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Astronomy 1F03

Notes
Earth:

earths orbit is nearly circular


the average distance to the sun is called an astronomical unit
1 AU is approximately 150 million km
the sun's motion on the ecliptic reflects earth's orbit around the sun
as earth moves, the sun is seen against different constellations --- the
zodiac
cannot see the stars when the sun is up
earth's axis is not perpendicular to the ecliptic plane
instead it is at an angle of 23.5 degrees
this is why there are seasons
not all planets have a nearly circular orbit, and is affected by the distance
to the sun
four days important to the year:

Vernal Equinox (March 21st)


Summer Solstice (June 21st)
Autumnal Equinox (September 21st)
Winter Solstice (December 21st)
currently the north celestial pole is near the bright star Polaris
earths axis orientation changes over a period of 26,000 years
the location of the pole moves arounddifferent pole stars
over 26000 years the earths axis moves in a complete circle
timing of spring: vernal equinox
The Moon:

the moon revolves around the earth in a nearly circular orbit similar to the
way earth goes around the sun
the moon is illuminated by the sun one is always bright one is always dark
we only see one face of the moon
synchronous rotation
completes one full rotation in one full orbit around earth
near side and far side and dark side
the moon shines because of reflected sunlight
half of the moon is always bright
the phase is determined by how much of the bright side we see
solar eclipses happen at new moon
lunar eclipses happen at full moon
moon passes between earth and the sun
only a small portion of earth can witness each one

Three Types:
total: the moon completely blocks the sunlight

partial: only part is blocked


annular: sun appears as a ring around the moon
lunar eclipses happen at full moon
earth is between the sun and the moon
visible over a wider area and lasts a lot longer than solar eclipses
Eclipses do not occur every month however because the moons orbit is tilted 5
degrees with respect to the earths orbit around the sun
stars do not move on the sky on human timescales, the appear fixed
(constellations)
Planets motion:

the planets wander on the sky along the ecliptic


mostly west to east
occasionally they loop back (retrograde motion)

Previous Theories?
Geocentric Systems:

Aristotle developed the idea that everything revolved around the earth in
circular motions
to get the planets to appear to go backwards, epicycles (or more smaller
circles were needed)
recall that data was poor, inferred by looking at the sky with the naked eye

The pinnacle of epicycles (Ptolemy):

attempted to fit all observations to date


this required 80 circles and the centres of large circles were offset from
the earth

Heliocentric System:

put the sun at the centre


Aristarchus of Samos proposed this ideabased on estimates of the earth, sun,
and moon

Why was this sun centre theory not favoured?


Aristotle was very influential, considered the pre-eminent philosopher of the
ancient world
many of his influential ideas don't stand up to scrutiny
Aristotle's ideas were supported by the church
the church was then influential in science
certain scriptures have passages indicating that the sun goes around the
earth

Keplers Laws
1st : The orbit of a planet is an ellipse with the Sun at one of the two foci.
2nd : A line segment joining a planet and the Sun sweeps out equal areas during
equal intervals of time.

3rd : The square of the orbital period of a planet is proportional to the cube of
the semi-major axis of its orbit.
Consequences:

A planet will go fastest when closest to the sun


a planet will go slowest when furthest from the sun
Keplers laws don't tell us how far an astronomical unit is
we can now use radar to accurately measure 1 Au
an Au is around 150 million km

Information related to orbits:

the angular momentum is directly related to the determination of the shape of


a celestial body's orbit
angular momentum is determined by the product of the objects inertia and
angular velocity
in most cases of a celestial body orbiting a fixed foci (eg. The sun) it is
the angular velocity that determines the shape
if the velocity is large enough than the object orbiting will be able to
further escape the gravitation well of the foci it is orbiting and have an
elliptical orbit
similarly an object with a smaller magnitude of angular velocity will not be
able to escape far enough away from the the gravitational well and will
carryout something closer to a circular orbit

Example:
What if the ecliptic were aligned with the celestial equator, what would happen to
the seasons?
There would be no seasons at all due to the latitude
Keplers Laws: Empirical

fit the observed planetary motions in empirical manner


there is no preceding theory that explains why this is correct

Galileo:

contemporary of Kepler
was a sensationalist
credited as the father of modern scientific enquiry and modern astronomy
he did not invent the telescope but immediately built his own and was the
first to pursue astronomy with it

(church embraced Aristotles ideas but Galileo saw differently)


craters and valleys on the moon
blemishes on sun
planets with moons
Galileo the heretic:

wrote the starry messenger (1610)


his and Copernicus' works were banned by the church (1616)
placed under house arrest
forgiven for his crimes (1992)

Galileo's observations:
- craters and valleys on the moon
- sun is not a perfect sphere, has darker regions, called sunspots
- he accurately inferred that the sun rotates once every month
- moons orbiting Jupiter- small spheres with shadows passing across the face of
Jupiter
orbiting a celestial body that is in fact not earth
saw phases of Venus
only something orbiting the sun on an orbit that passes between the earth and
the sun can have full set phases
all planets are illuminated by the sun
So what was the most challenging to the geocentric theory?

Venus' phases and Jupiters satellites

Isaac Newton:

1st
at
2nd
3rd

English mathematician
one of the inventors of calculus
master of the royal mint
keen alchemist and theological scholar
Aristotle proposed that the natural state of things was at rest
newtons law say they keep going
newton says that its friction that causes things to stop

Law: A moving object will stay in constant motion, an object at rest will stay
rest
Law: unbalanced forces cause acceleration Fnet= ma
Law: Forces occur in action-reaction pairs

all objects fall with the same acceleration on earth 9.8m/s2


gravity is an attractive, mutual force between any two objects with mass
the greater the distance between objects, the weaker the attraction
inverse square law of distance
Newtons universal law of gravity
for real world orbit:
gravity changes both the direction and speed of the planet
typically not circular

types of orbitals:
ellipse is a bound orbit
objects with higher orbital speeds can escape bound orbits to be in unbound
orbits
parabolas and hyperbolas are examples
Newton derived Keplar's rules from his laws of gravity and motion
physical laws explain Keplar's empirical results
Newton's laws are tested by Brahe's and all later observations
Question:
What would happen to the Earth's orbit if the Sun were replaced by a black hole of
the same mass?

The earth's orbit would remain the same.


