Study Guide for Exam 1, September 28, 2005
Below is a list of topics and/or sections for each chapter that we have covered and will be on the exam.
When you see an item that corresponds to a section or subsection in the text, that means you should review that entire subsection.
I will not ask you to memorize dates, and only a few names are important (Kepler, Galileo, Newton).
I will test you on concepts (what is light, what is the difference between a star and a planet), and how we know things (what tests favor the heliocentric model over the Ptolemaic model, what types of electromagnetic radiation penetrate the Earth's atmosphere and reach the ground).
- What is astronomy.
- What is science and the scientific method.
- Numbers in scientific notation.
- The light year and the travel time of light.
- The general concepts of galaxy, solar system, and planets presented in the section "A Tour of the Universe".
- Relation between molecules and atoms.
Chapter 1: Observing the Sky: The Birth of Astronomy
- Basic concepts of the celestial sphere: zenith, celestial equator, celestial poles, the ecliptic.
- Reasons we know the Earth is round. (not discussed in lecture, but could be on the exam)
- What is the precession of the Earth.
- What is the Ptolemaic model of the solar system.
- Relation of astrology and astronomy.
- What is the Copernican or heliocentric model of the solar system.
- What tests favor the heliocentric model over the Ptolemaic model of the solar system.
Chapter 2: Orbits and Gravity
- Elliptic orbits, properties of an ellipse.
- Kepler's laws and facts related to them.
- Newton's laws and facts related to them.
- 2.3 Universal Gravity
- 2.4 Orbits in the Solar System
- 2.5 Motions of Satellites and Spacecraft
- Discovery of Neptune
Chapter 3: Earth, Moon, and Sky
- 3.1 Earth and Sky
- 3.2 The Seasons
- 3.3 Keeping Time
- 3.4 The Calendar
- What causes the phases of the moon.
- How frequently does the moon rotate.
- What is the dark side of the moon.
- What causes tides.
- How many tides are there each day.
- When do we get especially high tides.
- 3.7 Eclipses of the Sun and Moon
Chapter 4: Radiation and Spectra
- The basic structure of atoms.
- 4.1 The Nature of Light
- 4.2 The Electromagnetic Spectrum
- What are waves and how are they characterized?
- What is a photon?
- Blackbody or thermal spectra
- Absorption and emission spectra.
- The structure of atoms.
- Energy levels in atoms and the relation to spectra.
- 4.6 The doppler effect.
Chapter 5: Astronomical Instruments
- General properties of telescopes.
- Refracting and reflecting telescopes.
- Locations of telescopes.
- 5.3 Optical detectors and instruments
- 5.4 Radio telescopes
- 5.5 Observations outside Earth's atmosphere
© Robert Harr 2005