Discovering Astronomy: Intro to the Cosmos


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An introduction to the cosmos-- earth, moon, sun, planets, stars, galaxies and beyond...

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Discovering Astronomy: Intro to the Cosmos

  1. 1. Oct. 2, 2012 | Hanh Tran
  2. 2. • Knowledge about the universe & our place within it • Fundamental importance to human cultures since earliest recorded history • Many religions & myths may have been based off of this very curiosity about our existence• Since ancient times, humans learned to look up to the heavens in search for the truth • Sought answers to questions as: • Where did we come from? • How did we get here? • Are there others like us? • What does our future hold?
  3. 3. • We are not the center of the universe • We are not special • We are here by chance • Consider ourselves lucky to be right here, right now • Our home is a “pale blue dot” in a “vast cosmic arena”• If everyone had a basic knowledge of the universe, or an accurate cosmic perspective, then perhaps: • We would live more peacefully together • We would overcome provincial differences • The world would be a better place Video Clip: Carl Sagan’s “Pale Blue Dot”
  4. 4. 1893 Boo…
  5. 5. • Grave turning point in history of Astronomy education • Astronomy dropped from US education curriculum by NEA’s “Committee of Ten” • Committee of Ten Report: cause of decline in Astronomy courses in secondary schools from 1894-1957• Before this, Astronomy was considered a core subject • Everyone was expected to know the basics of the universe just as the basics of cell structure• Russian Sputnik in Nov. 1957 • 1st artificial satellite launched • Triggered the Space Age/Race • Pushed the U.S. to improve science & math education • Efforts by NASA & planetariums helped re-introduce Astronomy back into schools in 1960’s & 1970’s, but still not enough
  6. 6. Voted “Sexiest Astrophysicist Alive” by People Magazine in 2000 Dr. Tyson Pluto“Happy to have you aboard … p.s. I am on a federal committee right now to help call for astro being a fundamental part of a schools curriculum. So the struggle continues.”
  7. 7. SUPERString Theory M Theory“It would be nice if more astronomy and physics were taught in school. Astronomy of today is even more exciting than it was in 1893!”
  8. 8. “Being an astronomer, Id be happy if astronomyplayed a larger role in our school curricula.” –Dr. Kevin Marvel, CEO “I agree with your thesis, as Im sure most astronomers would … Having taught astronomy at the high-school and college levels … I can tell you that I think the U.S. education system is in a shambles.” – Dr. Rick Fienberg “Further back in time, Astronomy was often considered part of basic learning, at least for academics.” – Dr. Steve Maran
  9. 9. • Universe sprang into existence 13.7 billion years ago• Started as singularity, extremely hot & dense state • Then expanded and cooled down • Allowed energy to be converted into protons, neutrons & electrons • Produced giant clouds of primordial elements • Hydrogen & traces of Helium/Lithium • Coalesced through gravity, forming stars & galaxies • Heavier elements later produced by stars & supernovae• No explosion, just expansion • Universe continues to expand rapidly today Video Clip: Stephen Hawking - The Big Bang
  10. 10. • “We are star stuff” – “We are star dust” • Hydrogen in our bodies made shortly after the Big Bang • All other elements synthesized by stars & during supernovae Video Clips: Star Stuff | The Most Astounding Fact | We are Star Dust
  11. 11. Video Clip: Earthrise & Earthset
  12. 12. • American Astronaut • First person to walk on the moon • July 20, 1969 • Apollo 11 MissionNeil Armstrong, 08/05/1930 – 08/25/2012 Armstrong, Michael Collins & Buzz Aldrin
  13. 13. Video Clip: Evolution of the Moon
  14. 14. Video Clip: Video Clip:”We are Star Stuff” The Sun’s Death by Carl Sagan
  15. 15. X-ray
  16. 16. Infrared
  17. 17. Ultraviolet
  18. 18. Extreme Ultraviolet