Light and Telescopes:

there

Most knowledge of universe beyond Earth comes from light


Light can tell us about objects in space; temperature; composition; speeds
and more
light is a wave of combined electricity and magnetism, called an
electromagnetic wave
changing electric and magnetic fields create a self-sustaining
electromagnetic wave
are many kinds of electromagnetic radiation, it is all light:
radio waves
infrared
visible light
ultraviolet light
x-rays
gamma-rays

light moves at 3 x 108 m/s


first measured by Romer when observing Jupiters moons
speed is slower in materials

wavelength: length between crests


amplitude: height
frequency: number of waves that pass by each second
period: time it takes to complete one full cycle
a long wavelength means low frequency
a short wavelength means high frequency
photon: particle of light
waves: diffract, refract
particles: are discrete packets or quanta of energy
can't take half a photon

quantum mechanics indicates that everything behaves a bit like a particle and
a bit like a wave

high energy photons = light with high f


low energy photons = light with low f

this is why some forms of radiation are more energetic


long wavelength = low energy
short wavelength = high energy

Light Production by Wavelength:

big metal antenna: radio


vibrating molecules: infrared
excited electrons: visible light
chemical bonds: UV
ionized electrons: x-ray
atomic nucleus: gamma-rays

more energy involved as you go to shorter wavelength

Telescopes:

light buckets
increase resolution

Refractor Telescopes:

binoculars are a pair of them


Galileo used a refractor for the first astronomical observations

Reflecting Telescopes:
use mirrors
primary and secondary mirrors
focal length is determined by reflecting light off the mirrors
Refractor Problems:
glass bends different colours different amounts
glass absorbs light-particularly non-visible light
big lenses are heavy and expensive
Mirrors: Reflecting telescopes
can be used to focus light-particular
can be thin
dont absorb light
reflect all wavelengths

the eye sees wavelengths between 400nm-700nm


photons are collected inefficiently by your retina
your brain interprets the image every 1/10th of a second: short exposure
timescales

Photography:
opened the door to modern astronomy
faint images viewed via long exposure times
downsides: expensive, inefficient
CCDs= charged-coupled devices (such as digital cameras)
electronic detectors record the photons as pixels
photons create a signal in the array: efficient

Spectrum:
light sorted by frequency
visible spectrum is only a small part of the full electromagnetic spectrum
shortest frequency: gamma-rays
longest frequency: radio
spectrographs or spectrometers break up incoming light into different
wavelengths
allow astronomers to analyze those different waves
Planet formation:
Planetesimal Theory

dust particle in the solar nebula disks can stick together

Loose

at 1km and up gravity is important


larger objects quickly gobble up most material until there are many moon
sized planet embryos
it takes a long time
within the disk, small particles collide and stick
small particles are blown into larger ones by gas motions
this leads to particles about 1km, called planetesimals
Ends:
most planets revolve and rotate in the same way around the sun
BUT Venus rotates very slowly backwards
the inner planets had very large collisions during their creation, enough to
change their rotation a lot
Venus' last big collision set it spinning slightly backwards

Further from the sun- bigger planets


starting near the sun you have only refractory elements ie. Iron
then add high melting point rocks
then add lower melting point rocks
then near 3au -add water and ice
further out, other ices: methane, ammonia
planets can gather gases from the disk (primarily hydrogen). This makes the
primary atmosphere
- Low-mass planets (less than 10x earth) cannot hold onto their primary atmospheres
solar wind eventually removes the gas disk
- some low-mass planets later emit gases from their interiors (e.g. From volcanoes)
producing a secondary atmospheres
comets might also deliver gas and water
the four inner planets are rocky, called terrestrials
the 4 outer planets are gas giants
Jupiter and Saturn pulled hydrogen from the original nebula
The asteroid belt is evidence of?
ancient material from the formation of the solar system
asteroids, comets and dwarf planets are leftover planetesimals
young gas giants are mini-nebulae
moons formed from the warm spinning disks of gas around the giant planets

Cleaning up:
large planets eject remaining planetesimals via gravity to Oort cloud (long
period comets)
Leftovers:
asteroids are planetesimals that failed to go further, probably because of
Jupiters gravity
comets are icy planetesimals
Beginning star formations:
molecular clouds are cold and dense
some places in the cloud are denser than average
self gravity will make these regions start to collapse
collapse and fragmentation lead to dense star-forming cores in the molecular
clouds
molecular cores can eventually collapse under their own gravity

centre shrinks fastest: outer layers later


this produces a dense protostar
as the cloud collapse, the protostar is heated to thousands of degrees
particles are pulled toward the centre and randomly collide, heating up the
core
gravitational energy is turned into thermal energy, heat creates pressure
protostars are large and luminous but cooler than regular stars
they will emit infrared light
infrared studies of molecular reveal protostars and their disks
the protostar maintains a ever changing balance between pressure and gravity
it continues to accrete more material which compresses it
it continues to shrink and radiate away energy, balancing pressure and
gravity
the interior temperature and pressure rises
energy is radiated away keeping the balance between pressure and gravity
the protostar's energy source is gravitational energy
core's temperature rises as it sinks
hydrogen begins turning into helium in the core
it becomes a star
the temperature in the core must be hot enough for the nuclear reaction that
turns hydrogen into helium, 10 million kelvin
very low mass stars never start that reaction

Companions for stars:


stars can form in multiples. The companions can be star sized or smaller. One
star can have many companions and these can be combinations of other stars
and planets
Extra Solar Planets:

since the early 1990's, 1000s of planets have been found around other stars
many are big and gaseous
many have very elliptical orbits or are right next to the star hot Jupiter

Extra Solar Planets: Detection


1. radial velocity method: Doppler shift of spectral lines of star
can detect that the stars orbits moves in response the motion of a massive
planet
can estimate the mass of the planet
the motion of the light source toward or away from us changes the wavelength
of the waves reaching us
this Doppler effect is one way to find other planets
red shift=away
blueshift=toward
many biases are included in planet detection via radial velocity method
if the star is heavy it will not move much

Multiple Planet System


Upsilon Andromedae
3 undetected planets

motion of star superposition of 3 periodic signals

2. Transits If edge on, planets pass before and behind star


detect actual light from planets
built the Kepler mission, (telescope that stares at one point in the sky)
where theres a high density of stars and looks for small dips in intensity
for transits you have to constantly monitor stars looking for a dip in their
brightness

Transit + Radial Velocity:


a large planet can be detected both ways
then you measure the mass and radius of the planet, you can find out how
dense it is
density of planets allows us to determine what type of planet it is

3. Gravity Lensing: makes a star temporarily brighter through a planets


gravity focusing its light
typically the planet is detected as an extra brightening when the faint star
it orbits
4. Direct imaging: fainter young stars can see bright young planets nearby
most systems are not like ours
many have hot Jupiter (Jupiter sized planets close to the star)
most likely migrated inward
planets are big and often on short orbits
however we can't easily detect small planets yet

Planet Formation: The Big Picture


gas giants can form directly only in the outer solar nebula
terrestrial planets form from planetesimals in any case
gas and planetesimals are both present around young stars and the answers
probably include both

