Study "Astronomy / Planets / Solar System" Essays 1-55

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Astronomy the Electromagnetic System Is the Range Essay

… Astronomy

The Electromagnetic system is the range of frequency for electromagnetic radiation. It ranges from radio waves, to microwaves, to infrared, the visible region, the ultraviolet, X-rays, and finally, Gamma rays. Not all properties of all the bands in the electromagnetic spectrum are the same, their properties depend upon their frequency. Light is a member of this spectrum, represented as the "visible region." Light is next to both Infrared and Ultraviolet waves. The Sun radiates most intensely in the Ultraviolet band. Stellar Spectra is referring to the classifications of star based on measurements of the wavelengths emitted, all categorized by color.

Refracting Telescopes use lenses to directly form an image. Reflecting Telescopes use mirrors in order to acquire an image. A telescopes F-number is its focal ratio, defined as N = f / D, it determines the "aperture" of a lens, or its ability to collect light. Optical telescopes block the ambient light, and allows light from the subject to be the only focus for the eye. The unaided eye has extra light entering it, which weakens the ability of the naked eye to see outer space. Radio telescopes are similar to optical telescopes, except they measure in radio frequency instead of the electromagnetic spectrum. These telescopes often collect data from space probes and satellites. Radio telescopes can be large dishes, or they can be what's called "radio interferometers," which is a collection of telescopes in a large array linked by computers.

Ex. 3: A stars apparent magnitude its magnitude as seen from Earth, whereas its absolute magnitude is the actual magnitude of the star when seen from space. Absolute magnitude can be measured to see its "red shift," which is a measurement of light that allows scientists to tell how far away the object is. One parsec is 3.262 light years. Sirius is 2.6 parsecs from the Sun.

Ex. 4: The Sun is a G-class star, and is a typical star on the Main Sequence. The main sequence is the common lifecycle of stars from birth until their death, with a defined path for the vast majority of stars. The property determining a stars position on the HR diagram is its color, which is determined by the components on the surface of the star being burned.

Ex. 5: The nearest star to Earth is the Sun. The Sun's atmosphere is called its Corona, the surface is the Photosphere, the interior is called the Radiative Zone, and the core is the super hot and dense. The core is a dense collection of thermonuclear reactions, caused by gravity's pull on Hydrogen atoms at the core, heating them up and causing the nuclear reactions. The Sun rotates in the same direction as Earth, and exists in the Orion Belt of the Milky Way Galaxy. Sunspots are cooler areas of the sun, caused by strong magnetic field that inhibit heat from emerging from the… [read more]

Discovered Solar System Term Paper

… , 1 bar) (m/s2)

Acceleration (eq., 1 bar) (m/s2)

Escape velocity (km/s)

GM (x 106 km3/s2)

Bond albedo

Visual geometric albedo

Visual magnitude V (1,0)

Solar irradiance (W/m2)

Black-body temperature (K)

Moment of inertia (I/MR2)

J2 (x 10-6)

Number of natural satellites

Planetary ring system

Orbital parameters



Ratio (Jupiter/Earth)

Semimajor axis (106 km)

Sidereal orbit period (days)

Tropical orbit period (days)

Perihelion (106 km)

Aphelion (106 km)

Synodic period (days)

Mean orbital velocity (km/s)

Max. orbital velocity (km/s)

Min. orbital velocity (km/s)

Orbit inclination (deg)

Orbit eccentricity

Sidereal rotation period (hours)

Length of day (hrs)

Obliquity to orbit (deg)

System III (1965.0) coordinates

Jupiter Observational Parameters


Discovery Date: Prehistoric

Distance from Earth

Minimum (106 km)

Maximum (106 km)

Apparent diameter from Earth

Maximum (seconds of arc)

Minimum (seconds of arc)

Mean values at opposition from Earth

Distance from Earth (106 km)

Apparent diameter (seconds of arc)

Apparent visual magnitude

Maximum apparent visual magnitude

Jupiter Mean Orbital Elements (J2000)

Semimajor axis (AU)

Orbital eccentricity

Orbital inclination (deg)

Longitude of ascending node (deg) 100.55615

Longitude of perihelion (deg)

Mean Longitude (deg)

North Pole of Rotation

Right Ascension: 268.05-0.009T


64.49 + 0.003T

Reference Date: 12:00 UT 1 Jan 2000 (JD 2451545.0)

Julian centuries from reference date

Jovian Magnetosphere

Goddard Space Flight Center O4 Model

Dipole field strength: 4.28 gauss-Rj3

Dipole tilt to rotational axis: 9.6 degrees

Longitude of tilt: 201.7 degrees

Dipole offset (planet center to dipole center) distance: 0.131 Rj

Latitude/Longitude of offset vector: -8.0 degrees/148.57 degrees

Note: All latitudes/longitudes are given in Jovian System III (1965.0) coordinates.

