Part 2 of Astronomy takes a step outside planet Earth and takes an in-depth look at the discovery and exploration of the Milky Way galaxy. Students will analyze the Big Bang theory and evidence that supports the creation of our solar system. Students will then explore the creation and properties of terrestrial and gaseous planets, and they will recognize what makes each planet unique. Lastly, students will explore foreign bodies of the solar system, such as meteors, asteroids, comets, and asteroid and comet impacts. This course will utilize interactive labs and a textbook.
It is recommended that students successfully complete Astronomy Part 1 or equivalent course work before enrolling in this course.
Unit 1: Essential Content and Skills
- Examine the different observations that lead up to the discovery of the Milky Way Galaxy.
- Determine the structure of the galaxy by analyzing the components and mass of the galaxy.
- Determine how the galaxy formed by analyzing the properties of star populations.
- Determine how to classify the galaxies in our universe by examining the three main types of galaxies and how they are organized.
- Determine how to measure the properties of galaxies by examining Hubble Law and Hubble Constant.
- Determine how to measure the properties of galaxies by discussing the different ranges of galaxy masses.
- Discuss supermassive black holes by examining their characteristics and how they form.
Unit 2: Essential Content and Skills
- Discuss a theory of how the universe was created by analyzing moments of the Big Bang.
- Determine how the universe is expanding in dimensions of both space and time.
- Discuss how scientists are exploring and observing our universe at the large-scale to help confirm known theories of the universe and the Big Bang.
- Determine what makes up the solar system.
- Analyze different techniques used for dating and estimating the age of celestial objects.
- Analyze the formation, growth, and development of planets in the solar nebula.
- Discuss planets orbiting other stars, and discover what astronomers know about other planetary systems.
Unit 3: Essential Content and Skills
- Compare different types of terrestrial planets by discussing different properties of the terrestrial planets.
- Discuss how Earth has been changing and evolving since it formed.
- Discuss the evolution of Earth’s moon by analyzing theories of moon formation and stages of development.
- Discuss how Mercury has evolved into the planet it is today by analyzing its geological and atmospheric features.
- Analyze the different geological and atmospheric features of Venus by comparing it to the properties of planet Earth.
- Discuss how Mars has evolved into the planet it is today by analyzing its geological and atmospheric features.
- Discuss the comparative planetology of Venus, Earth, and Mars by comparing and contrasting the evolution of the development of these planets.
Unit 4: Essential Content and Skills
- Compare different types of Jovian planets.
- Discuss the difference between meteoroids, meteors, and meteorites by determining their origins and analyzing their compositions.
- Discuss the properties, geology, origin, and history of asteroids.
- Examine the properties, geology, origin, and history of comets.
- Analyze the physical bases needed for life on Earth.
- Analyze the different theories of the origin and evolution of life on Earth.
- Recognize the effort for the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) by identifying different ways that humans attempt to communicate with intelligent beings on other worlds.
- Horizons: Exploring the Universe (textbook)
*Available as an iText course