2 Practical issues about the exam The exam is on Monday 6.5. ( ), lecture hall B121 (Exactum). Paper will be provided. You have 4 hours to finish the exam, you may leave after 1 hour (and be max. 1 hour late). Grading: 45%-55% 1 55%-65% 2 65%-75% 3 75%-85% 4 85%-100% 5 The results will be posted on the web page and by , identification by student numbers.
3 A possible structure for the exam: 1. Explain 6 concepts shortly (6 x 1 points). 2. Definitions or explanations of phenomena (3 x 2 points) 3. a) Why does x happen? b) What does y have to do with it? (3 + 3 points). 4. Answer to either a) or b); essay (6 points). 5. Not yet decided (6 points).
4 Important highlights In physics (and astronomy), it is always important to understand the reasons behind different phenomena (why things happen the way they do). In some cases, information is scattered in different parts of the lecture notes, giving new perspectives or applying the same methods or principles in different situations. For example: black body radiation, spectroscopy, hydrostatic equilibrium, conservation of angular momentum, convection, different states of matter,
5 History of astronomy One of the oldest natural sciences: astronomy had a central position in many ancient cultures. Observations of the periodic motions of visible objects in the night sky (why periodicity?). Provided a basis for different calendars. Origin of both astrology and astronomy. Understanding the general level of astronomy in ancient cultures and how astronomy developed as a science in ancient Greece.
6 The change of world-view as astronomical knowledge increases; especially the scientific revolution and heliocentrism (Copernicus, Brahe, Kepler, Galilei, Newton). Kepler s and Newton s laws not necessary to remember by heart but important to know the contents in principle (Kepler s laws explain the observed planetary motion with elliptical orbits; Newton s laws deal with physical forces and explain why objects are moving the way they are fundamentals for classical mechanics, not just astronomy). Further development towards modern astronomy: Revolution of astronomical observations through the development of telescopes. Discovery of electromagnetic spectrum; other wavelengths revealing a new window to the universe. Development of modern physics together with astronomy (theory of relativity, energy production in stars, emission and absorption spectra). First steps of cosmology and cosmological observations. Exact years are not necessary to remember by heart but the order of events and discoveries should be known.
7 Concepts Units in astronomy: angles ( o,, ) and distances (AU, ly, pc). Wavelength, frequency, and energy of radiation. Electromagnetic spectrum, photons. Absorption and emission (wavelength characteristic to different elements utilized in recognizing elements; spectroscopy used also in other connections, e.g., redshift/blueshift). Atoms, ions. Black body radiation; the relation of temperature and the wavelength of maximum intensity (= the color of the object).
8 Observation techniques Impact of atmosphere on observations. Scintillation, seeing, refraction near horizon, absorption by atmosphere on other wavelengths than visual and partly radio. Optical telescopes: Aperture size, resolution, refracting vs. reflecting, detection techniques (CCD imaging, photometry, spectroscopy, polarimetry), active and adaptive optics. Interferometry: the basic principle. Other wavelengths (typical sources and specific methods/things that need to be considered?): Radio, IR, UV, X-ray, and gamma. Ground-based vs. space astronomy.
9 Solar System Planets: names, approximate masses (compared to the Earth), approximate distances in AU, composition, other characteristics (what is special/interesting in a planet and its largest moon/moons). Not necessary to remember the exact values for mass, density, number of moons (for Jovian planets), temperature etc. but it is important to have a general conception of the order of magnitude and whether it is a typical value or somehow peculiar (and why). For example: compare Venus, Earth, and Mars. Why is only one of these hospitable to life? Main differences and similarities between the terrestrial and Jovian planets (for example considering formation, composition, dynamical properties). Lunar and solar eclipses: geometry and different types.
10 Solar System Dynamo theory planetary magnetic fields. Information of planets is largely based on space missions. Not necessary to remember all the missions in detail but it is good to have a general conception of this subject as well (what kind of space missions; difficulties). The definition of a planet and a dwarf planet (the difference!). Why is Pluto not a planet anymore? General properties of dwarf planets, asteroids, TNOs, meteoroids, and interplanetary dust. What kind of systems are the main asteroid belt, Kuiper belt, Scattered disc, and Oort cloud? Comets: structure, phases (active/inactive), classification based on orbits.
11 Planet formation and exoplanets What properties of the current Solar System support the nebular hypothesis / migration theory / Nice model (it is always good to know how to verify beautiful theories)? Little emphasis can be put on learning alternative formation theories; important to know why they fail to explain the current Solar System. Why are the migration theory and Nice model considered to be important additions to specify the formation of the Solar System? Outline and general timescales of planet formation and early dynamical evolution. Exoplanet detection methods (radial velocity method, transit, microlensing, imaging). What does Hot Jupiter mean?