Terrestrial Worlds:
mercury
Venus
earth
mars
(earth's moon)

comparative planetology: studying planets by comparing them to one another

The Inner Planets: Similarities


made of similar materials (rocky mantle around an iron/nickel core
formed at a similar time (about 4.5 billion years ago)
Key differences:
1. masses
2. orbital distance to the sun
Effects Due To Mass:
mass determines how long it takes for heat to escape
hot interior: volcanoes, plate tectonics and magnetic fields
Mass determines gravity on a surface and escape velocity
ability to hold atmosphere and things that evaporate (e.g. Water)

deeper in a planet means hotter and more pressure


formation energy and radioactive material also help to heat the interior
smaller planets lose heat faster, larger ones more slowly

Planets that melt inside can differentiate:


lithosphere (includes crust)
mantle
core (dense materials)
differentiation in molten planet or moon: dense materials sink; low density
materials rise
(most planetesimals are too small to melt)
we model the earth's interior by studying earthquakes
seismic waves travel differently through different materials
Primary (pressure)waves travel through solids and liquids
Secondary (shear) waves go through solids only
(the mantle is like plastic, like dough: for fast things(like quakes and waves) it
is effectively solid. It will flow over a large period of time)
Making the
moon
very
very

Moon:
rocks are similar to Earth's mantle
small iron core
old

theories:
co-evolution: formed together in the solar system
problem: why isn't iron core in the moon like earths?
capture: capture a planetesimal from somewhere else
unlikely
Problem: Doesn't explain why the moon's mantle is very similar to earths

IMPACT
large object struck the earth soon after earth formed (and melted)
carve off some rocky mantle and leave iron core behind
volatiles (e.g. Water) never re-condense
works in computer simulations: mars sized object hits early earth
favoured theory

Inner Planets: Effects due to Orbits


distance from the sun affects:
how strong solar tides are
how much solar heating the planet receives(surface temperature)
Orbits and Rotation:
mars: similar spin to earth, 24.6 hour day
venus: spins slowly backwards
mercury: slowly spins forward
Venus

Retrograde Spin:
only inner planet to spin backwards
somewhat unexpected
favoured idea: by chance last big impact struck so as to leave almost no spin

Mercury's Long Day:

close to sun:solar tides tried to synchronize orbit and spin


orbit is elliptical: didn't quite work
3:2 ratio: 88day orbit : 59 days to spin

Tides:
something closer to an object experiences a stronger gravitational pull than
something else further away
the moon causes earth to stretch
earth's oceans flow in response to tides stretching
Solar

Solar

and Lunar Tides:


the sun is very far away but much heavier
tide = 1/2 lunar tide
they may work together or against each other

At what Lunar Phase would the variation between high and low tides be greatest?
both new and full moon
Tidal

Locking:
the tidal bulge on earth dragged ahead by spin: precedes the moon's position
the moon's gravity pulls the tidal bulge
the earth's spin is slowing
earth's day is getting longer
the day used to be as short as 2-5hours
the moon is moving out
the earth is heavier- the tide on the moon due to earth is larger
the moon lost its spin long ago
the moons near face is locked pointing at the earth: Synchronous orbit

Surface Features Of Planets:


four processes have shaped Earth:
impact cratering
Tectonism (moving crustal plates)
Volcanism
Erosion (wind or water)
Impact Craters:
material falling from space on a planet's surface would create impact craters
all terrestrial planets experience this
large impacts can release huge amounts of energy
Venus and Earth have relatively few craters
craters on mars suggest it was once wetter
the number of craters indicates the surfaces age
more craters means an older surface and minimal geologic activity
tectonism and erosion can erase craters
rocks returned from moon missions (1969-1976) give ages through radiometric
dating
almost all cratering happened in the first billion years of the solar system
earth and mercury are the only terrestrial planets with a substantial
magnetic field
it is a puzzle why Venus and Mars do not have one
Tectonism:
is the deformation of the earth's crust
the lithosphere is broken into plates
continental drift and plate tectonics describe the movement of those plates

crustal plates are moved by convection


convection=rising
the mantle flows very slowly and drags the crust which is lighter
earth has several large plates that move as units
new seafloor is created when plates spread apart
plates can separate or collide

Volcanoes:
very fluid lava forms shield volcanoes
pasty, viscous lava forms composite volcanoes (plate boundries)
the moon does not have any volcanoes but lava flows smoothed out parts of its
surface
mercury also has smooth surfaces from past volcanism, and a few inactive
volcanoes have been identified
the volcanoes on mars are the largest mountains in the solar system, and are
shield volcanoes
venus has the most volcanoes on its surface
Erosion:
processes that wear down the high spots and fill in the low
wind and landslides can modify planets
on earth wind and water strongly erode
the only planet with liquid water today
water modified the surface of mars in the past and exists today as ice
water ice exists on the moon and possibly mercury
Mercury:
heavily cratered
has been geologically dead for a long time
evidence for ancient lava flows
includes scarps
Venus:
not visible through atmosphere: uses radar maps
similar range of heights
height is related to surface gravity
no plate tectonics
volcanoes occur but are large and flat: shield volcanoes (like the island of
Hawaii)
Mars:

dust storms
desert planet
red colour is from iron oxides (rust)
dark and light patches move due to dust storms
impact craters
shield volcanoes
dry river valleys
rounded rocks
for the last 3 billion years water has been locked up as permafrost
seepage channels
narrow channels indicative of low viscosity fluid
ice in craters: if sheltered from direct sunlight water through ice can
persist
plenty of ice in high latitude (near poles)

Life on Mars?
viking probes tested for biological responses (inconclusive: perchlorate)
biological fossil marks in martian meteorite? Unlikely.
Mars Landers:
January 2004 Spirit Rover
rovers can dig and move
Science Laboratory:
suv sized
full wet chemistry lab on board
Atmospheres
low escape velocity, small atmosphere
high escape velocity, large atmosphere
faster if hotter
slower if heavier molecule
mars only is left with 1/100th of its initial atmosphere
new planets form primary atmospheres by sweeping up gas in the accretion disk
secondary atmospheres were acquired later by volcanism and crater impacts
mercury and the moon have basically no atmosphere
Earth:
now primarily nitrogen and oxygen
initially about 100x current pressure CO2
Venus:
mostly carbon dioxide (100x earth pressure)
Mars:
mostly carbon dioxide (1/100th of earths pressure)
mars can be understood as loss to space
What sets Atmospheric Temperatures?
energy in vs energy out
Primary heat source: Solar Heating (watts in)
Primary heat loss: Radiation to space (watts out)
Flux and Luminosity:
flux is light emitted per unit (watts per m2)
flux changes depending on how far away you measure it
Luminosity is the total light energy emitted (watts)
Flux at radius r: F= L/(4pir2)
area of the sphere (radius) r enclosing the source.
Primary Heat Source: Solar Heating (watts)
piR2 x L/(4/pir2) x (l-a)
The theoretical black body:
most real substances have preferred wavelengths in the spectrum to emit light
the hotter a black body is the more light it emts:
Stefans Law:
F= flux
o= Stefan-Boltzmann constant
T= Temperature

