Download Understanding the Universe: An Inquiry Approach to Astronomy by George Greenstein PDF

By George Greenstein

A student-active advent to astronomy, emphasizing inquiry studying so scholars will basically comprehend our universe and the clinical strategy. Within-text and end-of-chapter questions cost realizing of strategies and require the coed to imagine severely via astronomy-based difficulties. 'Nature of technology' and 'Detectives at the Case' sections in each one bankruptcy inspire scholars to tackle the function of a scientist and so strengthen an knowing of ways clinical development is made, best scholars via a series of arguments of forming and trying out hypotheses, within the context of particular astronomical subject matters. by way of targeting key themes, the scholar is ready to increase a deeper figuring out of the center components of astronomy. Math is used to make intuitive issues and stored uncomplicated by utilizing a two-track procedure to first describe the good judgment of the calculation by way of a extra specific instance. uncomplicated illustrations aid the textual content and step scholars via recommendations visually.

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Extra resources for Understanding the Universe: An Inquiry Approach to Astronomy and the Nature of Scientific Research

Example text

Rather than emphasizing the facts of astronomy, it emphasizes how we know them, and it regularly involves you in the chain of arguments that lead to them. What will you remember of your astronomy course ten years from now? Certainly few of the detailed facts you will encounter. But if this book does its job right, you will remember the habits of mind that have allowed scientists to discover these facts – and you will remember that you followed with comprehension and interest the development of our understanding.

Rotation” of the sky: circumpolar stars It is not only the Sun that rises and sets. Every object in the sky – the Moon, the planets, the stars – appears to move. You can prove this to yourself by going outside at night and glancing at the sky to the East – and then returning a few hours later and looking again. You will find that everything that used to be close to the eastern horizon has now risen higher and to the right. A little thought shows why this should be so: we view the entire sky from the rotating Earth, and everything in it undergoes the same kinds of motion as does the Sun.

Similarly, the south celestial pole lies directly overhead as seen from the Earth's south pole. Unfortunately there is no bright star located there, so residents of the southern hemisphere have no south pole star with which to reckon directions. Just as the Earth's equator is an imaginary circle lying midway between the poles, so the celestial equator lies midway between the celestial poles. This imaginary circle drawn on the celestial sphere lies directly overhead as seen by people living along the Earth's equator.

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