Astronomy 101    Exam 1    Study Guide


Go over the HW problems (15%), Labs (20%) and Quizzes (15%)

What is the difference between Astronomy and Astrology?

How do you determine your astrological sign?

What is special about the constellations that make up the Zodiac? 

Know how many constellations the Sun goes through in a year

What is special about Polaris (the North Star)?

What is the difference between a constellation and an asterism?   What are they used for?

Know how the Sun moves across the sky during different seasons

Know how the Sun and the stars rise and set at different latitudes on Earth

What are circumpolar stars?

If the North Star is located some altitude above your horizon, then
                1) what latitude are you at?
                2) above what declination do stars never set?
                3) what is the highest altitude that the Sun will reach during the solstices or equinoxes?

Know all the terms related to the Celestial Sphere

What are the solstices and the equinoxes?

How can lunar and solar eclipses occur?

Know the phases of the Moon.  What is a blue moon?

Know how to tell time using the phases of the moon and the location of the sun.

What is a Lunar and Gregorian year?

What is retrograde motion?
                How did the Ptolemy explain it?
                How did Copernicus & Kepler explain it?

How did Copernicus explain the motion of the Sun, Moon and planets in the sky?

Why did the Ancient Greeks think that the Earth was at the center of the universe?

How can you demonstrate that the Earth is NOT at the center of the Solar System?

What observations did Galileo make that started to cast doubt on the Geocentric model of the universe?

What are Kepler’s Laws of Planetary motion? 

     Know how to use Kepler’s 3rd law to determine the orbital period or distance of a planet from the Sun

What planets are always found close to the Sun? 

Know the directions the Sun will rise/set on the first day of spring, summer, autumn and winter

Know how to calculate Marvin’s weight on the surface and above the surface of a planet

Know Newton’s laws of motion and how it applies to gravity

If you increase/decrease the mass or increase/decrease the distance, then how does the force of gravity change?

What is the difference between Newton’s and Einstein’s theory of gravity?  Which theory is better?


Challenge problem (14%) (write your essay and draw your diagrams on the back of the scantron) – To prepare for the problem, know what causes the seasons.    Know how the sun moves across the sky during different seasons.  Know how the seasons would change if the tilt of the Earth’s axis changes.