9.2 The Lunar Surface
    4. 9.3 Impact Craters
    5. 9.4 The Origin of the Moon
    6. 9.5 Mercury
    7. Key Terms
    8. Summary
    9. For Further Exploration
    10. Collaborative Group Activities
    11. Exercises
      1. Review Questions
      2. Thought Questions
      3. Figuring for Yourself
  11. 10 Earthlike Planets: Venus and Mars
    1. Thinking Ahead
    2. 10.1 The Nearest Planets: An Overview
    3. 10.2 The Geology of Venus
    4. 10.3 The Massive Atmosphere of Venus
    5. 10.4 The Geology of Mars
    6. 10.5 Water and Life on Mars
    7. 10.6 Divergent Planetary Evolution
    8. Key Terms
    9. Summary
    10. For Further Exploration
    11. Collaborative Group Activities
    12. Exercises
      1. Review Questions
      2. Thought Questions
      3. Figuring for Yourself
  12. 11 The Giant Planets
    1. Thinking Ahead
    2. 11.1 Exploring the Outer Planets
    3. 11.2 The Giant Planets
    4. 11.3 Atmospheres of the Giant Planets
    5. Key Terms
    6. Summary
    7. For Further Exploration
    8. Collaborative Group Activities
    9. Exercises
      1. Review Questions
      2. Thought Questions
      3. Figuring for Yourself
  13. 12 Rings, Moons, and Pluto
    1. Thinking Ahead
    2. 12.1 Ring and Moon Systems Introduced
    3. 12.2 The Galilean Moons of Jupiter
    4. 12.3 Titan and Triton
    5. 12.4 Pluto and Charon
    6. 12.5 Planetary Rings (and Enceladus)
    7. Key Terms
    8. Summary
    9. For Further Exploration
    10. Collaborative Group Activities
    11. Exercises
      1. Review Questions
      2. Thought Questions
      3. Figuring for Yourself
  14. 13 Comets and Asteroids: Debris of the Solar System
    1. Thinking Ahead
    2. 13.1 Asteroids
    3. 13.2 Asteroids and Planetary Defense
    4. 13.3 The “Long-Haired” Comets
    5. 13.4 The Origin and Fate of Comets and Related Objects
    6. Key Terms
    7. Summary
    8. For Further Exploration
    9. Collaborative Group Activities
    10. Exercises
      1. Review Questions
      2. Thought Questions
      3. Figuring for Yourself
  15. 14 Cosmic Samples and the Origin of the Solar System
    1. Thinking Ahead
    2. 14.1 Meteors
    3. 14.2 Meteorites: Stones from Heaven
    4. 14.3 Formation of the Solar System
    5. 14.4 Comparison with Other Planetary Systems
    6. 14.5 Planetary Evolution
    7. Key Terms
    8. Summary
    9. For Further Exploration
    10. Collaborative Group Activities
    11. Exercises
      1. Review Questions
      2. Thought Questions
      3. Figuring for Yourself
  16. 15 The Sun: A Garden-Variety Star
    1. Thinking Ahead
    2. 15.1 The Structure and Composition of the Sun
    3. 15.2 The Solar Cycle
    4. 15.3 Solar Activity above the Photosphere
    5. 15.4 Space Weather
    6. Key Terms
    7. Summary
    8. For Further Exploration
    9. Collaborative Group Activities
    10. Exercises
      1. Review Questions
      2. Thought Questions
      3. Figuring for Yourself
  17. 16 The Sun: A Nuclear Powerhouse
    1. Thinking Ahead
    2. 16.1 Sources of Sunshine: Thermal and Gravitational Energy
    3. 16.2 Mass, Energy, and the Theory of Relativity
    4. 16.3 The Solar Interior: Theory
    5. 16.4 The Solar Interior: Observations
    6. Key Terms
    7. Summary
    8. For Further Exploration
    9. Collaborative Group Activities
    10. Exercises
      1. Review Questions
      2. Thought Questions
      3. Figuring for Yourself
  18. 17 Analyzing Starlight
    1. Thinking Ahead
    2. 17.1 The Brightness of Stars
    3. 17.2 Colors of Stars
    4. 17.3 The Spectra of Stars (and Brown Dwarfs)
    5. 17.4 Using Spectra to Measure Stellar Radius, Composition, and Motion
    6. Key Terms
    7. Summary
    8. For Further Exploration
    9. Collaborative Group Activities
    10. Exercises
      1. Review Questions
      2. Thought Questions
      3. Figuring for Yourself
  19. 18 The Stars: A Celestial Census
    1. Thinking Ahead
    2. 18.1 A Stellar Census
    3. 18.2 Measuring Stellar Masses
    4. 18.3 Diameters of Stars
    5. 18.4 The H–R Diagram
    6. Key Terms
    7. Summary
    8. For Further Exploration
    9. Collaborative Group Activities
    10. Exercises
      1. Review Questions
      2. Thought Questions
      3. Figuring for Yourself
  20. 19 Celestial Distances
    1. Thinking Ahead
    2. 19.1 Fundamental Units of Distance
    3. 19.2 Surveying the Stars
    4. 19.3 Variable Stars: One Key to Cosmic Distances
    5. 19.4 The H–R Diagram and Cosmic Distances
    6. Key Terms
    7. Summary
    8. For Further Exploration
    9. Collaborative Group Activities
    10. Exercises
      1. Review Questions
      2. Thought Questions
      3. Figuring for Yourself
  21. 20 Between the Stars: Gas and Dust in Space
    1. Thinking Ahead
    2. 20.1 The Interstellar Medium
    3. 20.2 Interstellar Gas
    4. 20.3 Cosmic Dust
    5. 20.4 Cosmic Rays
    6. 20.5 The Life Cycle of Cosmic Material
    7. 20.6 Interstellar Matter around the Sun
    8. Key Terms
    9. Summary
    10. For Further Exploration
    11. Collaborative Group Activities
    12. Exercises
      1. Review Questions
      2. Thought Questions
      3. Figuring for Yourself
  22. 21 The Birth of Stars and the Discovery of Planets outside the Solar System
    1. Thinking Ahead
    2. 21.1 Star Formation
    3. 21.2 The H–R Diagram and the Study of Stellar Evolution
