About This Chapter
Overview of Astronomy - Chapter Summary
Whether you're looking to brush up on astronomy or expand your current understanding, this chapter can help! Review short lessons that cover the solar system, types of telescopes, nuclear fusion and star formation, Kepler's three laws of planetary motion and more. By the end of this chapter, you will be able to:
- Define and share examples of astronomical units and light years
- Explain how telescopes detect and measure light
- List and discuss types of stars by size, color and life cycle
- Discuss the relationship between a star's brightness and luminosity
- Describe the formation, types and life cycles of stars
- Differentiate between a galaxy, solar system and universe
- Outline major characteristics of planets in our solar system
- Share details about interactions in the sun-earth-moon system
This chapter is self-paced, enabling you to choose the lessons you want to study and visit as often as needed to fully understand this overview of astronomy. Multiple-choice quizzes are available to assess your knowledge of concepts presented in each lesson. For a broader review of this chapter, be sure to take our practice exam. Questions about specific lesson topics can be submitted to our subject-matter experts via the Dashboard.
1. Astronomical Units & Light Years: Definition & Examples
After watching this video, you will be able to explain why we need special astronomical ways of measuring distance. You will also be able to state the meaning of the terms astronomical unit, light year and parsec. A short quiz will follow.
2. Types of Telescopes: Radio, Reflecting & Refracting Telescopes
Learn about the different types of telescopes that astronomers use: X-ray, radio, gamma ray, reflecting and refracting. Learn what the differences are between them and what different things they show us about the universe.
3. How Telescopes Detect & Measure Light
This lesson will go over the numerous methods astronomers can use to detect and measure light, including photography, spectroscopy, photometry, and CCDs.
4. Types of Stars by Size, Color and Life Cycle
Learn to identify the different sizes and colors of stars and how they relate to the star life cycle. In this lesson, we'll talk about spectral classification, how many stars there are of each type and the approximate color of the different classes of stars.
5. Relating a Star's Brightness to Luminosity
This lesson will explore how luminosity, apparent brightness, and distance are related to one another using the inverse square law. You'll also learn how luminosity can be gauged based on distance and apparent brightness.
6. Nuclear Fusion & Star Formation
This lesson will explain how the processes of stellar formation leads to nuclear fusion. We'll also define nuclear fusion and hydrostatic equilibrium, and find out why temperature is so important to all of this.
7. Formation, Types & Life Cycles of Stars
After reading this lesson, you will be able to describe how stars form and what form they take as well as describing the common cycles of their lives. A short quiz will follow.
8. Solar System, Galaxy, & Universe: Definitions & Difference
Want to learn what the universe, galaxy, and solar system are as well as some cool facts about each one? This lesson will give you an overview of what these three things are in a relatable fashion.
9. What is a Solar System? - Planets & Model
The solar system consists of all the matter that lies within the gravitational pull of the sun. This lesson will describe the formation of the solar system along with the objects in it. At the end there will be a quiz to test your knowledge.
10. Major Characteristics of Planets in the Solar System
This lesson will go over some characteristics of the planets in our solar system with respect to their masses, diameters, temperatures, densities, and rotation.
11. Interactions in the Sun-Earth-Moon System
Learn how the sun, earth, and moon interact with each other to create tides, phases, eclipses, seasons, solar winds, and precession. Take a quiz and see how much you've picked up.
12. Kepler's Three Laws of Planetary Motion
Find out about the interesting life and major contributions of Johannes Kepler. This lesson will also teach you how to find out how long it takes a planet to revolve around the sun!
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