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Mercury, Venus, Earth,
Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune’s approximate comparative sizes and
comparative distances from the Sun, the nature of comets, and the nature and position
of the asteroid belt.
Stellar Cluster: A group of stars that are physically close to each other, created by
collapse of same gas cloud.
Constellation: A group of stars that form a pattern as seen from Earth that isn’t
physically near each other in space.
Light year: Distance light travels in 1 year
Distance between stars in a galaxies and galaxies‟ magnitudes
In night, stars seem to rotate around one star; Polaris – Because of rotation of earth
about its axis. Night sky appears to change seasonally due to rotation of Earth around
Fusion of sun equation…
In stable stars, there‟s equilibrium between radiation pressure and gravitational
Luminosity = Power = Energy emitted per unit time
Apparent brightness: Power incident on Earth, perpendicular to unit area. Measured
by measuring temperature and radius/surface area, measured in Watts.
Wien’s displacement law: peak wavelength of black body emission is inversely
proportional to temperature. Hot body = Short wavelength = White.
Stefan-Boltzmann law: Total energy radiated per unit surface area in unit time from
black body is directly proportional to the fourth power of the Kelvin temperature of
Atomic spectrum is used to identify elements in outer layers of stars, so we can
deduce both chemical and physical data about the stars.
O B A F G K M
Binary Stars, Red Giants, White Dwarfs, Cepheids, Spectroscopic Binary Stars,
Eclipsing Binary Stars
Parsec = Distance from Earth of a star that has a parallax angle of one second.
Stellar Parallax = Finding the parallax angle between a star and the Earth by viewing
it in January and July and then using it to find distance from earth to the star. Limited
to distances less than „several hundred parsecs‟ because the angle cannot be smaller
than 0.01 arc-second to be measurable. Definition: apparent shifting of a star against a
background of very distant fixed stars, when viewed from 2 different points.
Apparent magnitude = Apparent brightness as viewed by an observer on Earth.
Depends on luminosity and the distance to a star. A magnitude 1 star is 100 or 2.51
times brighter than a magnitude 6 star. Each magnitude is 2.51 times brighter than the
next. No Unit (b
) BRIGHTER = MORE NEGATIVE
Absolute Magnitude = Apparent magnitude it would have if it were 10 pc from
Luminosity of a star may be estimated from its spectrum.
Spectroscopic parallax = Uses luminosity and apparent brightness of a star. First
find it‟s Temperature using Wien‟s law, then use H-R diagram by assuming it is from
the main sequence to find its luminosity and then use equation b= L/4(pi)(d
only be used till 10 Mpc as luminosity and apparent brightness uncertainty would be
A Cepheid variable is a star in which the outer layers undergo a periodic expansion
and contraction, which produces a periodic variation in its luminosity, its apparent
brightness rises and falls in periods ranging from hours to a few weeks. There is a
linear relationship between absolute brightness and log of the period. When
observing a Cepheid variable from far away it becomes possible to calculate its
absolute magnitude from the period, so the distance can be calculated.
Standard Candle: Star of known luminosity.
Newton’s Model of the Universe: Infinite in space and time, uniform and static –
Unchanging and containing infinite number of stars spread to infinity.
Olber’s Paradox: If there is an infinite number of stationary stars, no matter which
direction you looked you would see a star and so it should be bright at night.
Red shift of light from galaxies indicates that universe is expanding
Big Bang started time and space; he universe is not expanding into a void.
CMB: radiation was acting as a source of excess noise in a radio receiver they were
The universe “cooling down” (how cosmic radiation in the microwave region is
consistent with the Big Bang model)
If the galaxies are moving away from us in all directions then the radiation will be red
shifted owing to the Doppler effect.
Open Universe: Continues to expand, gravity slowing expansion but not stopping it
(density > critical density)
Flat Universe: Gravity slows expansion but takes infinity to come to rest (density =
Closed Universe: Will eventually collapse back on itself, will result in big crunch
(density < critical density)
Critical density: theoretical value of the density that would create a flat universe.
Mass density: amount of matter per unit volume available to provide gravitational
Problems associated with determining the density of the universe