F=oT4
Wien's Law:
the hotter the black body is, the shorter the wavelength of the peak
peak wavelength is inversely proportional to temperature T
Emission of Light:
at room temperature the dominant wavelength is infrared (10000nm)
the visible light (500nm) we see is just reflected light and thus isn't there
with the light off
infrared light is emitted all the time
Primary Heat Loss: Infrared Radiation (watts)
4piR2 x oT4
Balance:
piR2 x L/(4pir2) x (l-a) = 4piR2 x oT4
T r-1/2
Greenhouse Effect:
some gases, especially CO2 and water vapour, absorb some infrared radiation,
preventing the planets surface from cooling directly into space
means the planets surface is at a higher temperature
cloud tops, where infrared can directly escape
earth would freeze without this
while earth is about 33K warmer because of it Venus is about 400K hotter
mars is warmed only about 5K
Atmosphere Comparison:
Venus: hot early, so no water on surface
Earth: water dissolved CO2 from atmosphere forming limestone, life further removed
CO2
two of the most effective greenhouse gases, CO2 and water were contained in
the earth whereas they were not on Venus and the runaway effect occurred
earths atmosphere is mostly nitrogen and oxygen
other planets do not have oxygen (O2) in their atmospheres
CO2:

contained on earth mainly in the lithosphere


then in the oceans
then in fossil fuels
then in the terrestrial biosphere
then finally in very small amounts in the atmosphere

Structure of the Earth's atmosphere:


troposphere: (surface to 10-15km altitude)
temperature and pressure decline with altitude
water vapour mainly here
tropopause:
temperature stops declining with altitude
stratosphere: (15-50km)
temperature rises with altitude
ozone absorbs UV, heats stratosphere
side-effect: protects life from UV

mesosphere: (50-90km)
no ozone, temperature declines with altitude
upper mesosphere is coldest part of atmosphere
thermosphere: (>90km)
ultraviolet radiation and solar wind can ionize atoms
solar wind=flow of particles from the sun
above is ionosphere
Temperatures associated with infrared emission by planet:
earth: insulated
Venus: well insulated
Mars: not insulated
Earth's Magnetosphere:
earth's magnetic field, the magnetosphere, extends out into space
blocks much of the solar wind
protects the earth essentially
north pole at the top and south at the bottom
magnetic field is compressed on the sun side by solar wind
field lines connect to the earth at the north and south poles
the magnetosphere deflects charged particles
particles from the solar wind only enter near the poles
this creates the northern and southern lights (auroras)
Origins of Winds:
parts of the planets are heated differently
vertical circulation of air (convection) distributes surface heating
global winds carry heat from hot to cool regions
the circulation depends on heating pattern and rotation
the Coriolis effect due to rotation, breaks the circulation into zonal winds
Venus has little rotation so has uniform winds
Venus:
hot dense atmosphere, completely cloud covered (sulphuric acid droplets)
96% CO2, strong greenhouse effect
surface temperature of about 737K
thick atmosphere means nearly uniform temperatures over the entire planet
surface imaged by radar
Mars:

cold thin atmosphere


Thin atmosphere=extreme temperature variations
daily seasonal and latitudinal temperature variations create large winds
planet covering dust storms

Climate Change:
the earth's average temperature measures global climate. Climate changes
slowly. Local temperatures fluctuate a lot year to year. Local fluctuation is
weather.
earth's climate is very sensitive to small changes
water vapour and ice/permafrost greatly amplify the effect of CO2
temperatures track CO2 very closely over 100's or years
lower CO2 has led to ice ages in the past
CO2 levels like this have not been seen for millions of years-we are
performing an uncontrolled experiment on our planet
hard to predict how the climate will change or how hot it will get

earth temperature measurements show a steady increase over the past 130 years
(note year to year fluctuations)
full effects may take 100's of years or as little as 50 years
positive feed backs may accelerate impact
polar ice melt: lower reflectivity (albedo) increased heating, increased sea
level
permafrost melting: release methane- much stronger than CO2
ocean current changes: local climate changes- loss of warming currents, crops

The Giant Planets:


called giant planets because of their mass- from 15 earth masses
(uranus/neptune) to 318 (Jupiter)
ancient cultures knew about jupiter and saturn
visible with the naked eye from earth
various cultures had different names for the planets
uranus is just visible to the naked eye
uranus appears similar to a faint star
neptune was discovered due to uranus' ellipse
no way uranus' orbit made sense unless there was another planet pulling it
slightly off it's orbit
this then led to another planet hunt, finding pluto, although pluto was
unable to affect neptune's orbit
uranus is nearly featureless
neptune has atmospheric bands, clouds and a great dark spot like a blue
jupiter
Moon Formation (Jupiter)
europa: jupiter's tidal heating should be too low for volcanism, but should
keep a subsurface sea liquid
broken slabs of ice that appear to have floated.
Ganymede: shows signs of gradually filled in craters
bright terrain from some past unknown tectonic processes
Titan: largest moon
has a thick, dense, nitrogen-rich atmosphere, only moon that does
Huygens Probe Landing:

Methane/Ethane seas
water rocks
methane appears to have a cycle like rain on earth, involving methane lakes
and clouds
methane in atmosphere is most likely renewed by active geology

Neptunes Moon Triton:


cold with a bumpy looking surface
icy reflective only 37K
little cratering: probably resurfaced
cryo-volcanism: thin nitrogen jets
orbiting backwards in reference to neptune

this means it is spiralling into neptune


will be torn apart by neptunes tides and get turned into a new ring
triton may have wrought havoc on other inner moons of neptune

Medium Sized
saturn
orbits
masses

Moons:
(6), Uranus (5), Neptune (1)
form 3.1 to 60 planet radii
0.0005 to 0.5 earths moon

Asteroids:
most asteroids are in the asteroid belt between mars and Jupiter
many families of asteroids
near earth asteroids have orbits that cross that of earth
Why so few?
suspect orignally a much larger population- similar to numbers to make
terrestrial planets
culprit: Jupiter
jupiter's gravitational tugs create eccentricity in orbits and kick out
objects that get too close- explains low current total mass
asteroids are small, rocky relics of the early solar system
most are composed of rock or metal
it is possible for them to have moons
spacecraft have visited several of them
potato like
contain craters
large chunks missing
very low density
Composition:
contains materials like those in planets, iron rich and getting rockier as
you get further out
many asteroids are full of holes (porous)
Comets:
icy planetesimals found beyond the planets
located either in the kuiper belt or the Oort cloud surrounding the solar
system
Short

