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Transcript of ASTRONOMY
WHAT IS ASTRONOMY?
The study of planets, stars, galaxies, & intergalactic and interstellar space.
Who made the first star map?
When did people know that the Earth was round?
When were sunspots discovered?
Aristotle was a Greek philosopher who lived between 384-322 B.C. He mistakenly believed that the Earth was at the center of the universe and made up of only four elements:
He also thought that celestial bodies such as the sun, moon, and stars, were perfect and divine, and made of a fifth element called ether.
was a Greek philosopher who lived between
Galileo Galilei was an Italian astronomer and physicist who lived between 1564-1642. He challenged Aristotle's proposition that heavenly bodies were divine and therefore perfect and blemish-free.
Galileo was the first person to use a telescope to look at the heavens. He discovered sunspots, and craters and peaks in the moon. Galileo's work offended the Roman Catholic Church and he was sentenced to house arrest for the later years of his life. Today, he is remembered as a martyr for scientific truth.
Thousands of years ago, the earliest civilizations observed the skies. Stonehenge shows some alignments with the Sun and the Moon.
Astronomers of the past have built the foundation for today's astronomy.
Who are these scientists and mathematicians?
Galileo laid the groundwork for the study of gravity by demonstrating that the
weight of an object does not affect its rate of fall
Galileo also discovered
the four moons of Jupiter
; observed and recorded the
phases of Venus
; studied the
tried by The Inquisition
in the 1600's for teaching against the current belief of the Catholic Church (that the sun was center of the universe). He was later declared innocent by John Paul II in the 1980's.
was a German astronomer who lived between
. He introduced three important
laws of planetary motion
helped the Copernican model
of the solar system
During his life, Kepler also cast horoscopes and wrote science fiction novels.
-a German-born American physicist, developed the
Theory of Relativity
to explain motion of particles traveling at the speed of light
American astronomer, who first
discovered light beyond our galaxy
incorporated religious arguments
and reasoning into his work. He believed that
God had created the world according to an intelligible plan
and he described his new astronomy as
He was visiting the United States when Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933 and, being Jewish, did not go back to Germany, where he had been a professor at the Berlin Academy of Sciences.
"Imagination is more important than knowledge."
"The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once."
"Everything should be as simple as possible, but not simpler."
believed the laws of physics are the same everywhere.
So on Earth, we have to deal with the same laws of light and gravity as other things that are way out there in the universe.
It’s all relative, you might say.
The speed of light is a constant.
Edwin Hubble also devised the most commonly used
system for classifying galaxies
, grouping them according to their appearance in photographic images. He arranged the different groups of galaxies in what became known as the
that some say looks like a tuning fork.
Hubble changed the view of the scientific community with his
Expanding Universe Theory
) is an American theoretical physicist and cosmologist at MIT. He developed a new theory called the
as an addition to the Big Bang Model. His Inflation theory
predicts that the universe is flat and infinite
was a British theoretical physicist and cosmologist with an amazing mind. He proved that black holes emit radiation and eventually evaporate and explored relativity.
Despite being completely immobile as a result of ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease), he wrote numerous books to bring astronomy, physics, math, and cosmology to the general public.
(American) could be called
'the astronomer of the people'.
He made the science of astronomy popular with the general public by recording documentaries and
producing the 'Cosmos' television show.
He is best known for his
to the scientific
search for extraterrestrial life
, which continues today- there have been a number of missions to Mars to search for signs of life.
Sagan with a model of the Viking lander that would land on Mars
Astronomy attempts to answer many questions.
, Greek for 'indivisible'. Democritus
in the universe was
made up of atoms
, which were microscopic and indestructible.
He understood that the
Milky Way was a large collection of stars
and also thought that
space was limitless
was a Greek philosopher who lived between
at the center of the universe
What are they?
that celestial bodies such as the
sun, moon, and stars, were perfect and divine
, and were
made up of
a fifth element called
was a Greek scientist who lived from
276 to 194 B.C
. He studied astronomy, geography, and math. He is best known for being the
first person to calculate
circumference of the Earth
Eratosthenes was also the first to
calculate the tilt of the Earth's axis
(again with remarkable accuracy). It is thought, he may also have accurately calculated the distance from the Earth to the Sun and invented the leap day.
was a Greek astronomer who lived between
. He created the
first accurate star map
and kept a
with their relative brightnesses. (He was also the first founder of trigonometry.)
was a Greek astronomer who lived between 85-165 A.D. He put together his own ideas with those of Aristotle and Hipparchus and formed the geocentric theory. This theory states that the Earth was at the center of the universe and all other heavenly bodies circled it, a model which held for 1400 years until the time of Copernicus.
