Read all of the Prologue and Chapter 1.
Here are some questions to think about while reading the prologue and
Prologue: Science and the Universe: A Brief Tour
- What is astronomy?
- What makes something a science?
- Know and understand the steps (4) of the scientific method.
- What is the difference between an hypothesis and a "law of nature"?
- What are some laws of nature? (We will learn several in later chapters.)
- Understand scientific (power of ten) notation.
- What is a light-year?
- What consequence does light travel time have in astronomy?
- Be familiar with the general concepts of galaxy, solar system, and
planets presented in the section "A Tour of the Universe".
- What is "stuff" made of?
- Understand the difference between molecules and atoms.
- What are the common atoms in the universe?
Chapter 1: Observing the Sky: The Birth of Astronomy
Learn and understand the definitions of terms in boldface throughout
this chapter, and future chapters. Both the chapter text and the
glossary in appendix 3 can be of help. For this chapter, here is a
list of vocabulary terms:
geocentric, zenith, horizon, celestial sphere, north and south
celestial poles, celestial equator, north and south circumpolar zones,
ecliptic, zodiac, constellations, cosmology, magnitudes (of stars),
precession (of the Earth), retrograde motion, epicycles, heliocentric,
- Understand why we know the Earth is round (five reasons are given in
- How did Eratostheses measure the diameter of the Earth?
- How was the precession of the Earth noticed by Hipparchus?
- What's the difference between geocentric and heliocentric models?
- Who first used a telescope to look at planets and stars?
© Robert Harr 2005