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9: Star And

Chapter 9:

Stars and Galaxies

i) The Sun..

- the centre of our solar system - The Sun is actually a star of moderate size - The Sun takes 25 and half days to rotate on its axis from west to east

Characteristics of The Sun Size ( diameter) Mass Density Surface temperature Temperature of Suns


1.4 million km 1.989 x 10 kg 1.41 g cm 30compared with density of ( water ) 6000 degree Celsius 15 million degree Celsius

Core Table 9.1: Characteristics of the Sun Notes: - The Suns diameter is 109 times the diameter of the Earth

The Suns mass is 330 thousand times the mass of the Earth

The density of the material that forms the sun is one over four times that of the Earth

Structure of the Sun..

The Suns atmosphere consists of three parts. The parts are, i) ii) iii) corona chromosphere photosphere

Characteristic of Corona - outer most layer of gas in the Suns atmosphere


corona forms a circle of white light around the Sun

- only visible during eclipse of the Sun - temperature is about 1.5 million degree Celsius

Chromosphere - bright red layer of gas below the corona

- only visible during eclipse of the Sun just like the corona - temperature varies between 10 000 and 500 000 degree Celsius

Photosphere. - compact layer of gas seen to be shining with yellow light from Earth

Photospheres surface appears turbulent because gas from the Suns core is release to its surface

- This layer is responsible for radiating heat and light from the Sun

Suns Core - consist of hydrogen and helium gases

- nuclear reaction occurs in the core all the time to generate and release heat and light energy

The cores temperature is extremely high. Its about 15 million degree Celsius

Photograph 9.2: corona and chromosphere can only during an eclipse of the Sun

be seen

Phenomena of that occur at the Suns atmosphere

Few of phenomena that occur at the Suns atmosphere are


prominences Solar flares




an explosion of hot gas that shoots out from the Suns chromosphere with shiny bright


light can been seen near the edge of the Sun during an eclipse of the Sun prominence emits charged particles and

ultraviolet rays into outer space a strong explosion of gases that happen suddenly into outer space

Solar layer

also emit rays like gamma rays and X-rays this phenomena occurs for only a few

minutes or a few hours but it release a great


deal of energy dark spots on the surface of the Suns Photosphere


a lower

temperature ( 4000


Celsius ) than its surroundings ( 6000 degree Celsius )

Table 9.2: Description of phenomena of that occur at the Suns atmosphere

The effect of the phenomena on the surface of the Sun on Earth

charged particles as a result of solar flares reach the North Pole or the South Pole of the Earth and collide with gas molecules in the atmosphere as a result, colorful light that consist of green, yellow and red lights are produced. These light that can be seen at night are called aurora the charged particles and radiation from the Sun like cosmic rays, X-rays and gamma rays will collide with particles in the Earths atmosphere this causes disturbance to the communications system like television and radio broadcast, telegraph transmissions and telephone calls.

Generation of energy by the Sun

- consist of hydrogen and helium gases - nuclear reaction that takes place in the Suns core generates energy

- during a nuclear reaction, 2 hydrogen atoms fuse to form one helium atom. Heat and light energy are released

Stars and Galaxies in the Universe

Star is - a natural object in outer space that can release heat and light energy - generates energy through nuclear reactions

Sun is - a star that is nearest to Earth

Distance of a star from the Earth is measured in units of light year, distance traveled by light in a year. There are bright stars in the sky can been seen by naked eye at night such as the Sirius and Rigel.

Science Corridor:

Classification of stars

- Alpha Proxima is the second nearest star to earth. This star is situated about 4.2 light years from Earth - Sirius and Rigel are situated 8.6 and 900 light years respectively from Earth

Stars need to be classified to facilitate research and classified according to characteristics such as i) ii) iii) temperature size brightness

A star with very lo temperature is red in colour. A star that very hot is blue in colour. Dwarf star Giant star - very small star, smaller than Earth - tens of times bigger than the Sun

Supergiant star - very big star, 100 times bigger than the Sun

Apparent magnitude - measurement of the brightness of object in the sky that can be seen from Earth. The lower the magnitude value, the brighter the object

Birth and death of star

Star - born from nebula

Nebula - a large cloud that consist of dust and gases


gases and particles in the nebula are pulled by strong gravitational force to form a lump and causes the lump of gases to shirk and is compressed until it becomes very compact to form a core

when temperature and pressure in the core become very high, nuclear reaction occurs and hydrogen gas is turned into helium. A lot of heat and light energy are released the, the core shines and a star is born.

The star will die when all hydrogen gas in its core is used up in nuclear reaction. The star will undergo death in by following stages with

A star of moderate size like Sun: 1. the hydrogen atoms in the star are used up and nuclear reaction stops 2. the star expands because its gravitational force has decreased and forms a red giant

the outer parts of the star drift out into space leaving the extremely hot white core called the white dwarf


the with dwarf is a star that is dense, compact and becoming increasingly cold


the, its continues to become colder and eventually leaves a black body or black dwarf (looks dark in outer space)

A star that is bigger than the Sun:

1. the outer layer of the star expands as a result of decreasing gravitational force to form a red giant









supernova. A great deal of heat and light energy are produced 3. very strong gravitational force in the core of the star converts it into either a neutron star or black hole.

Black hole - an object that is very dense and has strong gravitational force that pulls all surrounding materials,

including light, that is close by, to it. Black hole also cant be seen in outer space.

Neutron star - a very small and dense star as it consist mainly of neutron particles.

Constellation - a group of stars that forms a certain pattern in the sky - in ancient times, knowledge of the constellation were used as a calendar and compass

Figure 9.5: Example of constellations

Types of galaxy
Classified according to: - elliptical galaxies - spiral galaxies - irregular galaxies

Shape of galaxy Elliptical Spiral Irregular

Example of galaxy Galaxy M87 in Virgo Milky Way and Andromeda Magellan Cloud

Table 9.3: Shows the shape and example of galaxy

- our solar is in a galaxy called the Milky Way. - The Sun is one of the millions of stars in the Milky Way.

iii) Existence of the Universe as a Gift from God

Many scientist believe in the theory that the Universe begins with a huge explosion, the Big Bang. During the explosion, the Universe expanded from nothing to become a huge space measuring 2 billion billion kilometers in width, in a single second. At present, scientists still cant explain why the Big Bang occur. We should appreciate the uniqueness, orderliness, beauty and harmony in the Universe as a sing Of the glory of God.

Chapter 10:

Space Exploration

Development in the field of astronomy and space exploration

Astronomy - is the field of study about natural objects in the


Development in space exploration

Space exploration is the investigation of the Universe beyond the atmosphere of the Earth by using spacecraft. Space exploration was first done from Earth with the use of a telescope. Rockets, man-made satellites, space stations and space shuttles were later invented to continue the efforts of space exploration.

1957 1961 1969 1981

The worlds first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1, was launched. Four months later, Sputnik 2, carrying a dog named Laika was launched Yuri Gagarin became the first person to orbit the Earth Man first landed on the Earth The first reusable names spacecraft, the Space Shuttle, was launched

Table 10.1: Some of the development in space exploration

Application of technology related to pace exploration and astronomy

A few types of modern technological instruments have been inverted for outer space exploration. Among them are the: - telescope - spaceship Telescope are three types of telescope used for outer space exploration: - refracting telescope - reflecting telescope - radio telescope

Refracting telescope - uses lens while reflecting telescope uses mirrors to take and send photographs on outer space.

Radio telescope - used to received electric signals and radiation from outer space. Spaceships have been launched into outer space to obtain various information. Spaceships that carry astronauts are launched by rockets into outer space but probe is a spaceship that doesnt carry humans.