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104 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
How far is Mercury from the sun (AU)?
0.39 AU
How far is Venus from the sun (AU)?
0.7 AU
How far is Mars from the sun (AU)?
1.5 AU
Blue giants created all elements up to...
What is the life span of our sun?
10 billion years
How old is our solar system
4 billion years old
Why do we use scientific notation?
Simplify calculations
What is an Astronomical Unit?
The average distance between Earth and the sun (93,000,000 miles)
What are the three forces in the universe? (from strongest to weakest)
1. Nuclear force, 2. Electrical force, 3. Gravity
What is the distance from one end to the other of the milky way galaxy
100,000 LY
What force holds the entire universe together?
What is a light year?
The distance that light travels in one year
What is the next nearest star to the sun? How far away is it?
Proxima Centauri; 4.2 LY away
What is the speed of light?
300,000 km per second
1 mile = ? km
1.609 km
1 km = ? miles
0.6214 miles
What are the basic building blocks of life?
Amino acids, nucleotides
What is DNA?
The largest molecule known; determines which proteins will be assembled adn how they will be put together - BLUEPRINT.
What special qualities does DNA have?
Ability to change and copy itself
What is the only thing that can have the same DNA?
identical twins
What is the job of a nucleotide?
it holds together amino acids
Amino acids consist of what two things?
proteins (structure) and enzymes (controls chemical reactions)
What was the purpose of the Miller & Urey experiment in the 1950s?
Attempted to replicate teh early universe in a lab
What 5 elements were used in the experiement?
amonia, methane, water vapor, hydrogen, and electricity as a catalyst
What was the result of the experiment?
Amino acids and nucleotides - the building blocks of life
With time and a liquid environment, what can appear and evolve spontaneously?
What did the first organisms look like?
single celled, algea, bacteria
How many stars are in the Milky Way?
100 billions
Are there other earth like planets?
What is the LIFE ZONE
the distance away from a star at which water can exist in a liquid form
What is natural selection and who is the ideas's founder?
Survival of the fittest, Charles Darwin
The Zodiac is also known as
the ecliptic
What are the pseudosciences?
Astrology, UFOs, Natural phenomenon, honest report, psychological experience, government/scientific coverup
What does SETI stand for?
search for extraterrestrial intelligence
Ocham's Razor
All things being equal, the simplest solution tends to be the right one.
Current atmosphere makeup
Oxygen and nitrogen
Limitations in space travel
distance, time, speed
What do we use to listen for extraterrestrial life?
What is mass?
Mass is how much there is of an object
What is weight?
Weight is gravity acting on a mass.
What are the five different units of measurement in the metric system?
Length, mass, time, density, and force.
What TWO SI units do we use frequently in astronomy?
newton, joule
What is a newton
unit of force; force necessary to accelerate 1kg mass 1m per/second
What is a joule
unit of energy; energy produced by force of 1 newton acting through a distance of 1 meter.
What is a Kelvin?
temperature measured from absolute zero
What is absolute zero?
an object that cannot have any more heat extracted (one millionth of a degree)
Why did we keep latin names for constellations
Because Latin is a dead language
Greek letters and stars - how are they assigned?
brightest star, alpha, and so on
Who developed the magnitude scale
Do constellations change over time/seasons?
How do you calculate magnitude?
Difference is 2.512, multiplies itself, not times 2
a group of stars that are a part of a constellation; ie the big dipper (ursa major) the teapot (scorpio)
Where are Mizar and Alcor located
In the constellation the Big Dipper
How far are we from the center of the galazy?
3/5 out
What is the ecliptic?
The apparent path of sun, moon, planets across the sky
How many degrees are we tilted on our axis?
Why do we have seasons?
Because of the tilt of the earth
Precession is what?
The spinning top like movement of the Earth through space
we rotate on our...
We revolve around...
the sun
the point directly above our head
What is the nadir?
Point directly below feet
What is the meridian?
NS line thru zenith and nadir
What is declination?
celestial equator N - celestial equator S (like LATITUDE on earth)
What is right ascension?
measured in hours, like LONGITUDE on earth. 1 hour = 15 degrees
Ciderial day
time based on movement of the stars, shorter by 4 min each day, based on 12pm-12am (sun - no sun)
Sun Dial Time (local apparent)
based on true location of sun in sky
When are the vernal and autumnal equinoxes?
march 21 and sep 21
What is the calendar of the moon?
29.5 days from new moon to new moon
Who introduced the leap year?
Julius Caesar
What is weather?
What is happening right now
What is climate?
What happens w/ weather over time
How often do ice ages come?
every 250 million years
What is different about the atmosphere in winter?
It is drier
What is the gravity on the moon like?
1/6 of gravity on earth
What is the escape velocity from the moon?
1.48 miles/second
Is our moon a perfect circle?
No, it is egg shaped
What are the dark regions on the moon called?
Maria (seas)
What are the lighter regions on the moon called/
lunar highlands
Why do we only see one side of the moon?
Because it rotates and revolves at the same speed
How often does the moon orbit earth?
Every 27.5 days
How old are the oldest rocks on the moon?
4.42 billion years old
What is the term for th edge of the apparent disc of the moon?
What is the line that separates day/night on the moon?
Why do we have tides?
Because the moon acts like a break on the spinning earth - gravity between the sun moon and earth
How long does a lunar eclipse last?
3 hours, 40 minutes
How long does a solar eclipse last?
2 - 7 minutes
What is archeoastronomy?
The study of astronomy of ancient primitive people
John Aubrey
mid 16th century, rings of stonehenge assoicated w/ Druids
William Stuckley
1740 - pointed toward rising sun at summer solstice, druids enter for rituals on this day, lines point to n/s rising of moon
What are Aubrey holes?
holes in stonehenge believed to predict eclipses
Did the Druids build stonehenge?
What is so special about the solstices?
Ritualistic, connection to the heavens, still celebrated today
What kinds of practical purposes is the sky used for?
life, death, seasons, time, hunting
What did the earliest Greeks believe about the universe?
Earth at center, harmony, stars attached to a sphere (orbited), ochams's razor
What did Pythagorus believe?
Universe is governed by mathematics
What did Plato contribute to astronomy?
teaching influenced astronomy, perfect form = sphere, uniform circular motion, 27 nested spheres
heavens are perfect, geocentric universe
ridiculed, stars are fixed and Earth turns on axis
Revived Heracledes theory about axis turning, earth moon on orbit around sun - still no one believed
What was missing from early studies of the universe?
Radius and circumference of Earth, summer solst. sun falls thru a well. Was only off by 4%
did the best job of fitting movements to patterns, 40 wheels, was unchallenged for 1400 years - earth still center
2,000 yrs after Ptolemy suggested that the earth moves around the sun every year and turns on axis every day