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Out of this World
13.1 Intro to Space
What is Space like?
Space is cold, dark, and very empty.
Scattered here and there throughout the
emptiness are stars, planets, moons,
asteroids, comets, meteoroids, and dust.
People have spent years looking up at the
sky and studying the things in space. First
they looked with their eyes, then with
Today people can travel to space aboard
space shuttles, and spacecraft to other
planets and moons.
What do you know about Space?
What do you see when you look up at the
night sky?
Do you listen to news reports about space
Have you ever visited a planetarium?
Have you ever noticed that sometimes you
can see certain stars more easily than
at other times? Or that you can see
the stars better if you in one place
rather than another?
What do you want to know?
What other planets are made of?
How hot is the Sun?
How do astronauts survive in space?
Make a list of questions you have about
How will you find out?
You are going to build models and do
hands-on explorations that will help you
discover answers to many of your
Also, the course will include written
components, oral presentations, and
visual displays.
Work will be done individually and in
groups, depending on the assignment.
Never look directly at the
Sun. You can
permanently damage
your eyes. It only takes
a few minutes to do
permanent damage!
The power of the sun is actually about
4 x 1026 Watts
(The Physics Factbook).
Scientist Galileo Galilei
went blind after
observing the Sun
with his telescope.
Sunspot Loops in Ultraviolet
Light – Nearly everything we know and study in
Astronomy is based on light, either as a reflection,
or an original source
The Universe
The Universe is everything that exists,
including all matter and energy
everywhere (EVERYWHERE).
By studying stars, planets, and other
objects in the sky, you will learn where
Earth is located in the universe.
You should also understand that we view
the universe from a very specific point
of view that is unique to Earth (it is a
perspective) BLM 13.1a
Winter star map:
Connect the dots
On the hand-out you’ve been given:
1. locate the following constellations
as best as you can,
2. then see what other groups you
can link together to form recognizable
(use your imagination and be creative)
What you just did was
basically what early
astronomers did hundreds if
not thousands of years ago.
You are creating a ‘map’ of
space based on landmarks
and patterns you see.
Astronomy is the study of what is beyond
the Earth. It is the oldest science of
As early as 2000 BC, Babylonians were
using the sundial, the oldest known
instrument for telling time. The shadow
of the sundial correlates with the Sun’s
position in the sky and hence with the
time of day.
Astronomy vs Astrology
- The science that
deals with the
universe beyond
our own
- Based on
- Factual
- Not
a science, but
also deals with
things in space
- Based on belief
and assumptions
-Interprets affects
of otherworldly
bodies on human
As an intro into the course, I thought it
might be good to lay some groundwork
regarding space and the universe