Astronomy midterm 1 study guide

Topics: Celestial sphere, Apparent magnitude, Celestial coordinate system Pages: 5 (1679 words) Published: December 11, 2013
CH 2
-According to Aristotle, larger, heavier objects were supposed to fall to the ground faster than smaller, lighter objects. Galileo performed a number of experiments to Aristotle’s pronouncements, that two objects of different weight dropped from the same height fall down at exactly the same rate. -Copernicus published his findings in 1543, the same years as his death, in a text entitled (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres). -Heliocentric theory was proposed by Aristarchus of Samos, Ptolemy created the Geocentric theory -Occams Razor: discard the more complex theory and choose the simpler one -should two theories of unequal complexity be equally successful modern version of Oc Razor tell us discard more complex theory -The geocentric theory was accepted primarily because the Ptolemaic view with its system of orbits and “suborbits” or “epicycles” did a better job of “saving the phenomenon” -Quantum mechanics, which was developed only a few decades ago to describe the behavior of phenomena at the atomic or microscopic level of nature -The principle of universality states that the basic principles and laws governing the behavior of the physical world do not change with time or one’s location in the universe. -also universality principle states experiments can be reproduced at any time or location -Theory must be expanded on, amended, or changed, but only in accordance with a rule of the scientific method called the correspondence principle -Correspondence principle pt 2: any new or revised theory must not only account discrepancy between experimental results and predictions of old theory but must be successful where old theory was successful -All of the observations were collected by Galileo into a short but impressive work entitled Sidereus Nuncius (The Starry Messenger). Galileo did (Dialogue on the Two Chief World Systems)

-Greek and Hellenistic views of nature were found to be lacking in saving the phenomena, -Pythagroas believe that fundamental relationship exist between number and physical world -when we draw point or straight line, such drawing can only “represent” that point or line -Plato: felt such representations were totally inadequate in determining the “true” nature of the universe. Such a determination could only be properly done at the “higher plane” of pure thought and reason. Conclusions drawn from observations and measurements made by the “eye of the body” were imperfect and not to be trusted, while conclusions drawn from the thought and reason of the “eye of the soul” were regarded as the essence of truth -Copernicus had managed to resurrect the idea of a heliocentric planetary system and place it on an equal intellectual footing with the geocentric system of Ptolemy -He found to his dismay that the Ptolemic scheme of orbits and epicycles had become extremely complicated. -More than 75 “wheels” were required by the Ptolemic system to describe, and imperfectly at that, the motions of seven objects in the sky. For Copernicus this was an intolerable situation and he set about the task of developing a less tedious method for his calculations. -Soon Copernicus was able to demonstrate that a somewhat simpler system was to be had by assuming that the Sun and not the Earth marked the center of the planetary system -Democritus proposed the atomic theory (things are made up of atoms) but was superseded by Aristotles simple view of everything made up of earth, water, air, and fire -Basic Assumptions: everything in life can be represented as numbers, use of models, occams razor, save the phenomenom, principle of universiality, correspondence principle, -Scientific observations: electronic observation, cheap, versatile, flexible, CH 3

-Angular diameter (measured in arcseconds)  =  (2.06 x 105) x (linear diameter)/distance Measurable quantities scientists use to describe the physical world: time, length, mass -The most commonly used coordinate system in astronomy is the equatorial or...
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