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Exam 1 Study Guide Part 1 - Vocabulary and Definitions

by: Brandon Frangipani

Exam 1 Study Guide Part 1 - Vocabulary and Definitions ASTR 1035

Marketplace > East Tennessee State University > Physics and Astronomy > ASTR 1035 > Exam 1 Study Guide Part 1 Vocabulary and Definitions
Brandon Frangipani

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The first part to the Exam 1 study guide of ASTR 1035 - Life in the Universe at East Tennessee State University (and for other colleges if needed to use).
Life in the Universe
Dr. Henson
Study Guide
50 ?




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This 3 page Study Guide was uploaded by Brandon Frangipani on Tuesday September 6, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to ASTR 1035 at East Tennessee State University taught by Dr. Henson in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 19 views. For similar materials see Life in the Universe in Physics and Astronomy at East Tennessee State University.

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Date Created: 09/06/16
ASTR 1035 – Life in the Universe Exam 1 Study Guide (Part 1 – Vocabulary/Definitions) Made by Brandon Frangipani Vocabulary/Definitions: Extrasolar planet – A planet orbiting a star other than our Sun. Solar system – A star (sometimes more than one star) and all the objects that orbit it. Astrobiology – The study of life on Earth and beyond; it emphasizes research into questions of the origin of life, the conditions under which life can survive, and the search for life beyond Earth. Virus versus bacteria – Bacteria – One of the three domains of life, the others are Eukarya and Archaea. Virus – An infective agent that typically consists of a nucleic acid molecule in a protein coat, is too small to be seen by light microscopy, and is able to multiply only within the living cells of a host. Habitable world – A world with environmental conditions under which life could potentially arise or survive. Habitable zone – The region around a star in which planets could potentially have surface temperatures at which liquid water could exist. Organic (carbon based) versus inorganic (silicon based) – Organic – Generally, any molecule containing carbon and associated with life. Note that we do not generally consider molecules such as carbon dioxide (CO2), and carbonate minerals to be organic, since they are commonly found independent of life. Hydrogen is also in an organic molecule. Inorganic – Molecules that can either consist of either carbon or hydrogen, but not both. SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) – A scientific effort to discover intelligent life elsewhere in the universe, primarily by attempting to discover radio signals that indicate intelligence. LAWKI (Life as We Know It) – Life in the way which we see/understand it. Or more commonly, as it currently is. Atomists philosophy (also known as Atomism) – A theoretical approach that regards something as interpretable through analysis into distinct, separable, and independent elementary components. Aristotelian philosophy (also known as Aristotelianism) – A school or tradition of philosophy from the Socratic (or Classical) period of ancient Greece, that takes its defining inspiration from the work of the 4 Century B.C. philosopher Aristotle. Geocentric model – Any of the ancient Greek models of the universe that had Earth at the center of a celestial sphere. Heliocentric model – the astronomical model in which the Earth and planets revolve around the Sun at the center of the Solar System. Rotation versus revolution – Rotation – The spinning of an object around its axis. Revolution – The movement of one object around a center or another object. An example of revolution is movement of the Earth around the Sun, when the Earth makes a revolution on its axis in 24 hours. Precession – The gradual wobble of the axis of a rotating object around a vertical line. Celestial sphere – The imaginary sphere on which objects in the sky appear to reside when observed from Earth. Ecliptic – The Sun’s apparent annual path among the constellations. Retrograde motion – The apparent motion of a planet in a direction opposite to that of other bodies within its system, as observed from a particular vantage point. Direct motion or prograde motion is motion in the same direction as other bodies. Stellar parallax – The apparent shift in the position of a nearby star (relative to distant objects) that occurs as we view the star from different positions in Earth’s orbit of the Sun each year. Astronomical unit – The average distance (semi-major axis) of the Earth from the Sun, which is about 150 million kilometers. Elliptical orbit – A small body in space orbits a large one (like a planet around the Sun) along an elliptical path, with the large body being located at one of the ellipse foci. Two bodies with similar mass orbiting around a common barycenter with elliptic orbits. Empirical laws – A law that represents a type of behavior that has been found across a number of datasets and, indeed, across a range of types of data sets. Hypothesis – A tentative model that is proposed to explain some set of observed facts but that has not yet been rigorously tested and confirmed. Theory – A model of some aspect of nature that has been rigorously tested and has passed all tests to date. Occam’s razor – A principle often used in science, holding that scientists should prefer the simpler of two models that agree equally well with observations; named after the medieval scholar William of Occam (1285 A.D. – 1349 A.D.) Paradigm – A general pattern of thought that tends to shape scientific study during a particular time period.


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