Students will begin Astronomy Part 1 by taking an in-depth look into the night sky. Students will learn about the stars, constellations, and the phases of the Moon. This course will then discuss the cycles of the Sun, which influence the Earth's climate. Students will become familiar with the origin of modern day astronomy as they learn about modern methods of measurement and observation, ground-based and space-based astronomy, and ancient instruments and techniques for observation. The course will continue with a closer look at the Sun and stars. This section of the course will concentrate on solar activity, classification of stars, star formation, and the death of a star. Astronomy Part 1 will incorporate the use of interactive labs and a textbook.
Unit 1: Essential Content and Skills
- Explain how measurements are made in astronomy by reviewing the use of the metric system and scientific notation.
- Describe the steps of the scientific method.
- Describe the use of the celestial sphere to track the stars in the night sky.
- Explain how Earth’s rotation and revolution around the sun regulate day and night, and define a year.
- Determine why our moon goes through phases.
- Determine the cause of lunar eclipses.
- Discuss the Copernican Revolution and examine its evolution.
Unit 2: Essential Content and Skills
- Describe planetary motion by analyzing Tycho Brahe’s observations.
- Examine the laws of planetary motion by analyzing Kepler’s development of and explanation for the motion of our planets.
Galileo Galilei’s contributions to astronomy by analyzing the observations he
made with the earliest telescopes.
- Examine the rise and fall of the tides by analyzing the moon’s gravitational pull on Earth.
- Discuss the electromagnetic spectrum by comparing the various forms of electromagnetic radiation.
- Compare and contrast reflecting and refracting telescopes.
- Compare elements, ions, and isotopes by reviewing the structure of an atom.
Unit 3: Essential Content and Skills
- Examine the solar atmosphere by analyzing each of the three spheres of the sun.
- Dissect the sun’s solar activity, including sun spots, the sun’s magnetic field, and the repercussions of violent solar weather on the sun.
- Analyze classifications of stars.
- Determine the difference between giant, supergiant, and dwarf stars by examining the various characteristics of each.
- Determine how astronomers survey stars.
- Differentiate various types of nebulae.
- Analyze the process of star birth by detailing the conditions and events that take place when a star begins to form.
Unit 4: Essential Content and Skills
- Examine the structure of stellar objects by exploring the science of a star’s stability.
- Discover the relation among the stellar mass, luminosity, and lifetime of a star.
- Analyze mass transfer between stars, the development of accretion discs, and nova explosions.
- Discuss how our sun will die by examining the evolution of a middle-mass star.
- Analyze the theories pertaining to the existence of neutron stars.
- Discuss theories pertaining to the existence of pulsars.
- Discuss different theories and scientific observations involving black holes to determine if they truly exist.
- Horizons: Exploring the Universe (textbook)
*Available as an iText course