About This Chapter
Origin & Evolution of the Universe - Chapter Summary
This self-paced chapter goes over important concepts related to the formation and evolution of the universe. Beginning with the universe's origins, you'll examine the Big Bang Theory and the stages of the early universe. You'll then study the types, characteristics and formations of galaxies and stars, including our own Sun and Milky Way Galaxy. After finishing the lessons in this chapter, you should be able to:
- Know the how the universe began
- Explain the Big Bang Theory
- Identify the four developmental stages of the early universe
- Understand how the Milky Way Galaxy was formed
- Identify different types of stars and galaxies
- Outline the lifecycle of the Sun
- Tell how our galaxy is structured
The lessons in this chapter are typically less than ten minutes long, which enables you to quickly study and retain concepts related to the universe. Each lesson is taught by an expert astronomy instructor who presents the information in an easy-to-follow manner and uses plenty of concise definitions and illustrative examples. A short self-assessment quiz is available to take after each lesson so you can make sure you fully understand the information. From your course Dashboard, you can track your progress through the chapter and jump to specific topics you want to review again. These lessons can be accessed at any time, day or night, which allows you to study whenever it's convenient.
1. Origins of the Universe: The Big Bang and Expanding & Contracting Universes
Students will learn the origins of the universe, the Big Bang theory, the timeline of the universe, how the universe is still expanding to this day, and what astronomers expect the universe to look like in the future.
2. The Big Bang Theory: Explanation and Evidence
A popular scientific theory is that our universe originated with what is known as the Big Bang. This lesson explains what the Big Bang is and the evidence that supports it. Following the lesson, you can test your newfound knowledge with a quiz!
3. The Evolution of the Early Universe
This lesson will describe four important stages of development in the early universe, the radiation era, recombination (decoupling) epoch, the dark age, and reionization era.
4. The Formation of the Milky Way Galaxy
This lesson will explore two hypotheses as to how the Milky Way galaxy formed. These are the top-down and bottom-up hypotheses. We'll also go into what special connection you personally have to all of this.
5. Stars: Definition & Facts
Before you name a star after someone, get the facts! Stars are a lot more than pretty lights up in the sky. Complete this lesson to learn more about nuclear fusion, main sequence stars, red giants, and more.
6. Star Formation: Main Sequence, Dwarf & Giant Stars
Learn how stars are born, beginning with a protostar. Then learn about stars in later stages of life, including main sequence stars, brown dwarfs, red giants, and black holes.
7. Stages of the Sun's Life Cycle
Discover our sun, the provider of energy for life on Earth. Learn how the sun was born, how it lives as a main sequence star, how it will age into a red giant and how it will die as a white dwarf.
8. Galaxy: Definition & Explanation
Galaxies are collections of stars, dust, and gas rotating around super massive black holes. This lesson will cover the structures and types of galaxies, including spiral, elliptical, and irregular galaxies.
9. Galaxy Formation: Spiral, Elliptical & Irregular Galaxies
This lesson explains how galaxies form, starting with the Big Bang. You'll also learn about the solar nebula hypothesis and three galaxy types, including spiral, elliptical, and irregular galaxies.
10. The Structure of Our Galaxy
If you ever looked up at the night sky far away from city lights, you would've seen a band of light across the night sky and lots of stars scattered around the rest of the sky. Why? The structure of our galaxy will explain exactly why.
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Other chapters within the Virginia SOL - Earth Science: Test Prep & Practice course
- Measurements in Earth Science
- Conducting Earth Science Experiments
- Scientific Reasoning & Logic
- Characteristics of Earth & the Solar System
- Space Exploration
- Earth's Natural Resources
- Intro to Rocks, Minerals & Soil
- Basics of Plate Tectonics
- Earth's Freshwater Resources
- Fossils & Geologic Time
- Ocean & Coastal Processes
- Evolution of the Atmosphere
- Climate, Weather & Energy Transferring
- Virginia SOL - Earth Science Flashcards