gcse astronomy topics

Some are far more intriguing than our own. Starting with dangers, the most obvious is that of fire and/or explosion, mainly due to the vast quantity of rocket fuel needed to break free of Earth’s orbit. — However, the matter comes in such vast quantities that there’s too much for it all to fall in at once. — Ultimately, on Mars, there will be an average delay of 20 minutes between transmissions. Hence, to ask the astronauts “How are you?” and to receive the reply “We’re fine!” will take around 40 minutes, depending how far apart Earth and Mars are in their respective orbits. ISBN 978 0 9956483 0 2. — — What techniques are involved in naked-eye observing? Join us in discovering new and exciting things about our universe. Your “magic horizon” number would thus be different, so don’t simply commit the number 35 to memory. Saturn. When two hydrogen atoms slam together (as described above), it’s their NECLEI which become fused — forming a new, heavier nucleus, and releasing some energy in the process. Saturn is around 9.5 AU from the Sun. Mars. Further, Apollo astronaut Alfred Worden talks frankly about the challenges of sharing a cramped cabin with two colleagues for the few days of their mission. — reclining chair; There are two types of cluster:  open and globular. This is in two main parts:  the relatively thin chromosphere (“sphere of colour”), and the wispy, extensive corona (“crown”). “Longitude” — Angular distance along our planet from Greenwich (east-west). It’s an impressive trick when your backpacking buddies are losing their minds — panicking because they can’t get a phone signal, while the sat-nav’s battery just died. Let’s break it down further. Simply a meteoroid that touches down (as opposed to burning up) after surviving the blazing hot, high-friction fall through Earth’s atmosphere. A lump of rock, hurtling through space at around 40 kilometres per second, whose size can range between that of a sand grain to several metres across. Basically, it works like this…. For America, getting to the Moon first became a point of national pride. Its recently undergone a change. A solar eclipse is caused by the Moon (in its New Moon phase) passing directly in front of the Sun from your perspective on Earth. It takes 25 days to complete one full turn at the equator (where gravity is stronger), but 36 days at the poles. A little smaller and a neutron star is more likely to be left behind. Look closely and you’ll notice that the triangles are equivalent; each one encapsulates the same amount of green space. Hence, just as the Moon’s synodic month is longer than its sidereal month, so on Earth, the solar day is longer than the sidereal day. They enter our upper atmosphere near the poles. — Solar wind direction/intensity; minutes / 48 /100 At less than eight solar masses, a star dies not with a bang, but with a whimper. Also, rock samples from the Moon are similar to the rock found in Earth’s mantle, yet significantly lacking in water molecules — suggesting that heat from a giant impact may have vaporised the water. For example, the brightest star in Orion is designated α Ori, while the second brightest star in Gemini is designated β Gem. The bigger the rock, the more chance that it (or part of it) will reach the ground. Later on, we’ll meet greater units of distance known as ‘light-years’ and ‘parsecs.’. This is why we haven’t returned to the Moon since the 1970s, nor expanded manned exploration to Mars. — Below is a composite image of the Sun in ordinary visible light (right), and in sizzling H-alpha (left). The next point is subtle, but could make the difference between getting the marks or not. Arguably (and sadly), this last objective may have been the overriding one, simply because Russia had outdone America by claiming three “firsts” — the first probe in orbit (Sputnik, 1957), the first man in space (Yuri Gagarin, 1961), and the first human spacewalk (Alexei Leonov, 1965). Author: Created by stefanucl. Do solar and lunar eclipses always last the same amount of time? In truth, the Sun is far bigger! Typically, this will be a H-alpha filter:  a thin layer of film that fits over the main (objective) lens, blocking out all wavelengths of light except for that emitted by hydrogen atoms — the Sun’s most common element. Long-exposure photographs, like the one below, which reveal “star trails.”