Rj denotes Jovian radii, 71,398 km

Jovian Atmosphere

Surface Pressure: >>1000 bars

Temperature at 1 bar: ~165 K (-108 C)

Temperature at 0.1 bar: ~112 K (-161 C)

Density at 1 bar: ~0.16 kg/m3

Wind speeds

Up to ~150 m/s (<30 degrees latitude)

Up to ~40 m/s (>30 degrees latitude)

Scale height: 27 km

Mean molecular weight: 2.22 g/mole

Atmospheric composition (by volume, uncertainty in parentheses)

Molecular hydrogen (H2) - 89.8% (2.0%); Helium (He) - 10.2% (2.0%)

Minor (ppm): Methane (CH4) - 3000 (1000); Ammonia (NH3) - 260 (40);

Hydrogen Deuteride (HD) - 28 (10); Ethane (C2H6) - 5.8 (1.5);

Water (H2O) - ~4 (varies with pressure)


Ammonia ice, water ice, ammonia hydrosulfide

This planet is similar enough to Jupiter at first glance that it will be… [read more]

Solar System Formation Term Paper

… It was the initial first billion years that there was still a significant amount of large pieces of rock and ice flying around the solar system. These were the materials that had not accreted into a planet, until about 3.8 billion years ago rife in collisions were formed. The following picture shows the same (The Columbia Encyclopedia, 2004).

As the cloud continued to fall in, eventually the center got so hot that it became a star, the Sun, and thus, blew most of the gas and dust of the new solar system with a strong stellar wind. The figure given below shows our solar system. This sets the horizontal scale (in AU). The picture has solar system with 9 different stars that are orbited by a planet. In the middle of the diagram the name of the star is given in red. The planet is shown both in brown or green since it is at proper location from its parent star while the mass of the planet is given in Jupiter-masses. (Booth, 1996; Weissman, 1998; Beatty, 1999; Jones, 1999).

Works Cited

Solar System. Encyclopedia Title: The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. Publisher:

Columbia University Press. New York. 2004.

Solar System Formation: UCAR.

N. Booth, Exploring the Solar System (1996);

P.R. Weissman et al., ed., Encyclopedia of the Solar System (1998)

J.K. Beatty et al., ed., The New Solar System (4th ed. 1999);

B.W. Jones, Discovering… [read more]

Earth Like Solar Planets Research Paper

… The age of the star is considered to be about 100 billion years old and it is located in a solitary star. It is about 100 million miles from the sun. There are other companion planets that orbit this star.… [read more]

Astronomy Carbon Dioxide Snow Essay

… I suspect that part of the reason there is all this research dedicated to Mars is because some of the very wealthy are looking to find alternatives to Earth in case conditions become irreversibly disastrous on Earth. This research propels the current interest and in a way, pushes the research in new directions.

Scientists have known for decades that carbon-dioxide exists in ice in Mars' seasonal and permanent southern polar caps. Frozen carbon dioxide, sometimes called "dry ice" here on Earth, requires temperatures of about -125 Celsius (- 193 degrees Fahrenheit), which is much colder than needed for freezing water. Even though we like to think Mars is a lot like Earth, findings like this remind us that Mars is indeed quite different. (Atkinson, 2012)

I think that this kind of research is extremely inspirational and hopeful. It widens the astronomical imagination and scope as to what is possible in the universe, and even in our own backyard, so to speak.

This article appeals to me because there seemed to be something of a magical quality about carbon dioxide snow. From a layman's perspective, there is something very science fiction about the occurrence. It is as if the carbon dioxide snowfalls come from a story, novel, or film. To me, carbon dioxide snowfalls are kind of hopeful and lovely. The research dispels some stereotypes that Mars is a dead, desolate planet. There is still some kind of life cycle going on the planet. Who knows what other activities are going on Mars? I did not have much knowledge about Mars. I had no knowledge regarding snowfall on Mars. I was aware of the frozen polar caps. I had no knowledge of the water cycle on the planet. I chose this article because this is subject upon which I have no knowledge, but I still retain great interest in Mars, the solar system, and astronomy in general.


