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CLEMSON / Science / AS 101 / What is the age of our Solar System?

What is the age of our Solar System?

What is the age of our Solar System?


School: Clemson University
Department: Science
Course: Solar System Astronomy
Professor: Sean brittain
Term: Spring 2016
Tags: astronomy and solar system astronomy
Cost: 50
Name: Astronomy Unit 1 Exam Study Guide
Description: This study guide covers Chapters 1-3 of the textbook. Most of this information comes directly from the Pearson MyLabs, where Dr. Brittain stated 70% of our test will be on. In addition I have included the phases of the Moon, and other bulleted lists that were brought up during class or on the homework/quizzes.
Uploaded: 01/27/2016
5 Pages 7 Views 9 Unlocks


What is the age of our Solar System?

The Observable Universe is what we can see in PRINCIPLE. The Solar System consists of the Sun and all objects that orbit it The Universe is a sum total of all matter and energy

The age of our Solar System is 1/3 the age of the Universe Our entire Solar System rotates around the center of the Milky Way  Galaxy about once every 230 million years

The Big Bang occurred about 14 Billion years ago, and marks the start  of the expansion of the Universe.

Cosmic Address (in order from Smallest to Largest):

∙ Earth

∙ Solar System

∙ Milky Way Galaxy

∙ Local Group

∙ Local Supercluster

∙ Universe

Objects in the Universe (in order from Furthest to Closest to Earth) ∙ Star on the far side of Andromeda Galaxy

∙ Star on the near side of Andromeda Galaxy

∙ Star on the far side of Milky Way Galaxy

The Sun appears to rise and set because Earth rotates, when?

∙ Star near the center of Milky Way Galaxy

∙ Orion Nebula

∙ Alpha Centauri

∙ Pluto

∙ Sun

Expanding Universe: Average distance between galaxies is growing  with time

∙ Astronomers use distance and speed to show that the universe is expanding

Local Raisin Activity:

∙ Observer at Local Raisin would see Raisins 1, 2, and 3 move  away from her.

∙ Observer at Raisin 2 would see Raisins 1 and 3 move away from  her.


∙ An observer in any galaxy sees more distant galaxies moving  away faster.

∙ Galaxies stay roughly the same size as the universe expands ∙ Average distance increases with time in between galaxies in the  universe. Don't forget about the age old question of aris ouksel

∙ Galaxies are getting farther apart with time

When we look into space, we are essentially looking into the  past.

What is a stellar parallax?

Earth’s orbital path around the Sun lies in the ecliptic plane. Earth rotates on an axis while orbiting around the Sun ∙ This tilt on the axis causes seasons because it causes different  portions of Earth to receive more or less sunlight at different  times of the year

∙ In January and July, Earth’s axis points toward the star Polaris ∙ The Sun appears to rise and set because Earth rotates once  every day

∙ You are 1 year older every time Earth rotates the Sun It is hotter in summer than in winter because the Sun is higher in the  sky and we have more hours of daylight

If it is summer in Australia, it is winter in America.

∙ When the NORTHERN Hemisphere is closest to the Sun (in order  from closest to farthest)

o Winter, Spring, Fall, Summer

∙ When the SOUTHERN Hemisphere is closest to the Sun (closest  to farthest)

o Summer, Fall, Spring, Winter

THIS CONCLUDES THAT…. Earth-Sun distance has NO effect on  the seasons

Two stars in the same constellation can actually be very far away from  each other.

MOST Extreme Seasons: Planet’s at a tilt of 90°

LEAST Extreme Seasons: Planet’s at a tilt of 0°

∙ Mars is the most like Earth with relatively normal seasons and a  tilt of 25.2

∙ Uranus has the most extreme seasons with a tilt of 97.9° ∙ Jupiter has the least extreme seasons with a tilt of 3.1° Retrograde:

∙ Mars appears to move east relative to the stars. BUT during  apparent retrograde motion, Mars appears to move west relative  to the stars. If you want to learn more check out david rosenbaum ucr

∙ To document: record position among the constellations over a  period of several months