    4. 21.3 Evidence That Planets Form around Other Stars
    5. 21.4 Planets beyond the Solar System: Search and Discovery
    6. 21.5 Exoplanets Everywhere: What We Are Learning
    7. 21.6 New Perspectives on Planet Formation
    8. Key Terms
    9. Summary
    10. For Further Exploration
    11. Collaborative Group Activities
    12. Exercises
      1. Review Questions
      2. Thought Questions
      3. Figuring for Yourself
  23. 22 Stars from Adolescence to Old Age
    1. Thinking Ahead
    2. 22.1 Evolution from the Main Sequence to Red Giants
    3. 22.2 Star Clusters
    4. 22.3 Checking Out the Theory
    5. 22.4 Further Evolution of Stars
    6. 22.5 The Evolution of More Massive Stars
    7. Key Terms
    8. Summary
    9. For Further Exploration
    10. Collaborative Group Activities
    11. Exercises
      1. Review Questions
      2. Thought Questions
      3. Figuring for Yourself
  24. 23 The Death of Stars
    1. Thinking Ahead
    2. 23.1 The Death of Low-Mass Stars
    3. 23.2 Evolution of Massive Stars: An Explosive Finish
    4. 23.3 Supernova Observations
    5. 23.4 Pulsars and the Discovery of Neutron Stars
    6. 23.5 The Evolution of Binary Star Systems
    7. 23.6 The Mystery of the Gamma-Ray Bursts
    8. Key Terms
    9. Summary
    10. For Further Exploration
    11. Collaborative Group Activities
    12. Exercises
      1. Review Questions
      2. Thought Questions
      3. Figuring for Yourself
  25. 24 Black Holes and Curved Spacetime
    1. Thinking Ahead
    2. 24.1 Introducing General Relativity
    3. 24.2 Spacetime and Gravity
    4. 24.3 Tests of General Relativity
    5. 24.4 Time in General Relativity
    6. 24.5 Black Holes
    7. 24.6 Evidence for Black Holes
    8. 24.7 Gravitational Wave Astronomy
    9. Key Terms
    10. Summary
    11. For Further Exploration
    12. Collaborative Group Activities
    13. Exercises
      1. Review Questions
      2. Thought Questions
      3. Figuring for Yourself
  26. 25 The Milky Way Galaxy
    1. Thinking Ahead
    2. 25.1 The Architecture of the Galaxy
    3. 25.2 Spiral Structure
    4. 25.3 The Mass of the Galaxy
    5. 25.4 The Center of the Galaxy
    6. 25.5 Stellar Populations in the Galaxy
    7. 25.6 The Formation of the Galaxy
    8. Key Terms
    9. Summary
    10. For Further Exploration
    11. Collaborative Group Activities
    12. Exercises
      1. Review Questions
      2. Thought Questions
      3. Figuring for Yourself
  27. 26 Galaxies
    1. Thinking Ahead
    2. 26.1 The Discovery of Galaxies
    3. 26.2 Types of Galaxies
    4. 26.3 Properties of Galaxies
    5. 26.4 The Extragalactic Distance Scale
    6. 26.5 The Expanding Universe
    7. Key Terms
    8. Summary
    9. For Further Exploration
    10. Collaborative Group Activities
    11. Exercises
      1. Review Questions
      2. Thought Questions
      3. Figuring for Yourself
  28. 27 Active Galaxies, Quasars, and Supermassive Black Holes
    1. Thinking Ahead
    2. 27.1 Quasars
    3. 27.2 Supermassive Black Holes: What Quasars Really Are
    4. 27.3 Quasars as Probes of Evolution in the Universe
    5. Key Terms
    6. Summary
    7. For Further Exploration
    8. Collaborative Group Activities
    9. Exercises
      1. Review Questions
      2. Thought Questions
      3. Figuring for Yourself
  29. 28 The Evolution and Distribution of Galaxies
    1. Thinking Ahead
    2. 28.1 Observations of Distant Galaxies
    3. 28.2 Galaxy Mergers and Active Galactic Nuclei
    4. 28.3 The Distribution of Galaxies in Space
    5. 28.4 The Challenge of Dark Matter
    6. 28.5 The Formation and Evolution of Galaxies and Structure in the Universe
    7. Key Terms
    8. Summary
    9. For Further Exploration
    10. Collaborative Group Activities
    11. Exercises
      1. Review Questions
      2. Thought Questions
      3. Figuring for Yourself
  30. 29 The Big Bang
    1. Thinking Ahead
    2. 29.1 The Age of the Universe
    3. 29.2 A Model of the Universe
    4. 29.3 The Beginning of the Universe
    5. 29.4 The Cosmic Microwave Background
    6. 29.5 What Is the Universe Really Made Of?
    7. 29.6 The Inflationary Universe
    8. 29.7 The Anthropic Principle
    9. Key Terms
    10. Summary
    11. For Further Exploration
    12. Collaborative Group Activities
    13. Exercises
      1. Review Questions
      2. Thought Questions
      3. Figuring for Yourself
  31. 30 Life in the Universe
    1. Thinking Ahead
    2. 30.1 The Cosmic Context for Life
    3. 30.2 Astrobiology
    4. 30.3 Searching for Life beyond Earth
    5. 30.4 The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence
    6. Key Terms
    7. Summary
    8. For Further Exploration
    9. Collaborative Group Activities
    10. Exercises
      1. Review Questions
      2. Thought Questions
      3. Figuring for Yourself
  32. A | How to Study for an Introductory Astronomy Class
  33. B | Astronomy Websites, Images, and Apps
  34. C | Scientific Notation
  35. D | Units Used in Science
  36. E | Some Useful Constants for Astronomy
  37. F | Physical and Orbital Data for the Planets
  38. G | Selected Moons of the Planets
  39. H | Future Total Eclipses
  40. I | The Nearest Stars, Brown Dwarfs, and White Dwarfs
  41. J | The Brightest Twenty Stars
  42. K | The Chemical Elements
  43. L | The Constellations
  44. M | Star Chart and Sky Event Resources
  45. Index