Period Comets:
periods < 200 years
near ecliptic plane
prograde orbits, circular or somewhat elongated
from the kuiper belt near neptune and beyond, still in a disk more or less

Long Period Comets


periods 200 to maybe 1 million years
prograde or retrograde orbits, from Oort cloud
large tilts from the ecliptic: all directions, not a disk
probably highly scattered planetesimals-no relationship to original formation
orbit

ion tail created by solar wind interacting with ions in the nucleus
dust tail created from solar wind and sunlight
comet tails point away from the sun
nucleus is a ice rock mix (dirty snowballs)
size of nucleus ranges from a dozen meters to several hundred kilometres

some have impact craters, while some have smooth surfaces


cause of meteor showers are a result of the earth running into the debris of
an old comet littering its orbit
meteor showers can generate a few shooting stars, to thousands an hour
comets leave dust along their orbit
when earth passes through the orbital ellipse of a comet the dust enters the
atmosphere

Meteors:
meteorites are pieces of asteroids that have fallen to earth
while in space a meteorite is called a meteoroid
while in the earths atmosphere they are called meteors
over 90% are stony, like earth rocks
can have round chondrules (chondrites) or not (achondrites), and some have
carbon
iron meteorites have high concentrations of metal, with a melted pitted
appearance
stony-iron meteorites are a combination and relatively rare
both come from large (differentiated) planetesimals that shattered
Comets, Asteroids, and Extinctions
comets are massive and move fast, they impact with the energy of atom bombs
1908: Tunguska Event (Siberia) high-altitude explosion of an asteroid or
comet
2000 times Hiroshima atomic bomb
did not reach the surface
Chelyabinsk Meteor: 2013
biggest thing since tunguska
20-30x hiroshima
Star Spectrum:
stars are classified according to the appearance of their spectra
Absorption lines depend mainly on atoms and ions present which depends on
temperature.
Hot to Cold: OBAFGKM. Sun is type G2.
hottest stars: weak absorption by hydrogen and helium (type O)
middle: strong hydrogen absorption (type A)
cool stars: many different heavy elements
Doppler Shift:
if all the wavelengths move to the red or blue then we can tell the object is
moving away or towards us
if the lines get smeared out we can tell that there is a range of motions
occurring (eg. Internal turbulence and rotation)
only motion toward or away from us influence a stars spectral lines
spectra can also tell us about a stars magnetic field
Stellar Sizes:
few stars are nearby and large enough to measure directly
with luminosity and temperature we can calculate the size of a star-forming-a
larger and hotter star is more luminous
stars have radi measuring from 1% to 1000x the size of the sun
Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram:

plot of luminosity vs temperature


key to unravelling stellar evolution: how stars change over time.
top =most luminous
left = hottest
most stars, including the sun exist on the main sequence

A Fair Sample: Nearby Stars


nearby stars are mostly small and red
they tend to fall along the main sequence
A Biased Sample: Bright Stars
can be far away
not representative, rather rare
most stars in the galaxy are small and red and thus faint
The Main Sequence:
the main sequence stretches from small red stars to large blue stars
via spectral type we know the intrinsic luminosity and temperature and infer
radius
Mass:
to measure mass, we must look for the effects of gravity
many stars are binary stars orbiting a common centre of mass
a less massive star moves faster on a larger orbit
measure velocities from Doppler shift
calculates mass of both stars from Keplers third law
lowest mass stars have: M= 0.08 sun mass
highest mass stars appear to be greater than 200x sun mass
visual binary: can see both stars
spectroscopic binary: stars too far away to distinguish, pairs of Doppler
shifted lines switch
eclipsing binary: the total light coming from the star system decreases when
one star passes in front of the other.
Mass and the Main Sequence:
the mass of a star determines its characteristics
more massive main sequence stars are large, luminous and hot
There are a few obvious groups off the main sequence:
white dwarfs: small hot stars
red giants: large cool stars
The Sun:
a G2 star
100x earth radius
300000x earth mass
density- 1.4g/ml
rotation- 24.9-29.8 days
surface temperature- 5500oC 5780K
the solar constant (at 1AU)
F= 1400 Watts per m2
4x1026 W
the heat leaving the sun's surface is the same as the heat generated in the
centre
the heat in the centre of the sun is generated by nuclear fusion reactions

nothing else could power the sun for so long (> 4 billion years)
entirely hot gas
no solid surface
apparent surface is a thin layer called the photosphere
the photosphere is where the visible light comes from-thin edge
Key inner zones:
core
radiation zone
convection zone
Key Outer zones:
photosphere
chromosphere
corona

Helioseismology:
sound waves move through the sun
speeds depend on the suns composition and internal motions
Sound Waves on the sun:
sun is so big, sound waves take hours to cross it
wavelengths are preferred if they fit exactly around the sun
Solar interior:
mathematical models:
1 -the sun must hold itself up against gravity: Hydrostatic equilibrium
high pressure in the centre to nearly zero at the edge
2 -the sun must be hot enough to allow nuclear reactions at the centre
15 million K temperature in the core
3

-there must be mechanisms to move heat from the core to the surface
radiation: net light directed outwards
convection: moving hot gas around

Nuclear Fusion
nuclei consist of protons and neutrons
protons: positive electrical charge
the strong nuclear force binds protons together if close enough
fusion requires ramming protons together at high speed (i.e. At high
temperature)

the sun has been around for a long time about 4.6 billion years
the sun must therefore generate a lot of energy over a long time
source: nuclear fusion of hydrogen to helium in the central core
this fusion is often called hydrogen burning
occurs in all main sequence stars
mass of 4 H nuclei is slightly grater than 1 He nucleus
relativity: mass and energy are equivalent
difference in mass is released as energy
fusion takes place in the core, where it is hot enough
fusion process: proton-proton chain
begin with 4 hydrogen nuclei and end with a helium nucleus and energy as well

Fusion on earth:
scientist have been trying to achieve fusion on earth
unstable super hot gas is contained with strong magnetic fields
still marginal, costing as much energy as it makes

