1 Tools of Astronomy Tools of Astronomy The light that comes to Earth from distant objects is the best tool that astronomers can use to learn about the universe. In most cases, there is no other way to study the cosmos except to analyze the light that we receive from it.
2 Tools of Astronomy Radiation Electromagnetic radiation consists of waves of electrical and magnetic disturbances. It includes visible light, infrared and ultraviolet radiation, radio waves, microwaves, X rays, and gamma rays.
3 Tools of Astronomy Radiation Electromagnetic radiation travels at the same speed and is classified by: Wavelengths the distance between peaks on a wave. Frequency the number of waves or oscillations occurring per second.
4 Tools of Astronomy Telescopes When exploring space, telescopes have many benefits: Detectors can be attached to a telescope to observe all wavelengths, not just visible light. A telescope brings much more light to a focus than the human eye can, allowing the observation of faint objects. Specialized equipment, such as a photometer which measures the intensity of visible light, can be used with a telescope. With the aid of imaging devices, telescopes can be used to make time exposures to detect objects that are too faint for the human eye to see.
5 Tools of Astronomy Telescopes Refracting and Reflecting Telescopes Two different types of telescopes are used to focus visible light. Refracting telescopes, or refractors, are telescopes that use lenses to bring visible light to a focus. Reflecting telescopes, or reflectors, are telescopes that bring visible light to a focus with mirrors. Reflectors make up the majority of telescopes that are in use today. Most major observatories are located in remote, high elevation locations in order to minimize light and atmospheric interference.
6 Tools of Astronomy Satellites, Probes, and Space-Based Astronomy Instruments often must be sent into space to collect information because: Earth s atmosphere blocks infrared radiation, ultraviolet radiation, X rays, and gamma rays. When Earth s atmosphere does allow certain wavelengths to pass through, the images are blurred. It is the only way to make close-up observations and even obtain samples from nearby objects in the solar system.
7 Tools of Astronomy Satellites, Probes, and Space-Based Astronomy The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) makes observations in visible-light, infrared, and ultraviolet wavelengths. Other space-based telescopes, such as the Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer, the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, and the Spitzer Space Telescope, observe other wavelengths that are blocked by Earth s atmosphere.
8 Tools of Astronomy Satellites, Probes, and Space-Based Astronomy Spacecraft Space-based exploration can be achieved by sending spacecraft directly to the bodies being observed. Robotic probes make close-up observations and sometimes land to collect information directly.
9 Tools of Astronomy Satellites, Probes, and Space-Based Astronomy Human Spaceflight Exploring the short term effects of space has been accomplished with the space shuttle program, which began in Since habitation and research began in 2000, a multi-country space station called the International Space Station has been used to study the long-term effects of life in space.
10 Tools of Astronomy Satellites, Probes, and Space-Based Astronomy Spinoffs Spinoffs are technologies that were originally developed for use in space programs that have been passed on to commercial industries for common use. More than 1400 different NASA technologies have been incorporated into products ranging from artificial hearts to cordless tools.
11 Tools of Astronomy Section Assessment 2. What are the categories of electromagnetic radiation? Electromagnetic radiation includes visible light, infrared and ultraviolet radiation, radio waves, microwaves, X rays, and gamma rays.
13 Objectives Identify the relative positions and motions of Earth, the Sun, and the Moon. Describe the phases of the Moon. Explain eclipses of the Sun and Moon. Vocabulary ecliptic summer solstice winter solstice autumnal equinox vernal equinox synchronous rotation solar eclipse perigee apogee lunar eclipse
14 The Sun-Earth-Moon System The relationships between the Sun, Moon, and Earth are important to us in many ways. The Sun provides light and warmth, and it is the source of most of the energy that fuels our society. The Moon raises tides in our oceans and illuminates our sky with its monthly cycle of phases. Every society from ancient times to the present has its calendar and its timekeeping system based on the apparent motions of the Sun and Moon.
15 Daily Motions The Sun rises in the east and sets in the west, as do the Moon, planets, and stars as a result of Earth s rotation. We observe the sky from a planet that rotates once every day, or 15 per hour.
16 Daily Motions Earth s Rotation The length of a day as we observe it is a little longer than the time it takes Earth to rotate once on its axis. Our timekeeping system is based on the solar day, which is the time period from one sunrise or sunset to the next.
17 Annual Motions The Effects of Earth s Tilt Earth s axis is tilted relative to the ecliptic at approximately As Earth orbits the Sun, the orientation of Earth s axis remains fixed in space. At one point, the northern hemisphere of Earth is tilted toward the Sun, while six months later it is tipped away from the Sun. As a result of the tilt of Earth s axis and Earth s motion around the Sun, the Sun is at a higher altitude in the sky during summer than in the winter.