Atkinson, Nancy. "It Only Happens on Mars: Carbon Dioxide Snow is Falling on the Red Planet." Universe Today, Web, Available… [read more]

Astronomy Explain How the Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram Essay

… Astronomy

Explain how the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram is constructed of the four main groupings of stars. Identify characteristics of the four main groupings of stars on the diagram. The H-R Diagram shows the similarities among stars in the sky. The diagram… [read more]

Earth Science Astronomy Essay

… Earth Science / Astronomy

Ptolemy focused on a series of earlier ideas when he devised his theory regarding the geocentric movement of the planets. The theory emphasized the fact that the Earth was stationary and at the center of the… [read more]

Ancient Greeks Contributed Research Paper

… ¶ … ancient Greeks contributed much to our modern knowledge of the universe. Still, there concepts often differed because of the lack of scientific technology we have today. One of the prominent ideas of the Greeks that have been discredited was the geocentric view of the universe. Thus, all the planets and even the sun all orbited the Earth which was at the center. This was a view that placed the Earth at the very center of the universe. Ptolemy helped mold the concept and accounted for the motions of the celestial bodies through explaining that each planet and star moved around the universe in circles, known as epicycles. Planets moved at different speeds, depending on what point they were on in their epicycle. Thus, although the Earth is not the center of the universe, Ptolemy contributed to the concept of orbiting bodies.

Two minor members of the solar system include asteroids and comets. These are members of the solar system which have their own unique orbits, but cannot be classified as a planet or a start. Asteroids are small rocky objects that orbit the sun, in a similar fashion as a planet would. There is a major grouping of them in the asteroid belt, although some can be knocked out of their orbits and be a danger to planets. Comets are similar, but are actually made of frozen ice and dust rather than rock. They too have an orbit around the sun. They are known for their fiery tales of gas and dust that can light up the night sky.

Moving into a modern image of astronomy was a long and difficult process. There have been many great minds who have contributed to this progress. One of the major proponents of a heliocentric model in its early stages was Nicolaus Copernicus. He fought the conservatism of the Church in order to put forward the radical idea that the solar system had the sun at the very center. Moreover, Tycho Brahe was another figure that challenged the traditional Greek system. He found evidence that the universe was constantly changing, rather than staying exactly the same. He took observations which showed there were newer stars and also that comets actually crossed through the celestial spheres, and did not occur below Earth's atmosphere. Johannes Kepler was a mathematician who calculated a more realistic image of planetary motion. According to Kepler, there were three major laws of planetary motion. Orbital planes were ellipses, and not circles, these ellipses were at equal lengths during specific periods of time, and finally that the square of an orbital period holds a… [read more]

Planet Venus Thesis

… Planet Venus

Venus: A Planet of Knowledge and Mystery

With the exception of perhaps Mars, more lore and mythology exists about the planet Venus than any of its solar system brothers and sisters. According to Ev Cochrane's book the Many… [read more]

Stars Sun and Moon Research Paper

… Sun, Moon and Stars

Data and results from your diameter of the sun activity:

Image diameter: .93 cm

Distance from pin-hole to image: 100 cm

.95 cm x 150000000km / 100cm

Calculated diameter of the sun: 1425000 km

How does… [read more]

Physcical Science Procedures Essay

… The things that we know now about science are giving some kind of thanks to the tools invented in order to obtain better answers about the unknown. Much of the knowledge that we have about our solar system and universe… [read more]

Planetary Comparison the Earth and Other Planets Term Paper

… Planetary Comparison

The Earth and other planets in the Solar System: a comparative analysis

As the only planet known wherein life exists, the Earth contains characteristics and properties that make living organisms live and thrive along with non-living elements. These… [read more]

Electromagnetic Waves Are Energy Term Paper

… Most stars have masses between 0.3 to 3.0 times the mass of the Sun.

8. Stars begin to die when they run out of hydrogen. High mass stars, although containing more hydrogen, have a shorter life span than low mass stars. This is because high mass stars have the required conditions in their core (higher pressures and temperatures) for quicker conversion of hydrogen atoms into helium.

9. As the Sun runs out of its hydrogen (an estimated 7 billion years from now) it will balloon into a red giant star engulfing its nearest planet Mercury; will begin to collapse, eventually becoming a small, dense, cool star called a "white dwarf." Much before dying of cold, life on earth would perish from heat as the Sun would be 2000 times brighter than at present at the time it runs out of hydrogen.

10. Low mass (and medium mass) stars eventually become "white dwarfs" when they die. High mass stars explode in supernovae events when they cease to generate fusion energy in its core and collapse inward. The Sun will eventually become a white dwarf as it is categorized as a low mass star.

11. The Solar System, containing the Sun, its nine planets, their moons, asteroids and comets is a small part of the Milky Way Galaxy

located in its outer region known as the Onion Arm. The Galaxy is spiral shaped and about 100,000 light years across while the Solar system is much smaller. The age of the Milky Way is 15 billion years compared with 4.5 billion years of the Solar System.

