Revised Study Guide for the Final Astronomy Exam – 16 Dec 2009
1) Units 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, & 7: Apparent Motion of the Stars, Sun and Moon
A) Vocabulary – At the end of each unit a list of key terms is found. The successful student will be
able to write the definition of those terms. Emphasis will be placed on those terms used during
B) Essays on large concepts – The successful student will be prepared to write a paragraph (about
10 sentences) on the topics listed below. You can expect to be asked to write on two of the
i) The apparent motion of the Sun on daily and annual time scales (Unit 6 & 7)
ii) Multiple Choice and Label the Diagram questions on the Celestial Sphere model (See Unit 5)
C) Multiple choice questions on the apparent motion of the stars similar to prior exam questions
2) Unit 11: Apparent Motion of the Planets
A) Describe the Daily apparent motion of the planets
B) Describe how the Copernican heliocentric model explains the
i) Maximum elongation of inferior planets
ii) Occurrence of retrograde motion and brightening at opposition for superior planets.
3) Unit 12: Copernican Revolution
A) Describe Kepler’s first two laws and how they removed the last vestiges of Aristotle from the
B) Describe what Galileo saw and its significance in disproving the Aristotelian world view when
i) The Moon iii) Jupiter
ii) The Sun iv) Venus
4) Unit 16 to 18: Gravity
A) Material in Questions for Review #1 to 4 is fair game. Understand the answers to these
B) State the significance of the universal gravitational constant being such a small number.
C) Explain the inverse square law nature of gravity.
5) Unit 32 to 34: Planetary Science
A) In a written essay contrast the properties of the Terrestrial and Jovian planets.
B) Answer multiple choice questions & short answer questions regarding the Solar Nebula Theory
for the formation of Planetary Systems.
C) Understand the Doppler Wobble Technique (a.k.a. radial velocity method) for finding extra-solar
planets enough to interpret a radial velocity curve.
D) Contrast a given extra-solar planetary system with ours.
E) Describe two proposed methods of giant planet migration. State why there needs to be more than
just one method to migrate giant planets.
6) Unit 49 & 50: The Sun
A) Answer MC questions on the bulk characteristics of the Sun.
B) In a written essay describe how the Sun produces energy, in detail.
7) Units 53, 54, 55, 56, 57& 58: Stars
A) Rank a set of stars in terms of brightness, luminosity, temperature, and stage of evolution.
B) Compare a set of stars on an HR diagram with the Sun in terms of luminosity, temperature, and
stage of evolution
C) Describe the technique of stellar parallax for determine stellar distances.
D) Use Wien’s Law in the interpretation of a star’s spectrum (Unit 55.2)
8) Unit 59: Stellar Evolution
A) Know the different stages of Stellar evolution (Figure 59.1 and 59.2)
B) State the ramifications of stellar recycling
9) Unit 60: Star Formation
A) Know the steps in star formation from a GMC to an Open Cluster
B) Recognize a photograph of a GMC, HII region, and Open Cluster.
C) Identify the OB Association in an HII region photograph
D) Use the Initial Mass (Birth) Function to explain why the most common stars are not like the Sun.
10) Unit 61: Main Sequence Stars
A) Be able to write down the mass, luminosity, radius, temperature, and lifetime in solar units of
main sequence O, G and M stars.
11) Unit 62Giant Stars
A) Describe how shell burning creates giant stars
12) Unit 64: Post-Main Sequence of the Sun (low mass stars)
A) Match the method of energy production with the stage of a stars’ evolution.
B) Match the method of energy production with its placement on the HR diagram of a stars’
13) Unit 66: Supernova
A) See the presentation on Hot Tips for what needs to be known regarding supernovas.
14) Unit 70: The Milky Way Galaxy
A) Describe how we know the basic shape and dimensions of the Milky Way
B) Describe how we know the position of the Su in the Galaxy
15) Unit 71: Structure of the Milky Way
A) List or identify the basic dimensions and components of the Milky Way Galaxy.
B) Describe in detail the relationship between spiral arms and star formation.
A) Angular Size Problem similar to previous exam.
B) Wien’s Law Problem: Interpret the spectrum of a star to determine its temperature.
C) t=d/v problem with a unit change
D) Stellar Parallax problem
Be prepared to write on the following topics
Long Essays (10 to 20 sentences) Short Answer (2 to 5 sentences)
Sun’s Diurnal and Annual Apparent Motion Kepler’s first two laws
Terrestrial versus Jovian Planet Characteristics Galileo’s Telescopic observations
Energy production in Main Sequence stars like Origin of Giant Stars
the Sun Structure of the Milky Way
Spiral Arms and Star Formation