. These particles are flying away from the Sun in all directions. That’s why it’s given special status as an asterism. Topic 1. [last update: 8/3/18], Topic 8. Read them in order, or use your browser’s FIND function to quickly locate what you’re looking for. SpaceKidets. The Sun may be partially eclipsed for up to two hours. Throughout human history, only one case of injury from a direct meteorite impact has been verified:  that of an American citizen, Mrs Ann Hodges, in 1954. As the steam cooled, it condensed into liquid water and was spread around as rain. stones or some chalk. On Earth, there’s the famous asteroid impact site known as Barringer Crater in Arizona, United States — thought to have formed around 50,000 years ago. As you can see, the point of light in the middle hardly appears to have moved. What is a shadow stick? But how can you tell (e.g.) Very big! Topic 1 – Earth, Moon and Sun As well as studying each of these three bodies individually, this topic looks at the interactions between them that cause the … It wasn't particularly mathematical and it had a good mix of topics. You could accidentally start a fire, as powerful solar rays are focused at a single point. — gravity fluctuations; The path of the sun in … This website and its content is subject to our Terms and Conditions. The chromosphere extends to about 2000km above the Sun’s surface. Charged particles from the solar wind are attracted to Earth’s magnetic field (called the magnetosphere). [that is, length of time before life uses technology to destroy itself]. The greater a star’s apparent displacement after six months, the closer to Earth that star must be. But since Earth is on the move, the solar day (+4 mins) is a means of compensating for the Sun’s apparent drift. At-a-glance, The Plough is much easier to discern than the entire Great Bear constellation. Each of the four episodes is about 25 minutes in length. The following are examples of circumpolar constellations; i.e. Thus, comets can be imagined as the “unlucky stuff” that didn’t go into creating the planets. However, the Drake Equation (named after its author, Professor Frank Drake) is quite scientific. Feel free to snip, assign flipped learning tasks, or simply go over a lesson resource over two separate lessons. Matter wants to fall into the black hole. Therefore, whenever two hydrogen nuclei fuse, their protons are added together to give us a helium nucleus with two protons inside. The GCSE astronomy course at Royal Observatory Greenwich offers a firm grounding in the study of the Sun-Earth-Moon system, the Solar System, the Milky Way Galaxy and the wider Universe. Pearson Edexcel Level 1/Level 2 GCSE (9 - 1) in Astronomy (1AS0) Overview of topics: Topic 1 – Planet Earth It’s all around you, appearing as the static on de-tuned TVs. Why is the sky blue? As you can see (above), only radio waves and visible light in the EM spectrum are able to penetrate all the way to ground-based observatories. A rock was found at the scene and later confirmed to be a meteorite. fraction of those planets which achieve communications technology? Britain’s latitude is approximately 55°N, so Brits see the Pole Star 55° above the northern horizon. A proton is a positively charged particle. Below you can see the nucleus of Comet 67P (a giant ball of ice and dust) from 10 kilometres away. The period from New Moon to New Moon is called the ‘synodic month’ (29.5 days). GCSE Astronomy Topic 1. — Therefore, the light from the Big Bang is still reaching us, but in trickles as it swims upstream, fighting against the current (so to speak). Breaking it down, we’re given Saturn’s distance (r) as 9.5 AU. It contains around 2000 galaxies, all orbiting a common centre of gravity (located around 15 to 20 megaparsecs from here). It’s apt that these should come last in the course, since questions about dark matter and dark energy remind us how little we truly know. Why do the Moon and Sun appear to be the same size from Earth? What is a “neutron star?” — Consequently, a tiny spark was enough to ignite the cabin. Their awesome discoveries are legion… but beyond the scope of this lesson. And this is the version of the formula you need to know. NOTE:  In this lesson’s supplementary video, I’ve included two clips on sundials. Recently acquired evidence shows that during the Martian summer, frozen water beneath the soil resumes a liquid state in some circumstances. — In the interests of balance, I should point out that a growing body of scientific opinion denies that the polar ice caps are melting. Planets follow slightly elliptical (nearly circular) paths around the Solar System; keeping a certain, average distance from the Sun. — 8-10 represents a high likelihood of impact, with widespread destruction to be expected. Indeed, many a bright spark would’ve