1 Thinking Like an Astronomer

1 Thinking like an astronomer

1.1 Astronomy gives us a universal context

1.1.1 Our place in the universe

Young, Monica. “Top 10 Astronomy News Stories for 2017,” Sky and Telescope (December 29. 2017). http://www.skyandtelescope.com/astronomy-news/top-10-astronomy-news-stories-for-2017/ .

1.1.2 The scale of the universe

1.1.3 The origin and evolution of the universe

1.1.4 An astronomer’s toolkit

1.2 Science is a way of viewing the world

1.2.1 The scientific method

Jeff Hester, “For your consideration: Constrained hallucinations,” Astronomy (46, 2, February 2018, p. 14)

1.2.2 The language of science

1.2.3 Scientific revolutions

1.3 Astronomers use mathematics to find patterns


2 Patterns in the sky—motions of Earth and the Moon

2              Patterns in the sky—motions of Earth and the Moon

2.1          Earth spins on its axis

2.1.1      The celestial sphere

2.1.2      The view from the poles

2.1.3      The view away from the poles

Brian Ventrudo, “Nicolas-Louis de Lacaille: The father of southern astronomy,” Sky and Telescope (134, 4, October 2017, pp. 34-40)

2.2          Revolution around the Sun leads to changes during the year

2.3          The Moon’s appearance chances as it orbits Earth

2.4          Shadows cause eclipses

3 Laws of Motion

3              Laws of motion

3.1          Since ancient times astronomers have studied the motions of the planets

3.2          Galileo was the first modern scientist

3.3          Newton’s laws govern motion

3.4          Gravity is a force between any two massive objects

3.5          Orbits are one body “falling around” another

4 Light and Telescopes

4             Light and Telescopes

4.1          What is light?

4.1.1      The speed of light

4.1.2      Light as a wave

4.1.3      Light as a particle

4.1.4      The electromagnetic spectrum

4.1.5      Light and matter

4.2          Cameras and spectrographs record astronomical data

4.3          Telescopes collect light

4.3.1      Introduction

Irion, R. “Prime Time.” Astronomy (February 2001, p. 46). On how time is allotted on the major research telescopes.

4.3.2      Refractors and reflectors

4.3.3      Radio telescopes

Yvette Cendes, “Cosmic firecrackers: The mystery of fast radio bursts,” Astronomy (46, 2, February 2018, pp. 20-23)

Elizabeth Gibney, “Why ultra-powerful radio bursts are the most perplexing mystery in astronomy,” Nature News (534, 7609, 28 June, 04 Rev July 2016). (http://www.nature.com/news/why-ultra-powerful-radio-bursts-are-the-most-perplexing-mystery-in-astronomy-1.20175 )

Elizabeth Gibney, “Astronomers grapple with new era of fast radio bursts.” Nature News (543, 7643, 26 Feb 2016). https://www.nature.com/news/astronomers-grapple-with-new-era-of-fast-radio-bursts-1.21557

Lorimer, D. R., M .Bailes., M. A McLaughlin, D. J. Narkevic, and F. Crawford, “A bright millisecond radio burst of extragalactic origin,” Science (318, 5851, 2 Nov 2007, pp. 777–780).

Spitler, L. G. et al. ” A repeating fast radio burst,” Nature (531, pp. 202–205, 2 March, 2016). https://www.nature.com/articles/nature17168b

Chatterjee, S. et al. “A Direct Localization of a Fast Radio Burst And Its Host,” Nature (541, pp. 58–61, 5 January, 2017)

Dennis Overbye, “Magnetic Secrets of Mysterious Radio Bursts in a Faraway Galaxy,” The New York Times (January 20, 2018). A version of this article appears in print on January 23, 2018, on Page D3 with the headline: Secrets of Mysterious Radio Bursts”.

Michilli, D., A. Seymour, D. Whitlow. “An Extreme Magneto-Ionic Environment Associated with the Fast Radio Burst Source FRB121102,” Nature (553, January 10, 2018, pp. 182-185)

Boyajian, Tabetha S., et al. “The First Post-Kepler Brightness Dips of KIC 8462852,” arXiv:1801.00732 [astro-ph.SR] : Tabby’s star.

