Astronomy 012 Assignments1) Describe the creation of the Sun and Solar System. Include the evolution of the Sun from a nebula, to a main sequence star, to a white dwarf. Describe the helium flash and shell burning. Discuss the formation of the major planets, the significance of the frost line, and simply describe the nature of the lesser objects including dwarf planets, trans-neptunian objects, asteroids, natural satellites, comets, meteoroids and the like.2) Describe and create a simple diagram for the electromagnetic spectrum. Briefly describe similarities that are common to all forms of electromagnetic radiation and what type of instruments are required for detection.3) Briefly describe two methods for determining the distance to a star. Include a diagram for stellar parallax (triangulation) and the definition and distance in light years for a parsec. Briefly describe apparent, absolute and bolometric magnitude. Describe and diagram an eclipsing binary star. Describe what an intrinsic variable star is.4) Create a Hertzsprung Russell Diagram. Locate and label the main sequence, red giants, red supergiants and white dwarfs. Show luminosity values and spectral class including letter, color and temperature.5) Using an H-R Diagram, illustrate and discuss the evolution of a mid-mass star from its birth in a nebula to its death. Describe and diagram the three types of stellar remnants that can result from a Supernova and indicate their relationships to the mass of the Sun.6) Describe Edwin Hubble’s great discovery in photographing M-31, the “Andromeda Nebula.” Diagram and briefly explain Hubble’s galaxy flow chart.7) Create a diagram and describe the properties of the Milky Way Galaxy. Include the realm of the galactic halo and objects found within such as the globular clusters, Magellanic Clouds and others.8) What did Edwin Hubble’s great discovery of H, Hubble’s Constant, tell us about the age and nature of the universe? Discuss the type and cosmology driving the universe today based upon our current knowledge of how much mass there is and its effects on expansion.9) Proxima Centauri is the closest star to Earth other than the Sun and it has an exoplanet in orbit around it. Its distance is about 4 ½ light-years from Earth, a light-year being about 6 trillion miles. Voyage, the fastest spacecraft we have ever launched, is traveling through space as a velocity of about 40,000 miles per hour. How long will Voyager take to reach this star and planet? Based on your answer, discuss whether space travel at this speed is an efficient way for humans to search for life on distant planets.10) Discuss the relevance of the Frank Drake SETI equation to investigating life in our galaxy. Describe what each character represents. Discuss why radio telescopes and not space crafts are the accepted method for this search. Discuss today’s thoughts on how many intelligent civilizations similar to ours there might be in the Milky Way.
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