demonstrated their falsity by now. A narrow range of distances from a star, inside which an orbiting Earth-like planet could thrive. How do the lunar seas (maria) differ from the highlands (terrae)? You may wish to familiarise yourself with the Doppler Effect. If so, you’ll need to state the law as a formula: … where v is the velocity (i.e. You’ll see that if you hold the finger close to your nose, it ‘jumps’ significantly as you view it with one eye, then the other. The key to success is identifying when sunspots were last at a minimum. So, a PHO is also an NEO, but an NEO isn’t always a PHO! Any comet or asteroid that will pass within 0.3 AU (45 million km) of Earth. The Mars-sized planet is unofficially named Theia. What methods attempt to prove the origin of water on Earth? Two rings (or ‘belts’) of high-energy cosmic particles, high above Earth’s equator, which are held in place by our planet’s magnetic field. — elliptical galaxies, spiral galaxies, barred-spiral galaxies, and lenticular galaxies. In the exam, you might be asked whether a certain star is circumpolar as viewed from a latitude other than 55°N (as in Britain). However, radio telescopes reveal a faint background ‘glow’ coming from every direction in space. GCSE stands for General Certificate of Secondary Education. Are you left with a number that’s greater than (>) 35? Meanwhile, in Alexandria, a shadow of approximately 7.2° was cast. — One such approach is to use your telescope as a projector, like so: But even this method involves some danger. As you can see (above), during a total lunar eclipse, the Moon does not vanish, but dims and takes on a red/copper appearance. If you would like to study GCSE Astronomy, click the logo below to visit the website of the Online Astronomy Society Academy (OASA). They were called chiselers. Each time the ‘parent’ comet makes a pass, it renews the debris trail it leaves. The Leonids result from the debris left by Comet Tempel-Tuttle, a short-period comet that passes by the Sun every 33 years. If our Sun wasn’t so bright, you’d see these constellations all day long. — the time when the Sun is highest in the sky. I have looked at past papers for both subjects as well as a website which has the Astronomy content on it and believe I could do well in it. — Sub Topic Booklet. With the help of a friend, he planted a stick in the ground at two locations:  one in Syene, and one in Alexandria (790 kilometres north). Basically, it’s to do with Earth’s orbit around the Sun. Here on Earth, our atmosphere and magnetosphere absorb/deflect the vast majority of cosmic rays, but in space, far from our atmosphere and magnetosphere, humans are exposed to their full brunt. The cycle takes 11 years, although you must always be clear about what stage in the cycle you’re counting from. — Ranked # americas top colleges. But as the supplementary video explains, there is also ‘absolute’ magnitude, which is a measure of any star’s true brightness when compared to all others; not just its brightness as seen by our eyes. It’s as simple as that. Another popular theory (the “outgassing theory”) is that early volcanoes emitted hydrogen and oxygen atoms all over the planet, which combined to form H2O molecules in the form of steam. A couple of months ago, I published an article on this site: Short Talk on Dark Matter (and Dark Energy). The Moon is Earth’s only natural satellite, orbiting at an average distance of 380,000km. If we square that number, we see 7056 on the calculator — the cube root of which is 19.18019, or 19 AU approximately. A comet is a travelling ball of rock and ice. Gone now are the need to complete two assessed projects, once visual, one unaided. Well, unless you’re willing to build a different clock for every day of the year! – Lunar rock samples suggest our Moon was once a part of Earth. Once passed the chromosphere, though, temperature rises dramatically in the corona. This course has been developed for ours (or other students). As we’ve seen, a shadow stick is ideal for establishing local noon on any given day, although it can’t be used as a clock because the Sun changes position in the sky daily. Topic 1. About 3.26 light-years. That may seem a vast distance (and it is! Microwaves with the shortest wavelengths are absorbed by water vapour (H2O) and oxygen (O2). How is gravity responsible for maintaining orbits? Hence, lunar eclipses occur more frequently. The rotation period is divided into 360 degrees (a full circle), with 1 full degree of rotation occurring every 4 minutes.

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