Ch 9: The Universe

About This Chapter

Watch online video lessons to study theories surrounding the origin of the universe and take a look at the solar system's planets and stars. Each lesson is accompanied by a short multiple-choice quiz you can use to check your understanding of these astronomy topics.

The Universe - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

In this chapter, study the origins of the universe, including a discussion on the Big Bang theory and the evidence supporting it. These lessons also cover asteroids, comets, meteors, telescopes, neutron stars and black holes. After completing this chapter, you'll understand:

  • Types of stars - different sizes and colors
  • How the layers of sun support the process of fusion
  • The life cycle of small and large stars, including red giant, dwarf, supergiant and supernova
  • The solar system -Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, Eris, Haumea and Ceres
  • The different theories about the formation of the earth and moon
  • The formation of the types of stars and the galaxies

VideoObjective
Origins of the Universe: The Big Bang and Expanding & Contracting Universes Explore the Big Bang theory and the expanding and contracting universes.
Evidence for the Big Bang Theory: Background Radiation, Red-Shift and Expansion Discover evidence that backs up the idea of the Big Bang.
Star Formation: Main Sequence, Dwarf & Giant Stars Examine how main sequence stars form.
Types of Telescopes: Radio, Reflecting & Refracting Telescopes Find out more about telescopes and how they can be used to discover new information.
Galaxy Formation: Spiral, Elliptical & Irregular Galaxies Study how galaxies are formed.
Types of Stars by Size, Color and Life Cycle See how stars differ in design, and discover how they relate to the life cycle.
Structure of the Sun: Fusion Process Explore how the layers of the sun support the process of fusion.
Small Star Life Cycle: Main Sequence, Dwarf & Red Giant Stars Analyze the steps in the life cycle of small stars.
Supernova and Supergiant Star Life Cycle Learn about the life cycle of large stars.
Black Holes and Neutron Star Life Cycle Study the life cycle of black holes and neutron stars.
Inner Planets of the Solar System: Mercury, Venus, Earth & Mars Learn about the environments and physical traits of the inner planets.
Formation of the Earth: Theories Explore the different ideas about how the earth was formed.
Formation of the Moon: Theories Examine theories on how the moon was formed.
Planetary Atmospheres as Predictors of Extraterrestrial Life Discover the different atmospheres on the planets and how that relates to life on the planets.
Outer Planets of the Solar System: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune Analyze the physical traits and environments of the outer planets.

18 Lessons in Chapter 9: The Universe
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Origins of the Universe: The Big Bang and Expanding & Contracting Universes

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.

Evidence for the Big Bang Theory: Background Radiation, Red-Shift and Expansion

2. Evidence for the Big Bang Theory: Background Radiation, Red-Shift and Expansion

Discover what evidence exists to support the Big Bang theory of the birth of the universe. Learn how cosmic background radiation, the red shift of light and the ongoing expansion of the universe led scientists to believe that the universe was started with the Big Bang.

Star Formation: Main Sequence, Dwarf & Giant Stars

3. 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.

Types of Telescopes: Radio, Reflecting & Refracting Telescopes

4. 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.

Galaxy Formation: Spiral, Elliptical & Irregular Galaxies

5. 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.

Types of Stars by Size, Color and Life Cycle

6. 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.

Structure of the Sun

7. Structure of the Sun

Discover the layers of the sun, including the core, radiative zone, convective zone, photosphere, chromosphere, and corona. Find out which layers you can see from Earth. Investigate what sunspots and solar flares are.

Stages of the Sun's Life Cycle

8. 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.

Supernova and Supergiant Star Life Cycle

9. Supernova and Supergiant Star Life Cycle

Learn about one of the biggest explosions known to humankind - a supernova. Follow a star's life cycle and learn how a star changes from a red giant to a supernova to a black hole or neutron star.

Life Cycle of Neutron Stars

10. Life Cycle of Neutron Stars

Discover the life of a neutron star, including how it's born after a supernova explosion and how its extreme pressure causes protons and electrons to combine into neutrons. Discover also how pulsars are rotating neutron stars that will eventually slow down to become regular neutron stars.

Life Cycle of Black Holes

11. Life Cycle of Black Holes

Learn about black holes, their myths and their reality. Learn how black holes form after stars undergo supernovae and create singularities. Discover how big black holes grow, how scientists find black holes and where black holes are located in the universe.

Inner Planets of the Solar System: Mercury, Venus, Earth & Mars

12. Inner Planets of the Solar System: Mercury, Venus, Earth & Mars

Take a tour of the four inner planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars. Known as the terrestrial planets, find out what makes each of them unique and how they are different from the outer planets, the gas giants.

Formation of the Earth: Theories

13. Formation of the Earth: Theories

In this lesson, the theory of how the planet Earth formed will be discussed. This includes looking at how it differentiated into three layers, how it formed its atmosphere, water, and land features, and how it continues to evolve today.

Formation of the Moon: Theories

14. Formation of the Moon: Theories

Explore the four major theories on the formation of the Moon. The theories include the fission theory, capture theory, condensation theory and giant impact theory. Also look at both information supporting and flaws found in these theories.

Planetary Predictors of Extraterrestrial Life

15. Planetary Predictors of Extraterrestrial Life

Investigate what is needed for life to exist anywhere and the implications for life in our solar system beyond Earth. Consider Mars and some of the moons of Jupiter and Saturn, including Europa, Callisto, Ganymede and Enceladus.

Outer Planets of the Solar System: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune

16. Outer Planets of the Solar System: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune

Take a tour of the outer planets of our solar system: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Find out what makes each of these gas giants unique and learn about Pluto, a dwarf planet.

Dwarf Planets of the Solar System: Pluto, Eris, Haumea & Ceres

17. Dwarf Planets of the Solar System: Pluto, Eris, Haumea & Ceres

Discover why Pluto had to leave the league of planets and was downgraded to a dwarf planet. Learn the definitions for planet and dwarf planet. Find out about the currently classified dwarf planets in our solar system: Pluto, Eris, Ceres, Haumea and Makemake.

Asteroids, Meteorites & Comets: Definitions and Characteristics

18. Asteroids, Meteorites & Comets: Definitions and Characteristics

This lesson will cover the definitions and characteristics of asteroids, comets and meteorites. It will also explore what impact they have had on Earth and the impact they might have in the future.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 160 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Support