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					What is this?   PH1600: Lecture 1
                A Grand Tour of the Universe
PH1600: Introductory Astronomy
Lecture 1: A Grand Tour of the Heavens

          School: Michigan Technological University
                 Professor: Robert Nemiroff
             TAs: Ashley Ames & Martin Boluyt
                 Term: Fall Semester 2008

No formal book: Only lectures, Wikipedia pages, & APOD pages
                Good background reading book:
             The Cosmos by Pasachoff & Filippenko
        Online Course WebCT pages: courses.mtu.edu
    Physical Class Time: Monday & Wed 10:05 – 10:55 am
       Physical Class Location: Rekhi G005 (Basement)

 This class can be taken online ONLY, class attendance is not
A Beautiful & Free Astronomy Course

   Beautiful space pictures are used to
    liberally illustrate space themes
   All course material is freely
    available over the Internet
   Still, this course is rigorous, college-
    level, accurate and up-to-date
Beautiful Space Pictures
   Usually chosen from the daily
    updated Astronomy Picture of the
    Day (APOD: apod.nasa.gov)
   Includes the most recent astronomy
    images, not yet available in printed
    text books
   Includes the most beautiful
    astronomy images, which help
    define our time
Free Astronomy Course

   Text taken from freely available
   In astronomy, wikipedia is often
    more up-to-date than textbooks
   Information is free, but diplomas
    cost money
       to receive college credit, you need to
        register at a university and pay money!
You are responsible for…
   Lecture material
   Wikipedia pages (cited in lectures)
       Anything on those pages can appear on
        quizzes or tests, even if I never mention them
        during my lecture(s)
       Use only wikipedia.org pages as they appeared
        on September 1, 2008
   APODs posted during the semester
       September 1 – December 15 inclusive
       APOD review every week during lecture
   Completing the Quizzes
       Chapter 1 quiz now online
Wikipedia entries of today

   Universe
   Electromagnetic Spectrum
   Light Year
Cosmic Questions
   What does “universe” mean?
   How big is the universe?
   What is the largest thing in the universe?
   What is the smallest thing in the
   How old is the universe?

These will all be addressed during this
  course! Here, though, are some quick
Cosmic Answers:
   There are many definitions to “universe”
       Earth, visible universe, causally connected brane,
       Wikipedia entry: Universe
       http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Universe
   Size of visible universe: 13.7 billion light years in
   Largest thing: Superclusters (100 million light
    years across
   Smallest thing: electron, photon, neutrino, other
    fundamental particles
   Universe Age: 13.7 Billion light years
Light Year:
Slow Light is a Time Machine

   “Light year” is a unit of distance
       The distance light travels in one year
   An object one light year away is seen as it
    was one year ago. Etc!
       You can only see the past
       We can almost see back to the beginning of
        the universe
   Light could circle the Earth about 7.5
    times in one second
   Wikipedia entry: light year
Speed of light: example calculation
   c = speed of light = 3 x 108 meters/sec

   Q: The sun is (about) 8 light minutes
    away – how far is that in meters?
   A: distance = velocity x time
    = (3 x 108 m/sec)x(8 min)x(60 sec/min)
    = 1.44 x 1011 meters
Light is more colorful than we can see.
   Visible light: red to blue
       ROY G BIV
   Almost visible light: infrared to ultraviolet
   Entire Electromagnetic Spectrum:
       Radio waves, microwaves, infrared, visible
        (red, blue), ultraviolet, X-rays, gamma-rays
   Different animals perceive light differently
   The Sun is green

   Wikipedia entry: Electromagnetic
Array of Radio Telescopes
y 14
Jets from Radio Galaxy 3C296
Credit & Copyright: AUI, NRAO
APOD: 2002 February 26
A Year of Resolving Cosmology
Credit: WMAP Science Team, NASA
APOD: 2003 December 31
The Galactic Center in Infrared
Credit: 2MASS Project, UMass, IPAC/Caltech, NSF, NASA
APOD: 2006 July 16
The Coma Cluster of Galaxies
Credit & Copyright: Jim Misti (Misti Mountain Observatory)
APOD: 2006 March 21
Dark Sun Sizzling
Credit: TRACE Project, Stanford-Lockheed Inst., NASA
APOD: 2006 July 12
SN 1006: Supernova Remnant in X-Rays
Credit: J. Hughes (Rutgers) et al., CXC, NASA
APOD: 2005 December 26
Fermi's First Light
Credit: NASA, DOE, International LAT Team
APOD: 2008 August 28
The Sky at Night
   All stars seen are in our Milky Way
    Galaxy, most are near our Sun
   Stars
       Sirius, Polaris, etc.
   Constellations
       Orion, Ursa Major (Big Bear), etc.
   Asterisms
       Big Dipper, Little Dipper, etc.
   Planets
       Venus, Jupiter, etc.
   Central Plane of our Galaxy
Sirius: The Brightest Star in the Night
Credit & Copyright: Juan Carlos Casado
APOD: 2000 June 11
Ceci n'est pas un Meteore
Credit & Copyright: Laurent Laveder (PhotoAstronomique.net)
APOD: 2006 August 19
Dusk of the Planets
Credit & Copyright:
Jerry Lodriguss
APOD: 2002 April 29
                 Raining Perseids
Credit & Copyright: Fred Bruenjes
           APOD: 2007 August 12
Astronomy Pictures of the Day
(APODs) from the past week…

APODs reviewed today:
Monday, 2008 September 1 through
Wednesday, 2008 September 3

Web site: apod.nasa.gov