Dr. Aaron Titus | Department of Physics, High Point University
PHY1050      Astronomy of Stars, Galaxies, and the Cosmos
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Discovering Astronomy is organized into six parts, from observations to the solar system and then to stars and galaxies. The six parts are:

  1. Discovering the Science of Astronomy
  2. Discovering the Nature and Evolution of the Solar System
  3. Discovering the Techniques of Astronomy
  4. Discovering the Nature and Evolution of Stars
  5. Discovering the Nature and Evolution of Galaxies and the Universe
  6. Discovering if There is Life Elsewhere in the Universe

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Beyond the Blue Horizon: A Grand Tour of the Universe
1.1: What Is Astronomy?
1.2: Our View of the Cosmos
1.3: The Solar System
1.4: Stars, Galaxies, and Beyond
1.5: Where Does Astronomy Go from Here?
1: Problems (77)
1: Extra Problems


Chapter 2: Science and Pseudoscience
2.1: An Expedition to Earth
2.2: Astronomy as an Observational Science
2.3: Science as a Process
2.4: Is It Science or Pseudoscience?
2.5: Do New Ideas Displace the Old Ones?
2: Problems (37)
2: Extra Problems


Chapter 3: Astronomical Observations: Angles and Uncertainties
3.1: Angles and Angular Measurement
3.2: Angles on the Celestial Sphere
3.3: The Relationship between Physical and Angular Size
3.4: Measurement Uncertainty
3.5: Systematic Uncertainties in Astronomy: The Kapteyn Universe as an Example
3: Problems (98)
3: Extra Problems


Chapter 4: Basic Observations and Interpretations of the Sky
4.1: Early Observations of the Sky
4.2: Early Greek Observations: The Round Earth
4.3: The Observed Motions of the Sky
4.4: The Motion of the Sun
4.5: The Reasons for the Seasons
4.6: The Location of Stars on the Celestial Sphere
4.7: The Motion and Phases of the Moon
4.8: The Motions of the Planets
4.9: How Stars Get Their Names
4.10: Measuring Star Brightness
4: Problems (77)
4: Extra Problems


Chapter 5: The Historical Quest to Model the Solar System
5.1: Greek Astronomy
5.2: Astronomy during the Middle Ages
5.3: The Heliocentric Hypothesis
5.4: Kepler's Laws of Planetary Motion
5.5: The Search for Underlying Laws
5.6: Evidence in Favor of the Heliocentric Hypothesis
5.7: Observational Evidence of the Earth's Rotation
5: Problems (93)
5: Extra Problems (16)


Chapter 6: The Structure and Formation of Planetary Systems
6.1: An Overview of the Solar System
6.2: Observations: Orbital Patterns
6.3: The Distribution of Angular Momentum
6.4: Hypotheses of the Origin of the Solar System
6.5: Modern Ideas
6.6: Other Planetary Systems
6: Problems (83)
6: Extra Problems


Chapter 7: The Smallest Objects of the Solar System
7.1: Pluto and the Trans-Neptunian Objects
7.2: Comets
7.3: Asteroids
7.4: Meteors, Meteor Showers, and Meteorites
7.5: Interplanetary Dust
7.6: Meteorites and the Early Solar System
7: Problems (82)
7: Extra Problems


Chapter 8: The Earth and Moon: Processes and Facts
8.1: Earth as an Astronomical Body
8.2: Earth's Interior
8.3: Earth's Surface
8.4: Earth's Atmosphere
8.5: Earth's Magnetism
8.6: The Moon: Large-Scale Characteristics
8.7: The Moon's Atmosphere
8.8: The Lunar Surface
8.9: The Moon's Interior
8.10: The Origin of the Moon
8.11: Tides and the Future of the Earth-Moon System
8.12: Understanding the Universe using the Moon
8: Problems (103)
8: Extra Problems


Chapter 9: The Earth-Like Planets
9.1: Introduction to the Terrestrial Planets
9.2: Large-Scale Characteristics
9.3: Atmospheres
9.4: Surfaces
9.5: Interiors
9.6: Moons
9.7: Evolutionary Comparison
9: Problems (107)
9: Extra Problems


Chapter 10: The Jovian Planets
10.1: Introduction
10.2: Large-Scale Characteristics
10.3: Atmospheres
10.4: Planetary Interiors
10.5: Moons
10.6: Planetary Rings
10.7: Future Studies of the Jovian Planets and Moons
10: Problems (129)
10: Extra Problems


Chapter 11: The Nature of Light
11.1: Light as a Ray
11.2: Light as a Wave
11.3: Light as a Stream of Particles
11: Problems (61)
11: Extra Problems


