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Standard 2.d– Know the types of equipment astronomers use to study space Big Deal: How can astronomers see objects in space that are so far away? Objects in space give off different types of electromagnetic radiation which allow us to understand things about them. Electromagnetic radiation – a wave in space that has both electric and magnetic properties Visible light – given off by lights in our home X-rays – used for medical purposes and for security reasons Radio waves – used to broadcast music, television signals Radio Telescopes Very Large Array, New Mexico Location Key Features Limitations Advantages Study Subjects Arecibo Observatory, Puerto Rico Radio Telescopes Arecibo Image of Venus VLA Image of M87 Galaxy Location Isolated regions (valley floors) to avoid other radio signals Key Features Large radius because of weak signals; array of many to pinpoint locations Limitations Interference with other radio signals; poor resolution Advantages Images can be detected through interstellar dust; Images can be detected from objects that are too cool to give off light Study Subjects Distant galaxies, supernova remnants Optical Telescopes Palomar Observatory, California Hubble Space Telescope Location Key Features Limitations Advantages Study Subjects Optical Telescopes Palomar Image of Moon Crater Hubble Image of Messier 101 Location Typically up high (mountains, space) to avoid light pollution Key Features Large domes to shield out light Limitations Scattering of light by atmosphere Advantages Images can be directly viewed; most common and user friendly telescope Study Subjects Planets, stars, near galaxies X-ray Telescopes Chandra Space Observatory Location Key Features Limitations Advantages Study Subjects XMM Newton X-Ray Telescope X-ray Telescopes XMM Image of RSW86 Supernova Chandra Image of Cas A Supernova Location Up in space orbiting around Earth Key Features Orbiting because x-rays do not penetrate the atmosphere Limitations Hard to maintain Advantages Images can be detected from objects that do not give off visible light (like black holes) Study Subjects Black holes, supernovas Standard 2.d– Know the types of equipment astronomers use to study space Bottom Line: Astronomers use optical telescopes, radio telescopes, and X-ray telescopes to study different parts of the universe Standard 2.g– Know the evidence for how the universe has been expanding Big Deal: How did the present universe come about? Cosmology – the study of the origin, nature, and evolution of the universe To explain the origin of the universe, most scientists believe in the Big Bang Theory. Big Bang Theory -- the theory stating that universe began as a point in space about 13.7 billion years ago and has been expanding ever since. Lots of different scientists contributed, but much of the work was done by Edwin Hubble in the 1920’s and 1930’s The biggest evidence for the Big Bang was the redshift of galaxies. What is redshift? When a wave source moves, waves change shape. Wave sources that move away cause waves to stretch. Wave sources that move closer cause waves to compress. Sound changes pitch. Light changes color. Galaxies are made up of stars that give off light (EM radiation). The types of radiation depends on the source. Hubble expected to find certain wavelengths of radiation from certain galaxies. What he actually noticed was that waves were actually longer than expected. Having longer waves caused them to appear red – a “redshift” If the majority of galaxies are “redshifted”, they are moving away from the center and the universe is expanding as a whole. Because of Hubble’s original work, we now know: •That everything in the universe started from a single point in space. •That is all began about 13.7 billion years ago. •That the universe is continuing to expand Standard 2.g– Know the evidence for how the universe has been expanding Bottom Line: An explosion 13.7 bya caused all of the matter in the universe to expand from a singular point in space. Standard 2.b– Know what a galaxy is and what it contains Big Deal: Where is most of the mass of the universe found? The universe is composed of galaxies that come in different shapes and characteristics. Sombrero Galaxy – 29 million ly M81 Galaxy –away 12 million ly away Galaxy – a group of stars, dust, and gas held together by gravity Sprial Galaxy Cause Contraction by gravity Abundance Less common but easily seen Brightness Very bright Other Lots of Components interstellar gas Star Formation Forms new stars Size Very Large Movement Rotating arms Shape Disk-shaped Elliptical Galaxy Cause Colliding galaxies Abundance Most common Brightness Dim Other Little gas and Components dust Star Formation Doesn’t