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# Astronomy

## 2022A: Origin of the Universe

Measuring the Universe

Pearson Educa-on

Todays agenda:
What units are used to measure astronomical
distances?
What methods are used to measure
astronomical distances?
How do these compare to the everyday world?

hBp://today.io/qjpr
TwiBer: #Astro2022

## Theres a reason big numbers are called

astronomical
Earths diameter:
12756 km

Earth-Sun:
150 000 000 km

Earth-Pluto
6 000 000 000 km

Earth-nearest stars
10 000 000 000 000 km

## Earth-centre of our Milky Way galaxy

200 000 000 000 000 000 km

## Earth-Andromeda Galaxy (M31)

20 000 000 000 000 000 000 km

## Earth-edge of observable Universe

100 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 km

## We use scienXc (aka exponenXal) notaXon to

write big and small numbers
50 000 000 000 000 = 5 x 1013

exponent

## To mulXply or divide, mulXply or divide rst part,

(5 x 1013)/ (4 x 1016 )=
(5/4) x 1013-16 =
1.25 x 10-3

## The Earth-Sun distance is called an astronomical

unit (AU); 1 AU is 150 million km

## 1 light-year is about 1013 km

1 light - year = (speed of light) (1 year)

## km 365 days 24 hr 60 min 60 s

= 300,000

s 1 yr
1 day
1 hr
1 min
= 9,460,000,000,000 km

Pearson Educa-on

light travel Xme

## Know speed of light

Measure travel Xme
Compute distance

Pearson Educa-on

using parallax

## Brightness alone does not provide enough informaXon

to measure distances in astronomy

Luminosity
Brightness =
4 (distance)2

## Cepheid variable stars vary in luminosity over a Xme

proporXonal to their average luminosity

Astronomyinyourhands.com,
Pearson Educa-on, STScI

## Other techniques are used to measure distances to

galaxies further away

Pearson Educa-on

## The Cosmic Calendar compresses the history of

the universe into 1 year

Pearson Educa-on

## Timescales in cosmology are (millions or billions) of years

3 x 1010

NB:
Logarithmic
scale!

3 x 105

3 x 100

Ordero>ime.com hBp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graphical_Xmeline_of_the_universe

End of class.