Energy Transport: Radiation vs Convection


inner part of sun: radiative zone
radiative transfer: on average hotter photons move out, cool (low energy)
move in
opacity can impede progress. Individual photons scatter, get absorbed, reemitted
convection: (rising/ falling of hot/ cool gas)
outer part: convective zone
takes over because radiation is too inefficient
surface: radiation emitted into space
energy from core takes 100000 years to reach surface
fine detail due to convection is visible on the suns surface: granulation
hotter newly risen gas bubbles are brighter
colder falling gas bubbles are darker
Fusion makes Neutrinos:
hydrogen fusion emits neutrinos
neutrinos: light atomic particles, no charge
very weak interactions with matter
should escape the core freely
can measure the rate and types that arrive at earth
rate agrees with predictions and experiments on neutrino physics
SNO: The Sudbury Neutrino Observatory
in Sudbury, Canada deep in a mine there is an experiment to detect neutrinos
several experiments globally
the latest results from SNO indicate solar neutrinos are redistributed among
three types from the original electron neutrino
Photosphere:
layer where light is emitted
average temperature 5770K
Limb darkening: because we look at an angle an see more cooler gas (which
emits light)
temperature declines in the photosphere
cooler outer layers absorb some of the light from hotter, deeper layers
this produces a complex absorption spectrum with more than 70 elements
Chromosphere:
located just above the photosphere
higher temperature than the photosphere
Corona:
above the chromosphere
very hot: T= 1 to 2 million K
emits x-rays
can extend for several solar radii
Corona to Solar Wind:
sun's magnetic field structures the atmosphere
the solar wind: charged particles flowing away from the sun
only 0.1% of sun's mass has been lost this way
Prominences:

hot rising gas in the chromosphere constrained by magnetic fields


Solar Flares and Coronal Mass Ejections
are highly energetic, violent bursts and eruptions

solar activity changes slightly over time


solar storms can disrupt electric power grids and electronics
can cause amazing auroras

Stellar Evolution:
the life cycle of low mass stars
stars and planets are constantly radiating energy
without a source of new energy, they tend to contract and become fainter
(e.g. Giant Planets, Brown Dwarfs)
stars are large enough to undergo fusion to provide energy (Mass> 0.08Msun)
at different stages in their lives, stars can depend on different energy
sources (different types of fusion)
Protostar Formation:
the process initially as fast as it takes the cloud to fall
pressure halts the collapse at a few times the size of the final star
then time is needed to shed the heat of contraction
On the HR diagram:
protostars: stars are large when first formed from a gas cloud
with no energy source they steadily shrink
the star is compressed to higher densities and temperatures
for each mass there is a distinct evolutionary track
as they get close to the main sequence, hydrogen burning smoothly begins and
the luminosity stabilizes
Obscured Stars:
protostellar evolution is hard to observe
in general there is a lot of gas and dust around young stars
often they are easier to see in the infrared
large stars can remove dust and gas and are seen earlier
Hydrostatic Equilibrium:
for a stable equilibrium:
if you squash it, it must get hotter/higher pressure faster than gravity gets
stronger
causing it to bounce back to equilibrium
Starting on the main sequence:
the most important fusion process is burning hydrogen into helium: hydrogen
burning
this can occur steadily for a long time with a stable size
during this time the star is on the main sequence
time depends on rate of burning
higher temperature and pressure means faster nuclear fusion
stars with higher masses burn their fuel more quickly
a stars life cycle depends primarily on mass and also composition
eventually the fusion sources change then halt

main sequence stars fuse hydrogen to helium in their cores


eventually much of the core H is converted to He

Core Hydrogen Burning:


stars structure will change as it uses fuel
the star's core gets slightly denser and hotter as the hydrogen fuel is used
up
hydrogen fusion only takes place in a shell around the 100% He core
since helium is not fusing, gravity begins to win over pressure,crushing the
core
the core becomes more dense and becomes electon-degenerate.
This means pressure is not from moving atoms
Degenerate Pressure:
there is second source of pressure due to quantum mechanical effects
electrons may not occupy the same volume: pauli exclusion principle
at 1 million g/cc (109kg/m3)this degenerate electron pressure comes into play
and holds up the core
Red Giant Phase:
when the fuel runs out in the core, the core shrinks
when the core shrinks, it's gravitational pull gets stronger
stronger gravity->higher pressure->faster nuclear burning->more and more
energy being produced
larger, more luminous, cooler, redder
moves up and to the right on the HR diagram
decreased surface temperature
50x size (giant)
nearly to mercury's orbit
1000x brighter
end:
when hot and dense enough, fusion of He begins in the degenerate core
helium fuses to carbon via the triple-alpha process
this starts suddenly in the helium flash because the degenerate core is so
dense
Triple-alpha Process:
a helium-4 nucleus is an alpha particle
to can collide to make beryllium-8
if a third hits beryllium before then it forms carbon-12
Second Giant Phase:
helium is then used up in the core
He fusion in an inner shell and H fusion in an outer shell; degenerate carbon
core
super giant: radius approximately 1000x original star
beyond earth's orbit
more than 10000x as luminous as original star
very short lived phase
end of phase: star becomes puffed up
cannot hold onto the outer layers easily
outer layers are ejected into space

Planetary Nebula + White Dwarf


the ejected material creates a planetary nebula
if the conditions are right the star will ionize the gas in the expanding
layers
will last for about 50000 years before the gas too far and disperses
leftover core remains as a white dwarf

White

they are hot but not very luminous (very small)


masses 0.6-1.4 Msun like earth
density: a ton per teaspoonful
Dwarfs:
are initially hot
they start very blue and slowly become redder as they cool
small radius: low luminosity
degenerate pressure holds white dwarf up against gravity
depending on the mass of the star, it may burn slightly beyond carbon:
different kinds of WD
a long observation will reveal white dwarfs
picket out by blue colour

HR diagram: Where stars spend their time


low mass stars only spend a long time on the main sequence or as dwarfs
everything else is fast and therefore rare in space
Star Clusters:
giant molecular clouds contain enough mass to make thousands of stars
star clusters are gravitationally bound groups of stars, all made at the same
time from a single gas cloud
each star evolves at a rate set by its mass
high mass stars evolve more quickly along their evolutionary tracks
higher mass stars disappear from the main sequence
young clusters still have massive stars on the main sequence
in older clusters massive stars have died
Binary Evolution:
most stars are in binary systems
in each pair of low-mass stars, the more massive star evolves first
it can only expand so much before it begins to lose material due to the other
stars gravitational pull
Stellar Evolution: The life cycle of high mass stars
large stars have strong winds and even be unstable shedding lots of mass
mass loss rates are large: 10-7 Ms 10-5Ms per year
main sequence: hydrogen is burned via the CNO cycle, with C N and/or O as a
catalyst
e.g. 12C + 4 x 1H + 2 x = 12C + 4He + gamma rays + neutrinos
Ignite He in a non degenerate core unlike low mass stars so luminosity
doesn't change
central temperature continues to rise
the more massive a star the heavier the elements that can fuse. Low mass
stars stall around C, O or Ne
High-mass stars will fuse elements up until iron
the fusion shells build up like the layers of an onion
each stage of burning is progressively shorter
c burning last for 1000 years
Si burning only lasts for a few days
why?
Huge production of neutrinos which carry away energy
less energy per fusion reaction
Layers Like an onion:
the core if a high mass star steadily becomes hotter to fuse heavier and

heavier elements
the core is surrounded by many shells burning the lighter elements
as high mass stars expand and cool they can pass through the instability
strip
here energy tends to get bottled up inside the star, driving pulsations

