READING–Chapter 1–Science and the Universe: A Brief Tour Be able to put various things in our universe in order from closest to farthest, and from smallest to largest. Explain the difference between the solar system, the galaxy, and the universe. Talk about how big the universe is.
READING–Chapter 2–Observing the Sky: The Birth of Astronomy Define the main features of the celestial sphere Explain the system astronomers use to describe the sky Describe how motions of the stars appear to us on Earth Describe how motions of the Sun, Moon, and planets appear to us on Earth Understand the modern meaning of the term constellation
READING–Chapter 3–Orbits and Gravity Explain Kepler’s first two laws of planetary motion Describe Newtons three laws of motion Define mass, volume, and density and how they differ Explain what determines the strength of gravitt Explain how an object (such as a satellite) can be put into orbit around Earth Explain how an object (such as a planetary probe) can escape from orbit
READING–Chapter 4–Earth, Moon, and Sky Explain how right ascension and declination are used to map the sky Describe how the tilt of Earths axis causes the seasons Understand how calendars vary among different cultures Explain the cause of the lunar phases Understand how the Moon rotates and revolves around Earth Describe what causes tides on Earth Explain why the amplitude of tides changes during the course of a month Describe what causes lunar and solar eclipses
READING–Chapter 5–Radiation and Spectra Understand the bands of the electromagnetic spectrum and how they differ from one another Understand how each part of the spectrum interacts with Earths atmosphere Explain how astronomers learn the composition of a gas by examining its spectral lines Discuss the various types of spectra Describe the structure of atoms and the components of nuclei Explain the behavior of electrons within atoms and how electrons interact with light to move among energy levels Explain how emission line spectra and absorption line spectra are formed Explain why the spectral lines of photons we observe from an object will change as a result of the objects motion toward or away from us Describe how we can use the Doppler effect to deduce how astronomical objects are moving through space
READING–Chapter 6–Astronomical Instruments Describe the main functions of a telescope Recognize the largest visible-light and infrared telescopes in operation today Discuss the factors relevant to choosing an appropriate telescope site Why do astronomers use spectrometers? Can we “hear” radio waves? Identify the worlds largest radio telescopes List the advantages of making astronomical observations from space Explain the importance of the Hubble Space Telescope
READING–Chapter 7–Other Worlds: An Introduction to the Solar System Describe how the objects in our solar system are identified, explored, and characterized Describe the types of small bodies in our solar system, their locations, and how they formed Be able to draw a map of the solar system. Describe the characteristics of the giant planets, terrestrial planets, and small bodies in the solar system Explain what influences the temperature of a planets surface Explain why there is geological activity on some planets and not on others Explain how astronomers can tell whether a planetary surface is geologically young or old Describe different methods for dating planets (Tinder is not an acceptable answer, but perhaps OKCupid?)
READING–Chapter 8–The Earth as a Planet Describe the components of Earths interior and explain how scientists determined its structure Specify the origin, size, and extent of Earths magnetic field Explain the difference between weather and climate Describe the causes and effects of the atmospheric greenhouse effect and global warming Explain the scarcity of impact craters on Earth compared with other planets and moons
READING–Chapter 9–Cratered Worlds How big is the Moon, compared to the Earth? Differentiate between the major surface features of the Moon: crater, maria, highlands, peak, ray Describe the properties of the lunar soil, also called regolith. Explain the process of impact crater formation Discuss the use of crater counts to determine relative ages of lunar landforms Describe the top three early hypotheses of the formation of the Moon Summarize the current giant impact concept of how the Moon formed Describe Mercurys basic structure and composition (at least 10 facts) Summarize our ideas about the origin and evolution of Mercury
READING–Chapter 10–Earthlike Planets: Venus and Mars Compare the basic physical properties of Earth, Mars, and Venus, including their orbits Learn 10 facts about Venus Explain what the study of craters on Venus tells us about the age of its surface Explain why the surface of Venus is inhospitable to human life Explain how the greenhouse effect has led to high temperatures on Venus Learn 10 facts about Mars Discuss the main missions that have explored Mars Describe the various features found on the surface of Mars Compare the volcanoes and canyons on Mars with those of Earth Describe the general conditions on the surface of Mars Describe the general composition of the atmosphere on Mars Explain what we know about the polar ice caps on Mars and how we know it Describe the evidence for the presence of water in the past history of Mars Summarize the evidence for and against the possibility of life on Mars
READING–Chapter 11–The Giant Planets Provide an overview of the composition of the giant planets. Do not say that Uranus and Neptune are made of gas. Describe the general appearance and rotation of the giant planets Describe the composition and structure of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune Compare and contrast the internal heat sources of the giant planets Describe the discovery and characteristics of the giant planets magnetic fields Characterize the giant planets wind and weather patterns Understand the scale and longevity of storms on the giant planets
READING–Chapter 12–Rings, Moons, and Pluto Name the major moons of each of the jovian planets Planetary Fact Sheet.pdf Explain what may be responsible for the unusual features on the icy surface of Europa Describe the major distinguishing characteristic of Io Explain how tidal forces generate the geological activity we see on Europa and Io Explain how the thick atmosphere of Titan makes bodies of liquid on its surface possible Describe what we learned from the landing on Titan with the Huygens probe Define “planet” Name new dwarf planets discovered in our solar system Describe information about Plutos surface deduced from the New Horizons image Describe the two theories of planetary ring formation Explain how the rings of Uranus and Neptune differ in composition and appearance from the rings of Saturn Describe how ring structure is affected by the presence of moons
READING–Chapter 13–Comets and Asteroids: Debris of the Solar System Describe the composition and classification of the various types of asteroids Recognize the threat that near-Earth objects represent for Earth Discuss possible defensive strategies to protect our planet Characterize the general physical appearance of comets Describe the composition of the Oort cloud Describe trans-Neptunian and Kuiper-belt objects Explain the proposed fate of comets that enter the inner solar system
READING–Chapter 14–Cosmic Samples and the Origin of the Solar System Explain the difference between: meteors, meteorites, comets, asteroids Explain what a meteor is and why it is visible in the night sky Describe the origins of meteor showers Explain the origin of meteorites and the difference between a meteor and a meteorite Summarize the physical changes during the solar nebula stage of solar system formation Describe the main events of the further evolution of the solar system Explain the two primary methods for detection of exoplanets Compare the main characteristics of other planetary systems with the features of the solar system Describe the geological activity during the evolution of the planets, particularly on the terrestrial planets
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