18 Annual Motions The Effects of Earth s Tilt Sun is at higher altitude during summer. Energy is concentrated directly. Sun is at lower altitude during winter. Energy is spread over a larger area.
19 Annual Motions Solstices As Earth moves from position 1, through position 2, to position 3, the altitude of the Sun decreases in the northern hemisphere. Once Earth is at position 3, the Sun s altitude starts to increase as Earth moves through position 4 and back to position 1. These motions cause seasonal changes. Which seasons would we experience at each position?
20 Annual Motions Solstices The summer solstice occurs around June 21 each year when the Sun is directly overhead at the Tropic of Cancer, which is at 23.5 N. The summer solstice corresponds to the Sun s maximum altitude in the sky in the northern hemisphere.
21 Annual Motions Solstices The winter solstice occurs around December 21 each year when the Sun is directly overhead at the Tropic of Capricorn which is at 23.5 S. The winter solstice corresponds to the Sun s lowest altitude in the sky in the northern hemisphere. Southern hemisphere is having summer!
22 Annual Motions Solstices
23 Annual Motions Equinoxes When the Sun is directly overhead at the equator, both hemispheres receive equal amounts of sunlight. The autumnal equinox occurs around September 21, halfway between the summer and the winter solstices when the Sun is directly over the equator.
24 Annual Motions Equinoxes The vernal equinox occurs around March 21, halfway between the winter and the summer solstices when the Sun is directly over the equator. For an observer at the Tropic of Cancer or Tropic of Capricorn, the Sun is 23.5 from the point directly overhead during the equinoxes.
25 Phases of the Moon The sequential changes in the appearance of the Moon are called lunar phases. A new moon occurs when the Moon is between Earth and the Sun and we cannot see the Moon because the sunlit side is facing away from us. As the Moon moves along in its orbit, the amount of reflected sunlight that we can see increases until we are able to see the entire sunlit side of the Moon, known as a full moon. Once a full moon is reached, the portion of the sunlit side that we see begins to decrease as the Moon moves back toward the new-moon position.
26 Phases of the Moon The Sun-Earth-Moon System
27 Phases of the Moon Synchronous Rotation Synchronous rotation is the state at which orbital and rotational periods are equal. As the Moon orbits Earth, the same side faces Earth at all times because the Moon has a synchronous rotation, spinning exactly once each time it goes around Earth.
28 Motions of the Moon The length of time it takes for the Moon to go through a complete cycle of phases is called a lunar month. The length of a lunar month is about 29.5 days, which is longer than the 27.3 days it takes for one revolution, or orbit, around Earth. The Moon also rises and sets 50 minutes later each day because the Moon has moved 13 in its orbit over a 24-hour period, and Earth has to turn an additional 13 for the Moon to rise.
29 Motions of the Moon The Sun-Earth-Moon System
30 Motions of the Moon Tides The Moon s gravity pulls on Earth along an imaginary line connecting Earth and the Moon, creating bulges of ocean water on both the near and far sides of Earth. As Earth rotates, these bulges remain aligned with the Moon. When the Sun and Moon are aligned along the same direction, the result is higher-than-normal tides, called spring tides. When the Moon is at a right angle to the Sun-Earth line, the result is lower-than-normal tides, called neap tides.
31 Solar Eclipses The Sun-Earth-Moon System
32 Solar Eclipses The Effects of Orbits The Moon s distance from Earth increases and decreases as the Moon moves in its elliptical orbit around Earth. Perigee is the closest point in the Moon s orbit to Earth. Apogee is the farthest point in the Moon s orbit from Earth. When the Moon is near apogee, it appears smaller, and thus it does not completely block the disk of the Sun, resulting in an annular eclipse.
33 Lunar Eclipses A lunar eclipse occurs when the full Moon passes through Earth s shadow. A lunar eclipse can happen only at the time of a full moon, when the Moon is in the opposite direction from the Sun. A total lunar eclipse occurs when the entire Moon is within Earth s umbra. Solar and lunar eclipses occur in almost equal numbers, with slightly more lunar eclipses.
34 Lunar Eclipses The Sun-Earth-Moon System
35 Section Assessment 1. Match the following terms with their definitions. C ecliptic A summer solstice D winter solstice B apogee A. occurs when the Sun is directly overhead at the Tropic of Cancer B. the point in the Moon s elliptical orbit that is the farthest from Earth C. the plane that contains Earth s orbit D. occurs when the Sun is directly overhead at the Tropic of Capricorn
Date Period Name THE SUN-EARTH-MOON SYSTEM SECTION 27.1 Tools of Astronomy In your textbook, read about electromagnetic radiation and telescopes. Use each of the terms below just once to complete the passage.
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