Cepheid Variables:
High mass stars becoming super giants
periods from 1-100 days
more luminous stars have longer periods
if you measure the period you know exactly how luminous they really are so
you can tell how far away they are
RR Lyrae Variables:
low mass stars on the horizontal branch
The Problem with Iron:
fusion generates energy because the elements you get out weigh less than what
went in
Iron lightest
the total number of protons and neutrons always stays the same in nuclear
reactions
iron weighs less than any other combination of protons and neutrons

Special Relativity:
light moves at 300 000 000 m/s in any reference frame which is different from
any other relativity
all other relativity has varying magnitudes or values specific to a reference
frame
consequences: length and time intervals are different depending on your frame
of motion
time passes more slowly in a moving reference frame
an object appears to be shorter in a direction of motion than it is at rest
(to a stationary observer)
simultaneous is relative

mass and energy are equivalent E=mc2

General Relativity:
Einstein realized that special relativity implies space and time are related:
space time
in special relativity spacetime is almost flat
mass distorts the geometry of spacetime
can think of mass as warping a rubber sheet
the presence of mass changes how objects move on the rubber sheet
Gravity travels at the exact same speed of light
(Gravity Waves:
nothing moves faster than light, this includes gravity
when gravitational forces change , waves travel out to signal the change
gravitational waves are weak and hard to detect, a large event is required
like black hole or neutron star collisions
gravitational waves change the distance between points in space: ripples in
spacetime
LIGO can detect changes of 10-16cm
The LIGO experiment has yet to detect anything but the sensitivity is
improving

light travels on the geometry of spacetime, so gravity can deflect the path
of light: gravitational lensing
gravitational redshift stretches the wavelength of light leaving a large mass
and time dilation (GPS)
gravitational waves should travel through the fabric of spacetime at the
speed of light.

Testing General Relativity:


gravitational lensing: light is bent twice as much was expected by Newton
Procession of the perihelion of Mercury: Newton's gravity gives repeating
Keplerian ellipses. The ellipses naturally process in GR
Black

Holes:
singularities in spacetime
boundary is the event horizon-the point of no return
event horizon of 1 solar mass
black hole = 3km
extreme tidal forces and gravitational redshift
can be found by effects of their gravity
can exist in x-ray binary systems; rapidly varying x-ray sources require
something very small falling towards a very massive object
Super Massive Black Hole In The Milky Way:
using Kepler's laws on the orbits of stars-determine mass of black hole
4x106 solar masses
Modern Ideas About Cosmology:
a galaxy is a large collection of stars and gas
a galaxy like the milky way
Hubble Deep Field:
tiny patch of sky
more galaxies than anything else
just a handful of stars
very long deep exposure

range of galaxy colours and shapes


all elongated, not point like

cosmology is the study of the universe,including


structure: how matter is arranged -there is a pattern to how all these
galaxies are arranged in space
history: how stars, galaxies and the structure changes
origins: conditions at early times
fate: the ultimate fate of the universe
study of the structure and evolution of the whole universe

The Large Scale Universe


nearby galaxies are not smoothly distributed
galaxies are arranged in clusters, filaments, walls and absent in large voids
there is structure out to the largest scales we can see
the prominence of the structure diminishes at larger scales
on large scales the universe is similar in different places
Cosmological Principle:
the physical laws that apply to our part of the universe apply to all parts
of the universe
fundamental theory that has been tested
homogeneous: generally the same in all places
isotropic: the same in all directions
true on large scales
enshrines the idea that we are not at a special place and there are no
special directions
Hubble's Law
slipher (1912) found spectral lines in galaxies
the spectral lines are Doppler shifted- this indicates relative motion of
galaxies
the spectra are moved to the red
the fraction the wavelengths must move back to have the lines at regular
wavelength is the redshift z
the straight line fit between distance and velocity is called hubble's law
it might appear that we are in the centre of the universe, with all galaxies
moving away
this is incorrect, there is no centre
all observers see the same view
all see other galaxies moving away, with the ones further away moving more
quickly
the universe is expanding uniformly
many people (famously Fred Hoyle)
he derisively referred to the idea as The Big Bang Theory and the name
stuck, despite not believing it
astronomers use a distance ladder to find distances using objects with known
luminosity
light has a very large but finite speed
type la supernovae are especially good distance indicators
very luminous standard candles-seen billions of light years away
Ho currently: 72(km/s)/Mpc (we can measure that expansion was faster in the
past though)
A Finite Universe In time
-the birth of the universe: you can run the Hubble Law expansion backwards: some

galaxy at 1 Mpc now, moves away at v=Hod=72km/s


-t=d/v=1/Ho=14 billion years
The age of the Universe:
Hubble time: time when separation between galaxies was zero
need to know how expansion rate varied in the past for an exact estimate of
the age of the universe
the universe after all calculations is roughly 13.6 billion years old
galaxies are flying away from each other
space itself is stretching or expanding
that is why there is no centre
the scale factor is used to describe the universe's expansion
the scale of the larger is larger with time
the typical separation between galaxy growth with the scale factor
redshifts of galaxies are not due to Doppler shifts
the light is stretched out as it travels through the expanding universe;
cosmological redshift
more expansion time= greater redshift
Hot Big Bang
expanding gas cool: due to expansion, light redshifted and temperatures
dropped
prediction: a black body spectrum uniformly redshifted by the expansion of
the universe to a temperature of about 5-10 kelvin
The cosmic Microwave Background:
found in 1965 by Penzias and Wilson
form: a blackbody spectrum with a temperature of about 3K
the sky faintly glows in microwaves
cosmic microwave background (CMB)
microwaves are from when the universe was hot and ionized
at several hundred years, the temperature cooled so protons and electrons
could form neutral H atoms
(recombination)
then light was no longer blocked from its travel by all of the matter
the light could travel freely and cooled by a factor of about 1000 to about
2.7K as confirmed by satellite data
Olbers' Paradox:
Heinrich Olbers (1823):
if most stars emit the same radiation as a perfect black body then why does
the sky not look like the sun
Resolved?
how can the sky be dark?
The universe is expanding. Distant things are redshifted to faintness.
Fred Hoyle: proposed that there was dust. (WRONG)
Big Bang nucleosynthesis: Fusion
before recombination, everything would have been much hotter and more dense
at high densities, nuclear reactions occur
at the beginning of the universe there was a time limit on the process due to
the rapid expansion
narrow window of time in the early universe
Making Helium During the Early Universe:
the earliest universe was a soup of sub-atomic particles

at 2 minutes after the big bang, protons and neutrons could form Deuterium
deuterium rapidly converted into Helium
15 minutes on, it was all over- reactions stop
76% Hydrogen 24% Helium-small amounts of Deuterium and other light elements