  19. 19. Interactive Animation from National Geographic:
  20. 20. • Natural light display on the sky in high latitudes • Arctic & Antarctic regions • Caused by collision of energetic charged particles with atoms in the atmosphere • Charged particles from solar wind & magnetosphere • Directed by Earth’s magnetic field at polar regions • Aurora Borealis • Northern Lights • Aurora Australis • Southern lights• Occur in magnetic poles of other planets too!
  21. 21. Video Clip: Earth Time Lapse View from Space/Fly Over -Nasa, ISS
  22. 22.  demotedSomething to tell your kids:“When I was your age, Pluto was a planet.”
  23. 23. Video Clip: Birth of the Solar System
  24. 24. Mercury MyVenus VeryEarth EducatedMars MotherJupiter JustSaturn ServedUranus UsNeptune Noodles(Pluto)
  25. 25. Interactive Animation from National Geographic:
  26. 26. Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars
  27. 27. Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune
  28. 28. Valles Marineris (Latin for Mariner Valleys)
  29. 29. Jupiter has at least 67 moons!
  30. 30. • Pluto demoted in 2006 • Highly Controversial • Part of sea of other objects occupying same region of space• International Astronomical Union (IAU) meeting • Established 3 main categories of objects in Solar System • Planets • Dwarf Planets • Small Solar System Bodies “New category of trans-Neptunian objects”
  31. 31. Computer-generated image of Plutonian surface, with atmospheric haze, moon Charon and Sun
  32. 32. Interactive Animation from National Geographic:
  33. 33. Video Clip: Asteroid Collision
  34. 34. Video Clip: Rendezvous with a Comet
  35. 35. Video Clip: You are Literally a Star Child (from How the Universe Works)
  36. 36. The Milky Way
  37. 37. Video Clip: Hubble eXtreme Deep Field - Farthest Ever View of the Universe
  38. 38. Many Clusters
  39. 39. Many Super Clusters
  40. 40. Video Clip: MillenniumRun Simulation Video Clip: The Known Universe by AMNH
  41. 41. Animation: Scale of the Universe 2
  42. 42. Super String Theory / M-Theory, Dr. Edward Witten
  43. 43. • Space Simulators • Space Engine • Celestia • Universe Sandbox • Orbiter • The Solar System - Explore Your Backyard• Planetarium Software • Stellarium • Cartes du Ciel (SkyChart) • Computer Aided Astronomy (C2A) • WorldWide Telescope • Home Planet• Viewers • Aladin • Sky-Map • Google Sky & Google Earth Video Clips: Demos of Celestia, Space Engine, Universe Sandbox, The Solar System…
  44. 44. • DVD/Blu-ray Collections: • Cosmos by Carl Sagan • How the Universe Works • Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking • Nova: Fabric of the Cosmos • The Universe (6 Seasons)• Youtube: • “The Sagan Series” • “Deep Astronomy” by Tony Darnell • NASAexplorer, SpaceRip, Best0fScience, etc.• “Cosmos” Sequel (2013) • Airing on National Geographic & Fox
  45. 45. We are all on this little rock together, for only a short period of time… – Peace - Compassion - Unity –
  46. 46. “There is no rule which decrees you cannot go back and enjoy another field. There are so many interesting fields, which is why many faculty have several degrees in several fields.I would encourage you to study on your own if time does not permit formal studying, and go back for formal studies when you are able. There is immense pleasure to be had in deriving new knowledge of the mysteries that surround us." –Instructor Jahangeer, GMU
  47. 47. “Our purpose is to promote universal peace, compassion and unity by raisingawareness of the structure of the universe and our place within it.” No knowledge of science is required - Open to all who are interested
  48. 48. • Observing Sessions• Movie/Game Nights• Field Trips • Star Parties • Public Lectures• Special Events • Transits • Eclipses We’re just a group of people with similar interests and philosophies who like to hang out,explore and have fun while promoting Astronomy education and awareness, as well as universal peace, compassion and unity.
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