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Ch 1: Understanding Stars, Solar Systems & Galaxies

About This Chapter

If you need help understanding stars, solar systems and galaxies, you've reached the right place! Short lessons, mini quizzes and a practice exam are available around-the-clock to strengthen your knowledge and enhance your preparations for an upcoming test.

Understanding Stars, Solar Systems & Galaxies - Chapter Summary

This chapter makes the process of studying stars, solar systems and galaxies simple. By exploring our entertaining lessons, you can quickly grasp the basics of nuclear fusion, the solar nebula theory, galaxy formation, the Big Bang Theory and more. Once you've finished this chapter, you will be able to:

  • List and discuss the stages of the sun's life cycle
  • Define a supernova and detail the life cycle of a supergiant star
  • Identify and describe types of stars by size, color and life cycle
  • Provide facts about the age of the solar system
  • Share four stages of development in the early universe
  • Outline the history and evolution of the solar system
  • Differentiate between radio, reflecting and refracting telescopes

This chapter offers 24/7 access that lets you study during the timeframes that align with your personal schedule. You can navigate the lessons in this chapter in any order you choose, and visit as often as you'd like. If you hit a snag while reviewing this chapter or need to clarify details presented in the lessons, feel free to submit your questions to our subject-matter experts. Multiple-choice quizzes are available to test your knowledge of each lesson you study.

12 Lessons in Chapter 1: Understanding Stars, Solar Systems & Galaxies
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Big Bang Theory of the Universe: Definition & Overview

1. Big Bang Theory of the Universe: Definition & Overview

In this lesson, you'll learn about the most current theory on how the universe began, the Big Bang Theory. You'll learn about the theories about the origin of the universe that came before the theory as well as the events, discoveries, and scientists involved in the formulation of it.

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.

What Is Nuclear Fusion? - Definition & Process

3. What Is Nuclear Fusion? - Definition & Process

Learn about the process of nuclear fusion and where it occurs naturally in our universe. Then go further by learning how we have harnessed its power and about some future possible uses for nuclear fusion.

Stages of the Sun's Life Cycle

4. 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

5. 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.

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.

The Solar Nebula Theory: Formation of the Solar System

7. The Solar Nebula Theory: Formation of the Solar System

This lesson will go over the theory that explains how the solar system formed, what theory had once competed with it, and what important implication this theory carries.

What is the Age of the Solar System?

8. What is the Age of the Solar System?

This lesson will tell you how old our solar system is and how we know that's the case thanks to radioactive decay, isotopes, half-life, and the solar nebula.

The Evolution of the Early Universe

9. 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.

History & Evolution of the Solar System

10. History & Evolution of the Solar System

The solar system you see today didn't look like this millions of years ago. This lesson discusses the history and evolution of the solar system by focusing on Late Heavy Bombardment, planet migration and solar output.

Galaxy Formation: Spiral, Elliptical & Irregular Galaxies

11. 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 Telescopes: Radio, Reflecting & Refracting Telescopes

12. 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.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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