Galaxies
galaxy types:
galaxies are classified based on appearance
spiral galaxies look like disks edge on
some galaxies are oval shape or football shaped from any angle: elliptical
galaxies
some fit neither description and were labelled irregular
hubble surveyed galaxies using the new 2.5m (100inch) hooker telescope on Mt
Wilson (built 1917)
in 1924 he set put and observed everything visually
used a tuning fork classification scheme
two types of spiral: plain or barred
tightly bound arms based on how bright the centre was
Spiral Galaxies:
large
disk shaped
contain gas and dust in the disk
are relatively blue due to young stars forming in the disk
the Bulge is a rounded central region containing old stars
gas and dust are concentrated along the spiral arms: this is where stars form
clouds are compressed in the arms
hot young O and B stars produce bright blue light
rotation of disk will naturally make spiral arms
central parts rotate around more quickly than the outer parts
however the spiral arms like these would not be stable
spiral arms are density waves: waves of compression moving through the disk
waves trigger star formation
existing stars are bit affected as much as the gas
Regular Spiral Galaxies:
denoted by the letter S with a letter a-d indicating a combination of the
size of the bulge, how tight the spiral arms are
Barred Spiral Galaxies:
sometimes the spiral galaxy has a rectangular bar shape in the centre
the arms stars form the end of the bar
disks are less stable and prone to bar formation if there is insufficient
mass in the centre
the bar may be a response to this, funnelling material to the centre of the
galaxy
Elliptical Galaxies:
some galaxies are mostly older stars ad have no disk
they are large and small (dwarf)
elliptical shape- similar to bulge in spiral galaxies
classified by elongation E0, E1,...E7
on close inspection, some ellipticals have a very faint disk like structure
Irregular Galaxies:
small gas rich galaxies, poorly defined shape
may be undergoing drastic star formation

The Magellanic Clouds:


the milky way galaxy has two irregular satellites
Do Galaxies Change Types:
Not in isolation
colliding galaxies changes types
colliding spirals is probably one way to make ellipticals
Dark Matter
orbital speeds of stars and gas depend on total amount of mass in the galaxy
Luminous mater (normal matter) cannot produce all the gravity in a galaxy
according to Kepler's laws, rotation speeds should decrease with larger
radius if there is only luminous matter but they do not
there must be an additional source of gravity: dark matter
about 95% of the mass of a spiral galaxy is dark matter
it is located in a large dark matter halo enclosing the galaxy
dark matter dominates elliptical galaxies as well
Active Galactic Nuclei
unified model: a central super massive black hole with an accretion disk
Super massive: masses of thousands to tens of billions of solar masses
jets of material shoot out of the poles of the system
a dense ring (torus) of dust blocks the centre
what we see depends on the viewing angle
Super

Massive Black Holes


the orbital speeds of gas near the black hole yields its mass
super massive black holes probably exist at the centre of all galaxies
normal galactic nuclei do not contain accretion disks
material in the accretion disk is AGN's source of fuel, without it the black
hole can only be found through gravitational effects
galaxy-galaxy interactions can create huge distortions
mergers can fuel the black holes creating AGN (initially)
eventually a new single galaxy (elliptical)
galaxies are found in groups or clusters. The Milky way is in the local group
there are two giant spirals and over 30 smaller dwarf galaxies
Redshift surveys reveal the distribution of clusters and super clusters
often extended and filamentary with voids in between
gravitational instabilities in the early universe collapsed to form galaxies
calculate structure formation with models

The Milky Way


William Herschel counted the number of stars in every direction to estimate
the shape of the universe
our local piece of the universe(galaxy) is a dusty disk of stars
a more accurate centre:
globular clusters can help to find distances in our galaxy and to other
galaxies
globular clusters contain RR Lyrae standard candles
contains very old stars
from 1915-1919 shapley used them to find the size of our galaxy
assumed that globular clusters trace the overall shape of the galaxy
this puts the sun 8000 parsecs from the centre of the milky way galaxy
8kpc = 8000 parsecs
1pc = 3.26 light years

8kpc = 26000 light years


the milky way has a substantial bar and a modest bulge
two major spiral arms
middle of the road giant barred spiral: Sbbc galaxy
Gas and Dust: the interstellar medium: gas and dust between the stars
Dust: Heavier chunks tend to form solid chunks not just molecules
Dust is in the form of solid grains
interstellar soot (iron, silicon, carbon and more)
dust blocks visible light from stars, galaxies etc. ; interstellar extinction
size: large molecules down to 300nm
dust blocks short wavelengths more efficiently interstellar reddening
long wavelengths (infrared and radio) penetrate dust

Inflation
inflation is a lot like dark energy-accelerating expansion
an energy field drives inflation
to have a normal universe this must end-the energy is dumped into normal
hot matter and radiation
this appears as a Big Bang
Chaotic Inflation
a popular idea due to Linde is chaotic inflation
in this scenario the universe overall is always in rampant inflation
small parts of the universe end inflation spontaneously and evolve as a
regular little universe (like the part we live in)
the large scale universe has no beginning or end
the physical constants don't have to be identical for every big bang
there could be a collection of universes- a multiverse
an infinite universe could contain an infinite number of disjointed, bubble
universes
note: some universes would have to be unlikely to make life-we live in a
universe that does (Anthropic principle)
Unifying Physics in the Big Bang:
there are four forces that govern the universe: gravity, electromagnetic,
weak nuclear and strong nuclear
right now: weakest to strongest: gravity, electromagnetism, weak and strong
nuclear forces
as you rewind time, the universe gets denser and hotter
each force breaks away and becomes distinct at a different time/energy
scale. Unifying theories in physics describe multiple forces in one theory
Quantum electrodynamics (QED) describes the electromagnetic force
Various combinations of (QED)
Grand Unified Theory (QED + strong and weak nuclear)
gravity- general relativity is still a distinct non-quantum theory
GUT+gravity = theory of everything (TOE)
string theory is an attempt at a theory of everything: particles, forces +
gravity in a 10 dimensional universe (only 4 are accessible)
String Theory:
a theory of everything should provide insight into where inflation comes
from, the nature of spacetime, why particles have mass, dark matter, dark
energy, why there are three families of particles...etc
it is possible there is more than one answer (e.g. The multiverse idea)

As the Universe cooled after the Big Bang:


established physical forces
photons electrons, positrons
matter-antimatter annihilation
pairs of particles and anti-particles were created int he very early universe
particle types depend on temperature and energy
higher energy means a particle with greater mass can be created
at early times almost equal numbers or particles and antiparticles
often annihilation slightly more particles than anti-particles

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