Astronomy - Paper 5

Topics: Planet, Solar System, Earth Pages: 12 (3855 words) Published: May 13, 2002

What is astronomy? Astronomy consist of a lot of things that make up our solar system such as: the nine planets, asteroids, meteorites, the moon and the sun. Astronomy is also a fascinating hobby that can be followed by anyone. You do not need to be, as some people seem to imagine, ‘mathematically-minded’ , in order to start, or even to become a very experienced observer. Yet astronomy is one of the few hobbies where not only can you gain great enjoyment, but if you feel want to can very easily make observations of great scientific value.


I know that astronomy is getting more popular by the day since the comet came and all those people got killed. But that really did not have anything to do with astronomy, so I am not going to get into that. To me astronomy is really cool. If you have a telescope and it is a clear night you can see different constellations such as: Andromeda, Cassiopeia, Hercules, Pegasus, Perseus there are many more that is so cool. But it is even cooler to look up and see them in the sky. To do all of that you first have to be in the correct place. What you can do first is look for the north star, when you find that then you are all set. If you cannot find it just simply face north and look for the brightest star in that direction. If you still cannot find it buy a compass then hopefully you will find it. If you still cannot find it ask somebody, I made no grantee that you would find it these ways. That is really all I know about astronomy, but after this paper I bet you I will know a whole lot more.

PG. 1

The Sun is a huge, bright sphere that is mostly made up of gas that is about 5 billion years old. The Sun is the closest to the Earth, it is 145 million km distant (this distance is called an Astronomical Unit). The next closest star is 300,000 times further away. There are probably millions of similar stars in the Milky Way galaxy (and even more galaxies in the Universe), but the Sun is the most important to us because it supports life on Earth. The Sun’s power causes the seasons, the climate, the currents in the ocean, Th. circulation of the air, and the weather in the atmosphere.

The Sun is some 333,400 times more massive than Earth (mass=1.99x10 kg),and contains 99.86% of the mass of the entire solar system. It is held together by gravitational attraction, producing immense pressure and temperature at its core(more than a billion times that of the atmosphere on Earth, and a density about 160 times that of water).

At the core the temperature is 16 million degrees K, which is sufficient to sustain the fusion reactions. Wow, is that hot or what? I think its hot myself. Because the sun is gaseous, it rotates faster at the equator than at the poles. The sun’s surface known as the photospheres just the visible 500 km-thick layer from which most of the Sun’s radiation and light finally escapes, and is the place where sunspots are found. Above the photosphere lies the chromosphere that may be seen briefly during total solar eclipse as a reddish rim, caused by hot hydrogen atoms, around the Sun. Temperature steadily increases with altitude up to 50,000 K, while density drops to 100,000 timeless than in the photosphere. Above the chromosphere lies the corora (“crown”), extending outward from the Sun in the form of the “solar wind” to the edge of the solar system. The corora is extremely hot-millions of degrees K. The process that heats the corona is very mysterious and poorly understood, since laws of thermodynamics state that heat energy flows from a hotter to a cooler place. Mysterious phenomena, such as this, are studied by researchers in NASA’S Space Physics Division. PG. 2


Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun. Mercury rotates on its axis once every 58.9 days and circles the Sun once every 87.9 days. As a result Mercury rotates...
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