Articles

Venus

Byrne, P. “Venus: Inevitability or Catastrophe.” Sky & Telescope (October 2021): 12. On the evolution of the planet’s surface and atmosphere.

Carroll, M. “Revealing Venus.” Astronomy (May 2023): 22. Nice overview of our present knowledge and planned missions.

Grinspoon, D. “Sending Astronauts to Venus.” Sky & Telescope (November 2022): 11. Short piece on what astronauts could accomplish from orbit.

Lakdawalla, E. “Venus Renaissance.” Sky & Telescope (May 2022): 12. What we know and what future missions could reveal.

Sheehan, W. “Unveiling the Clouds of Venus.” Astronomy (Dec. 2021): 48. History of trying to understand the clouds of neighbor planet.

Zimmerman, R. “Taking Venus by Storm.” Astronomy (October 2008): 66. On results from the Venus Express mission.

Mars

Barbuzano, J. “The Mystery of the Martian Moons.” Sky & Telescope (April 2021): 34. Different ideas on how Mars acquired two small moons.

Bell, J. “Flying with Ingenuity on Mars.” Sky & Telescope (August 2022): 12. Nice intro to the helicopter and what it has been able to do.

Bell, J. “Is There Life on Mars.” Astronomy (September 2019): 24. What previous missions have told us and what we would like to know.

Bell, J. “Martian Weather Report.” Sky & Telescope (December 2019): 22. Authoritative review of martian seasons and what it’s like on the surface of Mars.

Bell, J. “New Mars Rover Begins its Mission.” Astronomy (February 2021): 24. On the Perseverance Rover and the Ingenuity Helicopter and what they hope to accomplish.

Bell, J. & Sheehan, W. “50 Years on Mars.” Astronomy (November 2021): 16. How Mariner 9 and other early missions set the stage for current exploration.

