21st Century Astronomy (4th Edition) by Bradford Smith, George Blumenthal, Laura Kay

By Bradford Smith, George Blumenthal, Laura Kay

Teaches scholars to imagine like scientists.

Authors Laura Kay and Stacy Palen have built pedagogy that is helping scholars comprehend the method of technological know-how, and the way actual rules are used to find the origins of the universe. The authors emphasize how we all know what we all know within the figures, textual content, and end-of-chapter material.

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Extra resources for 21st Century Astronomy (4th Edition)

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Do they have anything to do with me? The origin and fate of the universe, and the nature of space and time, have become the subjects of rigorous scientific investigation. Humans have long speculated about our beginnings, or origins. Who or what is responsible for our existence? How did the Sun, stars, and Earth form? The topic of scientific origins is a recurring theme in this book. The answers that scientists are finding to these questions are changing not only our view of the cosmos, but our view of ourselves.

For example, a circle of radius R has an area A equal to πR 2, so we say that the area is proportional to the square of the radius, and we write A ∝ R2 This means that if you make the radius of a circle 3 times as large, its area will grow by a factor of 32, or 9. Let’s consider a simple astronomical example. The surface area of a sphere is proportional to the square of its radius, or 4πR2. The radius of the Moon is only about one-quarter that of Earth. How does the surface area of the Moon compare with that of Earth?

If a hill is big, then a mountain is very big. If a mountain is very big, then Earth is enormous. But where do we go from there? We quickly run out of superlatives as the scale begins to dwarf our human experience. One technique that can help us develop a sense for the size of The travel time of light things in the universe is helps us understand the to discuss time as well as scale of the universe. distance. If you are driving down the highway at 60 kilometers per hour (km/h), a kilometer is how far you travel in a minute.

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