Polish mathematician and astronomer, formulated a model of the universe that placed the Sun rather than the Earth at its center (a heliocentric solar system). He published this model in his book called
"On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres"
. He also put the six known planets in proper order.
The Heliocentric view is a major event in the history of science since it started the
Most of the people of that time believed that the earth was located in the center of the universe (
) and that everything( including the sun) orbited the earth.
Italian scientist whose greatest contributions were his
descriptions of moving objects
"We are just a speck, on a speck, orbiting a speck, in the corner of a speck, in the middle of nowhere."
~ Bill Nye
Tycho Brahe was born in Denmark. He believed that in order to improve astronomy one must make accurate observations.
He was the first astronomer to make corrections for the refraction caused by the atmosphere (the change in direction of a ray of light as it passes from outer space into our atmosphere).
Because of Brahe's observations, a number of orbital anomalies never before noticed by other astronomers were made known. He not only designed new instruments, but he calibrated them and made sure he checked their accuracy.
Interesting Note: Tyco lost part of his nose in a sword duel, along with earning a large scar on his forehead. He then wore a silver or gold prosthetic nose that was kept in place with glue.
Here is a drawing of a sextant used by Tycho Brahe
Giovanni Domenico Cassini
1625 – 1712) was an Italian mathematician, astronomer and engineer. He is known for his work in the fields of astronomy and engineering where he discovered four satellites of the planet Saturn and noticed Saturn's rings were divided. He also observed and published surface markings on Mars and deteremined the rotation periods of Mars and Jupter.
The Cassini space probe, launched in 1997, was named after him and became the fourth to visit Saturn and the first to orbit the planet.
An engraving of the Paris Observatory during Cassini's time. The tower on the right is the "Marly Tower", a dismantled part of the Machine de Marly, moved there by Cassini for mounting long focus and aerial telescopes.
Cassini was one of the most ambitious efforts in planetary space exploration. A joint endeavour of NASA, ESA and the Italian space agency.
Newton often discussed the problem of orbital motion with Sir Edmond Halley which prompted him to explore basic concepts of gravity within the universe.
One of his finest accomplishments was his work in physics and celestial mechanics, which resulted in his theory of universal gravitation along with the
three laws of motion.
Williamina Paton Stevens Fleming (1857–1911) was a Scottish-American astronomer.
“Mina”, as she was known, quickly rose to a prominent position at Harvard and is considered to be the nation’s preeminent woman astronomer.
She helped develop a common designation system for stars and cataloged thousands of stars and other astronomical phenomena.
She is most noted for her discovery of the Horsehead Nebula in 1888.
SIR ISAAC NEWTON (1643 - 1727)
Sir Isaac Newton is an English mathemetician, astronomer, author, and physicist known as one of the greatest scientists. He has made contributions to every major area of science in his time period and has been recognized as one of the most influentional scientists involved in the scientific revolution.
He also applied his laws to Kepler's laws of orbital motion and determined the law of universal gravitation, allowing him to explain the orbits of comets, the causes of the tides, the precession of the Earth's axis, as well as the motion of the moon by the gravity of the sun.
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Newton is credited with writing the greatest scientific book in 1687 universally known as the Principia. In 1708, he was knighted by Queen Anne, the first scientist to be honored for his work
Hawking's illness left him in a wheelchair unable to speak except through a voice synthesizer.
Clyde Tombaugh 1906-1997
was an American astronomer who discovered Pluto in 1930, the first object to be discovered in what would later be identified as the Kuiper belt.
At the time of discovery, Pluto was considered a planet but was later reclassified as a dwarf planet in 2006. Tombaugh also discovered many asteroids.
He also called for the serious scientific research of unidentified flying objects, or UFOs.
Tombaugh at his family's farm with his homemade telescope (1928)
When Tombaugh was a young researcher at the Lowell Observatory in Arizona, he used the observatory's 13-inch astrograph to take photographs of the same section of sky several nights in a row.
He then used a blink comparator to compare the different images. When he shifted between the two images, a moving object, such as a planet, would appear to jump from one position to another, while the more distant objects such as stars would appear to be stationary.
Tombaugh noticed a moving object in his search, near the place predicted by Lowell, and additional observations showed it to have an orbit beyond that of Neptune. This ruled out classification as an asteroid and decided this was the ninth planet that Lowell had predicted.