Astronomy 200 Study Guide

The exam will be 80 minutes in duration and will be divided into two parts - a 20 item multiple choice and a 3 question long answer. Each section could contain some of the following topics:the following topics:.

Topic One: Stars and Motion in the Heavens (Chp 2)

Things to know:

  • terminology (asterism, magnitude, altitude, etc)
  • how to read a magnitude-brightness graph
  • how magnitudes work
  • celestial sphere, celestial poles and celestial equator
  • motion of Sun, Moon and planets in the sky
  • precession
  • how to find latitude and longitude from astronomical data

Topic Two: Lunar and Solar Eclipses (Chp 4)

Things to know:

  • condition necessary for Lunar and Solar eclipses
  • kinds of eclipses
  • the Saros
  • how to predict eclipses using the Saros

Topic Three: Historical Ideas in Astronomy (Chp 2)

Things to know:

  • early ideas in Greek astronomy.
  • astronomical ideas and motifs in other cultures
  • Copernicus, Brahe, Kepler - their contributions
  • Galileo and the "Galileo Affair" including arguments for and against Copernicanism
  • how Newton changed Astronomy and our view of the universe

Topic Four: Gravity, Light and Matter (Chp 3)

Things to know:

  • the inverse square nature of gravity
  • orbits - how they work including concepts of circular and escape velocity
  • tides
  • Einstein's ideas on light, matter and energy
  • Einstein's idea of gravity as bending of space

Mathematical Considerations:

You should be able to do a simple brightness-magnitude calculation and use Kepler's Third Law.  Otherwise do not worry about lot's of math - The focus of the exam is conceptual.

Formulae will be provided!