make new stars Size All sizes Movement No rotation Shape Elongated or spherical Irregular Galaxy Cause Interacting galaxies Abundance Rare Brightness Somewhat Bright Other Components Lots of interstellar gas Star Formation Forms new stars Size Small Movement No rotation Shape No specific shape Galaxies are parts of galaxy clusters, which are groups of galaxies held together by gravity. Milky Way Galaxy 100,000 ly across Andromeda Galaxy 2.5 million ly away (closest spiral galaxy) The Milky Way Galaxy and the Andromeda Galaxy belong to the Local Galaxy Cluster (LGC) Standard 2.b– Know what a galaxy is and what it contains Bottom Line: Most of the mass of the universe is found in one of three types of galaxies – spiral, elliptical, or irregular galaxies. Standard 2.b– Know how big a galaxy is Big Deal: How do astronomers measure distances in space? Distances on the Earth are measured in miles Circumference of Earth -- 25,000 miles. Distance to moon -- 240,000 miles Distances in our solar system are most conveniently measured in astronomical units (AU). 1 AU = the distance from the Earth to the Sun (93 million miles) Distance to Mars -- 1.5 AU (140 million miles) Distance to Neptune -- 30 AU (2.8 billion miles) Distances beyond our solar system are most conveniently measured in light years (LY) Light travels 186,000 miles per second. 1 light year = the distance light travels in one year (6 trillion miles) Proxima Centauri is the closest star outside of our solar system. It is 270,000 AU away or 4.2 light years away. Canis Major is the closest galaxy outside of the Milky Way It is 1.6 billion AU away or 25,000 light years away. Standard 2.b– Know how big a galaxy is Bottom Line: Astronomical units are used to measure things in our solar system and light years are used to measure things beyond that Standard 2.b– Know what a galaxy is and what it contains Big Deal: What happens inside of a spiral galaxy like the Milky Way? The galaxy we belong to is called the Milky Way Galaxy. A few facts about the Milky Way: 100,000 light years •Our sun is one of over 100 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy •The Milky Way is just one of billions of galaxies in our universe •The Milky Way is about 100,000 light-years across and 10,000 light-years thick 10,000 light years •It is a spiral galaxy with arms that rotate around the center because of gravity •It is believed that there is a black hole at the middle Black Hole Basic Parts of the Milky Way (and other spiral galaxies) Arms – the rotating projections coming out of the center. This is where stars are born Nucleus – the center of the galaxy where stars eventually die Disk – the collection of arms that project in a plane from the center Basic Parts of the Milky Way (and other spiral galaxies) Halo – the region in space above and below the disk containing small clusters of stars Globular Clusters – groups of stars around the galactic disk that move independently Standard 2.b– Know what a galaxy is and what it contains Bottom Line: Spiral galaxies rotate because of gravity and are where stars are born. Standard 2.b– Know the different types of stars Big Deal: How do other stars compare to the Sun? All stars exist because of a balance in the star between gravity and nuclear fusion (like in our Sun). Stars are different due to their: •Temperature •Brightness •Size •Elements that form Star Temperature Blue stars are very hot White stars are hot Yellow stars are warm Red stars are cool Star Brightness Apparent Magnitude – measures how bright a star appears to be based on how big it is, how hot it is, and how far away it is (the larger the number, the dimmer the star) Absolute magnitude – measures a star’s actual brightness regardless of its distance away (as if they were side-by-side A H-R diagram categorizes stars based on their temperatures, their sizes, and their brightness Star Size Low-mass stars: •Are red in their main sequence stage and produce helium from hydrogen •Have NO giant phase •Change to white dwarfs when fusion stops Star Size Medium-mass stars (like our Sun): •Are yellow in their main sequence stage and produce helium from hydrogen •Change to red giants and produce carbon/oxygen •Change to white dwarfs when fusion stops Star Size Massive stars: •Are blue in their main sequence stage and produce helium from hydrogen •Change to supergiants and produce heavier metals like iron and nickel •Collapse dramatically when fusion stops forcing an explosion called a supernova (which creates even heavier metals like gold) •Form either a neutron star or a black hole if large enough Star Size Standard 2.b– Know what a galaxy is and what it contains Bottom Line: Spiral galaxies rotate because of gravity and are where stars are born.