Evans, B. “Curiosity’s 10 Years on Mars.” Astronomy (September 2022): 24. Story of the rover mission, its images and discoveries.

Hall, S. “Opportunity’s End.” Sky & Telescope (September 2019): 24. On what astronomers have learned from the Opportunity Rover on Mars.

Lakdawalla, E. “The History of Water on Mars.” Sky & Telescope (September 2013): 16. Clear review of our current understanding of the role of water on Mars in different epochs.

Redd, N. “Twenty Years around the Red Planet.” Astronomy (December 2020): 20. What the Mars Odyssey mission has taught us.

Rice, M. “The Many Personalities of NASA’s Mars Rovers.” Astronomy (April 2023): 21. Overview of the capabilities and work of the rovers that have explored the red planet’s surface.

Websites

Venus

European Space Agency Venus Express Page: https://www.esa.int/Science_Exploration/Space_Science/Venus_Express.

NASA Solar System Exploration Venus Page: http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/venus.

Russian (Soviet) Venus Missions and Images: http://mentallandscape.com/C_CatalogVenus.htm.

Venus Atlas app: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/venus-atlas/id317310503?mt=8.

Mars

European Space Agency Mars Express Page: http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Mars_Express.

High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment: http://hirise.lpl.arizona.edu/.

Jet Propulsion Lab Mars Exploration Page: http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/.

Mars Globe HD app: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mars-globe-hd/id376020224?mt=8.

Mars Rover 360° Panorama: http://www.360cities.net/image/curiosity-rover-martian-solar-day-2#171.10,26.50,70.0. Interactive.

NASA Center for Mars Exploration: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/mars/main/index.html.

NASA Solar System Exploration Mars Page: http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/mars.

Videos

Venus

Collection of Magellan Venus Radar Mapping Results: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xrMu3jq6P8. 2012 NASA collection of several flyovers of Venus features, without narration, just music. The height of features is exaggerated for clarity (3:00).

Magellan Maps Venus: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p005y07s. 2011 BBC TV clip with Dr. Ellen Stofan on the radar images of Venus and what they tell us (3:00).

Magellan Radar Maps of Venus: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dK4JnGTCawM. Fly-overs of six regions on Venus from the Jet Propulsion Labs with music and explanatory text (8:00).

Planet Venus: The Deadliest Planet: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HqFVxWfVtoo. National Geographic’s Venus surface and atmosphere summary (2:00).

Venus Close-up: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7YUy2k-edEo. 2014 summary of the work of the Venus Express mission from the European Space Agency (3:00).

Mars

7 Minutes of Terror: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/video/details.php?id=1090. 2012 NASA dramatic overview of Curiosity rover’s complex landing sequence (5:00).

15 Years Imaging the Red Planet: https://www.esa.int/ESA_Multimedia/Videos/2019/01/Fifteen_years_imaging_the_Red_Planet#.XfGRNA9OXRk.link. ESA’s un-narrated flyover of some of the most spectacular Mars images from Mars Express (5:00).

50 Years of Mars Exploration: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/video/details.php?id=1395. 2015 NASA summary of all Mars missions through MAVEN; good quick overview (4:00).

Flight into Mariner Valley: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUbQM47QXwQ. 2012 video tour of Valles Marineris canyons, narrated by planetary scientist Phil Christensen (4:00).

Grand Canyons of Earth and Mars: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vkbap5IlMQI. 2019 short comparing the two canyon systems with flyover videos (4:00).

Ingenuity Helicopter’s 13th Flight: https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/nasas-perseverance-captures-challenging-flight-by-mars-helicopter. View from Perseverance of a nice flight of the helicopter drone (2:00).

Methane Stinks? On Earth, Mars, and Beyond: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0K1jkLZiZQ. 2016 NASA video on the search for methane on Mars and elsewhere in the solar system, and what it tells us about the worlds where it’s found (5:00).

NASA's Curiosity Mars Rover on Vera Rubin Ridge: 360 View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lcJLZfPiyfc. A nice martian panorama, in which you can move your cursor and see fully around the scene (the location is named for a noted woman astronomer).

Opportunity: NASA Rover Completes Mars Mission: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Ll-VHYxWXU. A 2019, narrated, illustrated, mission summary from NASA (4:00).

Our Curiosity: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XczKXWvokm4. Mars Curiosity rover 2-year anniversary video narrated by Neil deGrasse Tyson and Felicia Day (6:00).

Postcards from Mars: The Latest from the International Armada of Robot Explorers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7TU1vFL8Us. A 2021 talk in the Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture Series, by Mars expert Dr. Jim Bell of Arizona State University, summarizing the history of Mars exploration, with some of the best images (1:33:00).

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