Stephen Clark, “Arecibo observatory will keep scanning the skies,” Astronomy Now (November 16, 2017), retrieved November 28, 2017, from https://astronomynow.com/2017/11/16/arecibo-observatory-will-keep-scanning-the-skies/

4.3.4      Observing at other wavelengths

4.3.5      Resolution and the atmosphere

Laura Fissel, “Science in the Stratosphere,” Sky and Telescope, 135, 2, February 2018, pp. 14-21

Blades, J. C. “Fixing the Hubble one last time.” Sky & Telescope (October 2008, p. 26). On the last Shuttle service mission and what the Hubble was then capable of doing.

5 Formation of Stars and Planets

5              The formation of stars and planets

                5.1          Molecular clouds are the cradles of star formation
                5.2          The protostar becomes a star

5.2.1      Stars and protostars

5.2.2      A shifting balance: The evolving protostar

Ted Forte, “the inconstancy of Nebulae,” Sky and Telescope, 135, 2, February 2018, pp. 22-27

                5.3          Planets form in a disk around the protostar

5.3.1      Convergence of evidence

5.3.2      The collapsing cloud and angular momentum

5.3.3      The formation of an accretion disk

5.3.4      Creation of large objects

Jesse Emspak, “New insights into how the Solar System formed,” Astronomy, 46, 5, May 2018, pp. 22-27. Includes Grand Tack model and Nice model.

                5.4          The inner and outer disk have different compositions

5.5          A case study: The Solar System

5.6          Planetary systems are common

5.6.1      Introduction

Runyon, Kirby D. and S. Alan Stern. “An organically grown planet definition,” Astronomy, 46, 5, May 2018, pp. 28-29.

                                5.6.2      The search for extrasolar planets   Radial velocity method   Transit method   Gravitational lensing   Astrometry

Brown, A. “How Gaia will map a billion stars.” Astronomy (December 2014, p. 32). Nice review of the mission to do photometry and spectroscopy of all stars above a certain brightness.

                                         Direct imaging

5.6.3      Other planetary systems

Bochanski, John , “Exoplanets: Cool dust discovered around Proxima Centauri,” Sky and Telescope, 135, 2, February 2018, p. 11.

David W. Dunham, “Results from October’s Triton cover-up,” Sky and Telescope, November 6, 2017 accessed at http://www.skyandtelescope.com/astronomy-news/surprising-results-from-octobers-triton-occultation/ retrieved April 4, 2018

6 Terrestrial worlds in the inner Solar System

6 Terrestrial worlds in the inner Solar System

6.1 Impacts help shape the terrestrial planets

6.1.1 Overview

6.1.2 Impacts and craters

Charles Wood, “The vagaries of crater ‘tweens’,” Sky and Telescope (134, 4, October 2017, pp. 52-53

6.1.3 Calibrating a cosmic clock

6.2 The surfaces of terrestrial planets are affected by processes in the interior

6.3 Planetary surfaces evolve through tectonism

6.4 Volcanism reveals a geologically active planet

6.5 Wind and water modify surfaces

6.5.1 Weathering

6.5.2 Wind erosion

6.5.3 Water erosion

6.5.4 The search for water in the Solar System

Jake Parks, “Massive, deep deposits of ice found on Mars,” Astronomy (January 11, 2018) accessed at http://www.astronomy.com/news/2018/01/martian-ice?utm_source=SilverpopMailing&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=News0_ASY_180119_000000_Final&utm_content=&spMailingID=32687564&spUserID=MTk1MDY0NDg4MzE2S0&spJobID=1202438089&spReportId=MTIwMjQzODA4OQS2 Retrieved April 12, 2018

Colin M. Dundas, Ali M. Bramson, Lujendra Ojha, James J. Wray, Michael T. Mellon, Shane Byrne, and Alfred S. McEwen. “Exposed subsurface ice sheets in the martian mid-latitudes.” Science (359, 6372, Jan 12, 2018, pp. 199-201)

7 Atmospheres of Venus, Earth, and Mars

7 Atmospheres of Venus, Earth, and Mars

7.1 Atmospheres change over time

            7.1.1 Formation and loss of primary atmospheres

            7.1.2 The formation of secondary atmospheres

7.2 Secondary atmospheres evolve

            7.2.1 The effect of planetary mass on a planet’s atmosphere

            7.2.2 The atmospheric greenhouse effect

            7.2.3 Similarities and differences among the terrestrial planets

7.3 Earth’s atmosphere has detailed structure

            7.3.1 Life and the composition of Earth’s atmosphere

            7.3.2 The layers of Earth’s atmosphere

            7.3.2 Wind

7.4 The atmospheres of Venus and Mars differ from Earth’s

            7.4.1 Venus

            7.4.2 Mars

7.5       Greenhouse gases affect global climates