12 Stars Important concepts: trigonometric parallax in distance estimation, apparent and absolute magnitudes, motion of stars, HR diagram. Spectral classification systems. What does it mean that the Sun is a G2V and Betelgeuse M2I? The general phases of star formation. Main sequence: the adult phase of a star where it is burning hydrogen into helium very steadily. Well-ordered mass-brightness-temperature-radius ratios (as a consequence of hydrostatic equilibrium)!
13 Stars Energy production in fusion reactions in principle: Lighter elements form heavier elements in high temperatures and energy is released in the form of photons, in (massive) stars iron (Fe) is the heaviest element produced; all heavier than Fe produced in supernovas. Not necessary to know the details of p-p chain and CNO cycle; the difference! The significance of core temperature how does it rise and what happens then? Energy transportation methods (radiation, convection) in stars depending on their mass. Notice how this is related to the final phases in the stellar evolution.
14 Life cycles of different mass stars Brown dwarfs < 0.08 M : No fusion in the core; radiate only because of the temperature M stars: H He; white dwarf M stars: H He C (carbon); red giant, planetary nebula, white dwarf M stars: H He C O (oxygen); the carbon core explodes when C O begins, supernova M stars: H Fe; red supergiant, supernova, possibly a neutron star / black hole.
15 Different stars (also waypoints and remnants) For example, explain a white dwarf a black dwarf a neutron star a pulsar a black hole a red giant The core of a red giant is very hot, which makes the outer layers of the star expand, making the surface look cool. Differences and reasons important here as well! Double stars (especially binaries), variable stars: classification important because objects of the same class have some common properties (for example, Cepheids and their period-luminosity relation).
16 The Sun Best-known star. Understanding the solar structure (core, radiative zone, convective zone, photosphere, atmosphere) is more important than remembering the values for mass, density, etc. Lifecycle and energy production of the Sun see stellar evolution. Signs of activity: Sunspots, granulation, faculas, spicules, prominences, flares, CMEs. What kind of activity do they signify (if known)?
17 Solar magnetic field: Forms in the convective layer (why?). Responsible for many solar phenomena. Reverses itself in 11-year cycles due to differential rotation. Solar wind: A stream of charged particles, high velocities. Causes geomagnetic storms, ion tails of comets, and auroras near the polar regions of planets with magnetic fields.
18 Interstellar matter Gas (mainly atoms but also molecules) and dust; 10% of the mass of the Milky Way. Settled in the Galactic plane; often found in same places. Role in star formation! Differences between gas and dust. Interstellar dust: Causes extinction and reddening of stellar light. Observed best in IR wavelengths (emits IR due to temperature [ K, depending on the environment]). Dark nebulas, reflection nebulas, protoplanetary discs. Interstellar gas: Leaves absorption lines in stellar spectra detection and an estimate of composition (mainly H and He; also molecules found [where usually?]). Densest gas clouds seen as emission nebulas (H II regions). Planetary nebulas and supernova remnants are also part of interstellar matter. What special characteristics do they have?
19 Star clusters Highlights: average number of stars, age, strength of gravitational binding, typical location in galaxies. Open cluster Stellar association Globular cluster Distance measurement basics: Trigonometric parallax. Magnitude-based methods (e.g., Cepheids). Redshift for distant objects.
20 The Milky Way galaxy Shape and size determination with globular clusters and later with radio observations of interstellar gas (21 cm line; not blocked by dust as visual observations are). Properties, classification, different structures with different astronomical objects (bulge, spiral arms, halo, centre).
21 Galaxies Classification of galaxies. Structure of ellipticals and (barred) spirals. Main differences between these! How can dark matter in galaxies be detected? What makes active galaxies active? Seyfert galaxies and radio galaxies. For example, explain A quasar Gravitational lensing The Local Group A supercluster
22 Cosmology Cosmological observations and what do they tell about the universe? Dark night sky. Uniform distribution of galaxies in all directions. Cosmic Microwave Background (what?). Hubble s Law (v = Hr): the redshift in light coming from distant galaxies is proportional to their distance Hubble s parameter. Important concepts: cosmological redshift, shape of the universe, dark energy, dark matter.
23 How did the universe evolve, in principle, from the Big Bang to the birth of the first stars? How has the age of the Universe been estimated? In principle: from the Cosmic Microwave Background of 2.73 K. We can conclude that the original photons were from matter that had a temperature of 3000 K the redshift can be calculated. From the redshift, we can calculate the distance from the Hubble s law, and the age comes from the speed of light. What is the likely fate of the Universe and why?
24 Thank you for your attendance and good luck for the exam!
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