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Astronomy 101
Section 020
Lecture 1
John T. McGraw, Professor
Laurel Ladwig, Planetarium Manager
The syllabus
– The success of this class
depends upon your
– Responsibility
for assignments
to attend class
to prepare interesting,
educational lectures and
to talk to someone when
something isn’t right
A Brief Tour of the Universe
Our tour starts from our Earth, the only planet known to
harbor life.
Earth and its moon are almost a “double planet.”
Mars is a “rocky,” or terrestrial planet that once had
surface water.
The sun and planets to scale. Is our multi-planet solar
system unique?
Comets and asteroids also orbit the sun.
The Sun, a normal star, is the heart of our solar
All of the stars we see at night are in our Milky Way
So are all the nebulae that mark star birth and star death.
The Milky Way - self-portrait.
The Milky Way - detail.
(with apologies to Gary Larson)
Our tour continues with a visit to the nearest
galaxies - here the Large Magellanic Cloud.
Many galaxies are spirals, similar to our Milky Way.
The most numerous galaxies are ellipticals.
We’ll visit galaxies in collision - or worse!
Most galaxies tend to cluster - or even supercluster!
A quasar (it’s the “star” on the right) - pretty boring
until you get close. But not too close!
The most distant reaches of the universe are
populated by galaxies and quasars.
Galaxies map the structure of the universe.
The Earliest Observable Universe –
And Structure is Present
News of the universe!
… (make your own “clack, clack, clack” wire service sounds here)
90% of the Universe is missing!
We all know that the Universe is expanding –
but now it is accelerating!
Particles from the center of the sun bombard
Earth – but what flavor are those particles?
Stay tuned for more – much more!