∙ When we see Mars going through apparent retrograde motion,  what is ACTUALLY happening is that Earth is passing by Mars in  its orbit around the Sun

∙ In retrograde motion, Mars appears brightest and crosses the  meridian at midnight


∙ Lunar Eclipse:

o Moon must be FULL and passing through Earth’s orbital  plane

o Anyone looking from the night side of Earth can see a total  lunar eclipse

o A partial lunar eclipse begins when the Moon first touches  the Earth’s umbra

∙ Solar Eclipse:

o Moon must be NEW and passing through Earth’s orbital  plane

o When the New Moon is too far from Earth to completely  cover the Sun, either a partial solar eclipse or an annular  solar eclipse occurs.

o The Moon’s orbital plane is tilted about 5°, which is why we don’t see a solar eclipse at every Full Moon

Stellar Parallax

∙ Depends on distance; the greater the distance the smaller the  parallax

∙ We view nearby stars from different positions in Earth’s orbit at  different times of year

∙ S.P. proves the Earth is orbiting the Sun and not at the center of  the Universe

∙ Parallax angles are too small to measure with the naked eye Moon

∙ Phases (in order from first to last):

o New Moon

o Waxing Crescent

o 1st Quarter

o Waxing Gibbous

o Full Moon

o Waning Gibbous

o 3rd Quarter If you want to learn more check out colorado chem

o Waning Crescent

∙ Waxing Crescent:  

o Sets 2-3 hours after the Sun sets

o Visible near the Western Horizon about an hour after  Sunrise

∙ Waning Crescent:

o Occurs about 3 days before a New Moon

o Visible near the Eastern Horizon just before sunrise ∙ Full Moon:

o Occurs 14 days after New Moon

o Rises at about the same time the Sun sets

o Visible due South at midnight


∙ Full whenever it’s on the opposite side of the Sun from the Earth, but we cannot see it because it is so close to the Sun  ∙ Full Venus highest at noon Don't forget about the age old question of Who was Sir Douglas Bader?

∙ New Venus highest at noon

∙ You would NEVER see Venus high in the sky at midnight Kepler’s Laws of Planetary Motion

∙ Kepler’s 1st Law:

o Earth is slightly closer to the Sun on one side of its orbit  than on the other side

o The Sun is located slightly off-center at ONE FOCUS from  the middle of each planet’s orbit  

∙ Kepler’s 2nd Law:

o Planets move faster when closer to the Sun (period of  perihelion)

o As a planet moves around its orbit, it sweeps out equal  areas in equal times

o Jupiter will be traveling most slowly around the Sun when  at aphelion (point of orbit where planet is furthest from  the Sun)

o Pluto will be traveling fastest around the Sun when at  perihelion (point of orbit where planet is closest to the  Sun)

∙ Kepler’s 3rd Law:

o Inner planets orbit the Sun at higher speeds than outer  planets.

o p^2=a^3  

 Measure period in years and the semimajor axis in  AU


∙ Sun-centered Model: more natural explanation for apparent  retrograde in the sky, and allowed for calculation of the orbital  periods and distances of planets Don't forget about the age old question of the pull of electron density through sigma bonds
We also discuss several other topics like cm101 fun full

Tycho Brahe

∙ Collected data that enabled Kepler to discover the laws of  planetary motion


∙ Challenged the idea that objects in the heavens were perfect by  observing sunspots on the Sun and mountains on the Moon ∙ Observation of the phases of Venus offered direct proof of a  planet orbiting the Sun  

Ptolemaic Model: explained retrograde motion by saying all planets  move along small circles that move on larger circles around the Earth.

Geocentric model: what we see in the sky while having Earth located at the center of the Universe

Heliocentric Model: what we see in the sky while having the Sun at the  center of the Universe

Highly eccentric: some parts of orbit are much closer to the Sun than  others

Scientific model must make predictions that are testable. ∙ If something is falsifiable (can be proven false), it can be tested. ∙ It doesn’t have to be true

A theory must explain a wide range of observations or experiments ∙ Even the strongest experiments can never be 100%  proven

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