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Astronomy Chapter 0

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Spring Equinox
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the Sun rises due east today, but will rise slightly north of due east tomorrow
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Summer Solstice
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noontime Sun reaches its highest point of the year; longest day of the yr
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Fall Equinox
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Sun has declination 0 degree today, but will have a negative declination tmrw
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Winter Solstise
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-Sun crosses the meridian 23.5 degrees lower in altityde than the celestial equator -Sunset occurs at its farthest point south of due west for the year -Noontime Sun casts the longest shadows
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To indicate how far north or south we are on Earth, we specify location in degrees of
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latitude.
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latitude: there is a unique zero place called the ______ determined by the spinning of the Earth
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equator
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The closest terrestrial analog to hours of right ascension is the angle of
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longitude
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The solar day is 3.9 minutes longer than the
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sidereal day
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If you are in the Moon’s umbral shadow, then you will witness a
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total solar eclipse
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The Earth’s spin determines certain special locations on the Earth. The spin ____ goes through the North and South Poles
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axis
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Midway between the North and South Poles, the _______ circles the Earth.
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equator
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What’s the latitude of the North Pole? Of the equator?
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90 degrees North for the North Pole 0 degrees for the equator
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A zero longitude place was arbitrarily chosen to be the longitude line that runs through _______, ________
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Greenwich, England
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Longitude lines can be numbered in a complete circle of __________, (but we usually extend them only 180 degrees east of Greenwich and 180 degrees west of Greenwich)
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360 degrees
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For giving locations more precisely, degrees of latitude or longitude are subdivided into minutes
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minutes of arc 60′
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Each minute is further divided into 60 _______________
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seconds of arc.
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The Sun AND the Moon project an angular size of __ arc minutes on the sky.
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30
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From Earth, the Sun and Moon have about the same
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angular diameter
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the celestial sphere is divided into __ constellations
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88
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If Scorpius is now prominent in the summer sky, in 13,000 years it will be best seen
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in the winter sky
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When the Moon is directly opposite the Sun in the sky
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Full Phase
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the sun appears as a thin, bright ring
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annular eclipse
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Long ago, people believed that there was a giant sphere to which the stars were attached
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celestial sphere
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“celestial latitude lines”
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declination
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“celestial longitude lines”
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right ascension
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Unlike longitude, which is measured in degrees and minutes, right ascension is measured in
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hours and minutes
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An hour of right ascension corresponds to 60 degrees in the sky.
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FALSE
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A tropical year is the same as a sidereal year
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FALSE
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At the solstices, the Sun’s declination will be _____ degrees from the equator
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23.5
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What angle would Eratosthenes have measured had Earth been flat?
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0.00×100 degrees
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If you are in the Earth’s umbra, then it is
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night time
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Right ascension in the sky is very similar to latitude on the Earth.
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FALSE
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From the horizon to the observer’s zenith is an angle of ___ for everyone on Earth
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90°
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The star Wolf 1061 has a parallax of 2.34 arcseconds, while the star Ross 652 has a parallax of 1.70 arc-seconds. What can you correctly conclude?
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Wolf 1061 is closer to Earth than Ross 652
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A lunar eclipse can occur only during the
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full phase.
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If the Moon’s orbit were a little larger, solar eclipses would be
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more likely to be annular
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The seasons are caused by the precession of Earth’s axis.
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FALSE
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The stars in a constellation are physically close to one another.
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FALSE
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The interval from new Moon to first quarter is about a
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WEEK
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The synodic month is
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29.5 days
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The 26,000 year cycle that changes the poles and equinoxes is called
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precession
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A solar eclipse can only happen during a:
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new moon
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If the Moon appears half lit, and is almost overhead about 6:00 AM, its phase is
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third quarter
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The twelve constellations the solar system bodies move through are the
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signs of the zodiac
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A long, thin cloud that stretched from directly overhead to the western horizon would have an angular size of
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90°
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You note that a particular star is directly overhead. It will be directly overhead again in
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23 hours, 56 mins
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While watching a star, you see it moves 15 degrees across the sky. How long have you been watching it?
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1 hour
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The parallax shift for all stars is
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very small.
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From the full moon to third quarter moon takes about
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a week.
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There is a solar eclipse of some kind every new moon.
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FALSE
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That Polaris will not always be the pole star is due to
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PRESSESION SHIFTING THE CELESTIAL POLE
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Suppose that instead of being inclined to Earth’s orbit around the Sun, the Moon’s orbit was in the same plane as Earth’s orbit around the Sun. (Click “Show Moon with flat orbit” to see this situation.) In this hypothetical situation, approximately how many solar eclipses would occur each year?
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12
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In reality, the Moon’s orbit about Earth is tilted (by about 5°) with respect to Earth’s orbit about the Sun. As a result, the actual number of solar eclipses that occur each year is approximately _____.
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2
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Earth orbits the Sun in the
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ecliptic plane
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What conditions must exist for a solar eclipse to occur?
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Phase of the moon must be NEW and the Moon must be passing through the Earths orbital plane
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What conditions must exist for a lunar eclipse to occur?
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Phase of the moon must be FULL and the Moon must be passing through the Earths orbital plane
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A Lunar Eclipse occurs when
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Earth’s shadow falls on the moon
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If you could change the layout of the solar system, which of the following would cause a lunar eclipse to occur at least once every month in this hypothetical situation?
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Change the moons orbital plane so that it is in the same plan eas the Earth’s orbit around the SUn
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If the earth rotated on its axis twice as fast as it currently does, but its motion around the Sun stayed the same, then:
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The night would be twice as long.
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If new Moon fell on March 2nd, what is the Moon’s phase on March 14th?
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waxing gibbous
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When the Moon is directly opposite the Sun in the sky, its phase is
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full
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The interval from new Moon to first quarter is about a(n)
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week
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The fact that the Earth has moved along its orbit in the time it took to rotate once is the reason for
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the difference between solar and sidereal time.
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At the equinoxes, the declination of the Sun must be ___ degrees
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zero
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Celestial coordinates specify which ______ something is with respect to Earth, but not the distance to the object
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direction
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For objects within the solar system (comets, planets, moons, asteroids), distance is often specified in
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Astronomical Units (AU)
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An AU is the average distance from the Earth to the Sun, which equals
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149,597,870 kilometers
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For objects outside the solar system, the______ is often used.
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light year (ly)
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One light year is equal to
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63,240 AU.