Chapter 12: Telescopes: Our Eyes of Discovery
12.1: The Formation of Images
12.2: Telescopes
12.3: Comparing Reflecting and Refracting Telescopes
12.4: Reflecting Telescopes of Various Types
12.5: The Telescopes of the Future
12.6: Detectors and Instruments
12.7: Radio Astronomy
12.8: Optical and Radio Observatory Sites
12.9: Beyond Optical and Radio Astronomy
12.10: NASA's Great Observatories
12: Problems (63)
12: Extra Problems


Chapter 13: Spectra: The Key to Understanding the Universe
13.1: Observations of Spectra
13.2: Understanding Spectra
13.3: Applications of Spectroscopy
13: Problems (81)
13: Extra Problems


Chapter 14: Understanding Stellar Spectra
14.1: Classification of Stellar Spectra
14.2: The Cosmic Abundance of the Chemical Elements
14.3: The Doppler Effect
14.4: What We Can Learn from Spectral Lines
14: Problems (72)
14: Extra Problems


Chapter 15: The Observed Properties of Normal Stars
15.1: Distance Measurements
15.2: Binary Stars and Stellar Masses
15.3: Binary Stars and Other Stellar Properties
15.4: The Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram
15.5: Main-Sequence, Giant, Supergiant, and White Dwarf Stars
15.6: Explanation of the Main Sequence
15.7: Stellar Distances and the H-R Diagram
15: Problems (100)
15: Extra Problems


Chapter 16: Energy Source and Structure of the Sun and Stars
16.1: The Power Produced by the Sun
16.2: Energy Sources
16.3: The Conditions Required for Fusion
16.4: Proof of Fusion in Stars
16.5: Stellar Structure
16.6: The Lifetimes of Stars
16.7: The Sun—A Typical Star
16: Problems (76)
16: Extra Problems


Chapter 17: Star Formation and Evolution to the Main Sequence
17.1: Matter for Star Formation
17.2: Star-Formation: Theory
17.3: Star-Formation: Observations
17.4: A Prominent Region of Star Formation: The Orion Molecular Cloud Complex and Nebula
17: Problems (69)
17: Extra Problems


Chapter 18: Stellar Evolution after the Main Sequence
18.1: The Mid-Life Evolution of Sun-like Stars
18.2: The Mid-Life Evolution of Stars Less Massive Than the Sun
18.3: The Mid-Life Evolution of Stars More Massive Than Eight Solar Masses
18.4: Pulsating Stars
18.5: Mass Loss, Binary Stars, and Stellar Evolution
18.6: The Death of Stars Less Massive Than Eight Solar Masses
18.7: The Observational Evidence for Stellar Evolution
18: Problems (84)
18: Extra Problems


Chapter 19: Stellar Death and Catastrophes
19.1: Novae
19.2: Supernovae
19.3: Neutron Stars and Pulsars
19.4: Black Holes
19.5: Compact Objects in Binary Systems
19: Problems
19: Extra Problems


Chapter 20: The Milky Way: Our Galaxy
20.1: Characteristics of the Milky Way I
20.2: Characteristics of the Milky Way II
20.3: Interstellar Gas and Dust
20.4: The Structure of the Milky Way System
20.5: The Formation and Evolution of the Galaxy
20.6: The Galactic Magnetic Field
20.7: Cosmic Rays
20: Problems (108)
20: Extra Problems


Chapter 21: Galaxies
21.1: The Historical Problem of the Nebulae
21.2: The Morphology of Galaxies
21.3: Distances of the Galaxies
21.4: General Galaxy Attributes
21.5: The Star and Gas Content of Galaxies
21.6: The Formation and Evolution of Galaxies
21.7: Clusters of Galaxies
21.8: Clusters of Clusters: Superclusters
21.9: Cluster and Supercluster Formation
21: Problems (100)
21: Extra Problems


Chapter 22: Active Galaxies and Quasars
22.1: Seeing Galaxies in a New Light
22.2: Other Active Galaxies: Seyfert Galaxies, BL Lac Objects, and Quasars
22.3: The "Monster" Energy Source for QSOs and AGNs
22.4: A Unified Model of AGN, BL Lacs and Quasars
22: Problems (76)
22: Extra Problems


Chapter 23: The Origin and Evolution of the Universe
23.1: The Four Pillars of the Big Bang
23.2: Questions about the Big Bang
23.3: Surprising Mysteries of the Big Bang
23.4: Multiple Universes?
23: Problems (86)
23: Extra Problems


Chapter 24: The Search for Extraterrestrial Life
24.1: What is Life?
24.2: The Ingredients for Life
24.3: The Search for Extra-Terrestrial Life inside Our Solar System
24.4: The Search for Life Outside Our Solar System
24.5: The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence
24: Problems (55)
24: Extra Problems