Intro to Astrophysics

Published: 2021-09-14 11:55:08
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Intro to AstronomyChapter 1 The Scale of the UniverseOur solar system belongs to the huge disk shaped collection of stars called the Milky Way GalaxyGalaxy: is a great island of stars in space, held together by gravity and orbiting a common center.The Milky Way is a large galaxy containing more than 100 billion of stars. It is one of the two largest amongst more than 70 galaxies, most of them small making them Local Group. Groups of galaxies with many more large members are often called galaxy clusters. Our solar system is located a little over halfway from the galactic center to the edge of the galactic disk. The regions in which galaxies and galaxy clusters are more tightly packed are called superclusters, which are essentially clusters of galaxy clusters. Our Local Group is located on the outskirts of the Local Supercluster All of these structure make up our universe. The universe: is the sum of total of all matter and energy, encompassing the superclusters and voids of everything within them. Astronomical Distance Measurements Astronomical Unit (AU): Commonly describe distances within our solar system in AU. Earths average distance from the Sun is 150 million kilometers. Light-year (ly): the distance that light can travel in 1 year, which is about 10 trillion kilometers. Generally use light year to describe distances between stars and galaxies. It is a unit of distance not of time! Light travels at the speed of light, which is 300,000 kilometers per second. In one second: 300,000 kilometers, in one year: 10 trillion kilometer.One light year is equivalent to 9.46 trillion kilometers. Looking back in timeLight takes a little of 1 second to reach Earth from the Moon, and about 8 minutes to reach Earth from the Sun. Sirius the brightest star in the night sky, which is located about 8 light years away, because it takes light 8 years to travel this distance. The Orion Nebula is a giant cloud in which stars and planets are forming. It is located 1350 light years from Earth, which is 1350 years ago. If any major events occur in the Orion Nebula since that time we cannot yet know about them because the light from these events has not yet reached us. The farther away we look in distance, the further back we look in time. The Andromeda Galaxy is about 2.5 million light years away which means we see it as it looked 2.5 million years ago Basic Astronomical Definitions:Star: A large glowing ball of gas that generates heat and light through nuclear fusion its core. Our Sun is a star. Planet: A moderately large object that orbits the star and shines primarily by reflecting light from its star. According to the current definition, an object can only be considered a planet only if (1) orbits a star (2) is large enough for its own gravity to make it round (3) has cleared most other objects from its orbital path. An object that meets the first 2 criteria but has not cleared a path like Pluto is designated a dwarf planet.

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