chapter 14 CHAPTER 14 The Tools of the Astronomer by niusheng11



  14         The Tools of the Astronomer

• You have previously learned that scientists make observations to
  investigate the universe.
• Astronomers have constructed special tools
  to investigate distant objects in the universe.

• Different tools have been designed over the
  years for different purposes in order to have
  the best tool for the job.

  14         The Tools of the Astronomer

• Computers are used a lot in modern astronomy
  to collect and analyze data that humans are not
  capable of processing.
  Example: radio telescopes
• Imagine two astronomers, Ranbir and Miranda.
  Ranbir wants to study distant stars, while
  Miranda is interested in planets like Venus and
  Mars. Even though they are both astronomers,
  how do you think Ranbir’s tools differ from
  Miranda’s tools?
• If you could design an “ideal tool” for Ranbir,
  and one for Miranda, what would these tools

  14        The Tools of the Astronomer

Key Ideas
• The astrolabe and the star map were tools used by early
  astronomers to chart the heavens and navigate the globe.
• Astronomers use different types of telescopes to study a variety
 of objects in the sky.
• Computers are essential to the astronomer.
• Space probes are sent into space to explore planets and other
14.1        Ancient and Modern Tools
• The astrolabe is an instrument that is used to          electromagnetic (EM)
  calculate the distance to and between stars by            spectrum
  measuring the angles from two positions and creating    optical telescopes

  a scale drawing. This method is called triangulation.   observatories

• Star maps help observers locate objects in the sky.
• The electromagnetic (EM)
  spectrum represents the total
  spectrum of radiant energy.
  Parts of the EM spectrum are
  emitted by all objects in the
14.1        Ancient and Modern Tools
• Telescopes are instruments that allow astronomers       electromagnetic (EM)
  to view objects in space, either from Earth’s surface     spectrum
  or from orbit around Earth.                             optical telescopes
• Each type of telescope is designed to detect specific
  wavelengths of the EM spectrum. For example, radio
  telescopes detect the radio waves emitted
  from galaxies and stars, and provide clues
  to their composition.
14.3        Computers and Probes
• Computers are used to analyze large quantities of      space probe
 astronomical data.
• Astronomical equipment and instruments such as
  telescopes, on the ground and in space, are
  controlled by computers.
• Computers translate the information received by
  telescopes into meaningful images of objects we
  ordinarily would not see.
• Space probes are unpiloted instruments that are sent
 into space to explore planets and other objects at
 close range.
• Some space probes use robots that roam the surface
  of another planetary body, and transmit data back to
 Earth for analysis.

To top