Discovering the Universe (CCU)
Unit 1: Discovering the Universe (weeks 1-3)
Major Theme: The shores of the great cosmic ocean.
“The known is finite, the unknown infinite; intellectually we stand on an islet in the midst of an illimitable ocean of inexplicably. Our business in every generation is to reclaim a little more land.” – T.H. Huxley, 1887.
- Describe the differences between Astronomy and Astrology
- Describe the daily motions of the sun, moon, planets, and stars relative to the horizon.
- Describe the seasonal positions of the sun – at sunrise, noon, and sunset – relative to the horizon.
- Describe the motions of the sun, moon, and planets relative to the stars of the zodiac.
- Understand the astronomical conditions necessary for solar and lunar eclipses.
- Define the ecliptic and tell how to find its approximate position in the sky.
- Describe the essential aspects of a scientific model and evaluate cosmological models in the context of scientific model making.
The Visible Sky
- The Celestial Sphere & Motion of the Stars
- Constellations – Period 1, Period 2, & Period 5
The Motions of the Sun and Moon
- Motions relative to the horizon and stars
- Precession of the Equinoxes
- Lunar orbital motion and Phases of the Moon
- Solar and Lunar Eclipses
The Motions of the Planets
- Retrograde Motion
- Relative Distances of the Planets
Activities & Assignments:
Register for online homework using these instructions.
CCU college registration: for information on CCU enrollment and registration see these instructions. ** Be sure to complete the enrollment and registration process with CCU. This is solely your own responsibility and your instructor can not enroll or register you for the course to receive college credit.
Read Zeilik: Chapter 1 & 2, OR the online content on Observation (Introduction through Northern Hemisphere)
Listen to AstronomyCast on Ursa Major (Big Dipper) Episode 227 – optional
Lunar Phases (in class), Post lab homework: Phases of the Moon tutorial
CAPER tutorial: Predicting Lunar Phases tutorial
Night Lab #1: see AST101 Lab Manual (due TBD)
Night Lab #2: see AST101 Lab Manual (due TBD)
Night Lab #3: see AST101 Lab Manual (due TBD)
Unit 1 Exam Study Guide: Celestial Sphere
- Review all presentations.
- Review the assigned reading: Chapters 1 & 2 in textbook – or – online reading assignment.
- Know the phases of the moon and draw a diagram explaining the phases.
- Review all questions relating to the “Lunar Phases” online tutorial and the “Seasons” online tutorial.
- Review answers to the online HW1: Discovering thew Universe.
- Match the following archeological sites to their importance to astronomy.
- Pyramids of Giza
- Chiche’n Itza’
Visit web sites:
Online Astronomy: http://astronomyonline.org