15. Most planets around other stars have so far have been detected by using Doppler Spectroscopy that relies on the periodic velocity shift of the stellar spectrum caused by an orbiting giant planet. A few have also been found due to brightness variations, i.e., if a planet passes in between its parent star and the observer, the light from the parent star dips slightly.

Neutrino, an elementary particle produced in a fusion reaction,… [read more]

Brown Dwarf With a Satellite Term Paper

… The satellite planet could be categorized simply as a moon. "Astronomers Discover Beginnings of 'Mini' Solar System" is also significant because it might lend some insight into how solar systems are formed in general and how life evolves on planets. Because brown dwarfs are relatively dim and have less power than full-fledged stars, it would be difficult for life to form on nearby planets, which would have to be unusually close to the brown dwarf sun. With this new discovery, scientists have more information about the contents of our cosmos as well as more information about how solar systems, planets, and perhaps even life, evolves in the universe.

Works Cited

Clavin Whitney. "Astronomers Discover Beginnings of 'Mini' Solar System." 7 Feb 2005. . [read more]

Observational Experience Term Paper

… ¶ … Stars

The sights in the night sky are particularly refreshing as you can see the movement of many of the stellar bodies. The one that was of the greatest interest to me as I examined the sky was… [read more]

Earth Science and Astronomy Term Paper

… Earth science and astronomy are incredibly broad, ever-expanding fields. The disciplines incorporate the varying and intersecting strains of scientific investigation aimed at better understanding the world around us. As such, we have made tremendous innovations in the field of meteorology with the interest of better predicting and understanding weather patterns around us. Biology provides us with a comprehensive knowledge of plants, animals and humans that allows us to better understand the implications of our interconnected ecosystem. Geology offers us clues as to the age, formation and composition of the earth itself. These sub-disciplines of Earth Sciences imply an interconnectedness that makes each field a powerful strand of a yet more powerful area of study. This interconnectedness, in fact, extends even beyond the boundaries of our planet. So denotes Astronomy, the study of the stars and planets in our broader solar system, galaxy and universe. As the discussion here will demonstrate, the study of astronomy is a critical one which connects closely to a number of decidedly earth-bound phenomena.

Among those phenomena, one of the most familiar and simultaneously most fascinating is that which pertains to the tides. Most visible on the shores of our oceans but also evident in some measure in smaller bodies such as lakes, ponds and underground springs, the movement of the tides is actually created directly by a lunar gravitational pull. Here, the field of astronomy provides the most useful lens through which to understand the cycles projecting high and low tide. According to Cooley (2002), "tides are created because the Earth and the moon are attracted to each other, just like magnets are attracted to each other. The moon tries to pull at anything on the Earth to bring it closer. but, the Earth is able to hold onto everything except the water. Since the water is always moving, the Earth cannot hold onto it, and the moon is able to pull at it. Each day, there are two high tides and two low tides. The ocean is constantly moving from high tide to low tide, and then back to high tide. There is about 12 hours and 25 minutes between the two high tides." (Cooley, p. 1)

As Cooley indicates, it is incumbent upon us to understand exactly how these variances in magnetic attraction cause the variances that we experience with the ebb and flow of the tide. The Cooley text explains that what we are actually seeing as we witness the swelling and shrinking of the waters which reach the shoreline is the end result of a bulging within the broader body of water. That is, during low-tide for instance, the magnetic pull of the moon will attract a bulge in the middle of the… [read more]

English System of Measurement Is so Complicated Essay

… ¶ … English system of measurement is so complicated to some people is that it has a different basis for different measurements. For most things, the metric system is used and is based on powers of 10, in other words… [read more]

Astronomy Uranus Essay

… Just like the other gas planets, Uranus has bands of clouds that blow around quickly. But they are exceptionally faint. Some observations done with HST have shown larger and more pronounced streaks. Further HST observations show even more activity. Uranus is no longer the very boring planet that Voyager saw twenty five years ago. It has been discovered that the dissimilarities seen are due to seasonal effects since the Sun is now at lower latitude. This is thought to cause more pronounced days and nights along with weather effects. Uranus' blue color is the consequence of absorption of red light by methane in the upper atmosphere. It is thought that there may be colored bands like Jupiter's but they are hidden from view by the overlaying methane layer (Uranus, 2011).

Like the other gas planets, Uranus also has rings. Like Jupiter's, they are very dark but like Saturn's they are made up of fairly big particles ranging up to ten meters in diameter in addition to fine dust. There are thirteen known rings, which are all very faint. The brightest is known as the Epsilon ring. The Uranian rings were the first after Saturn's to be discovered. This was of significant importance since it is now known that rings are a widespread feature of planets, not an oddity of Saturn alone. Voyager 2 discovered ten small moons in addition to the five large ones that were already known. It is thought that there are several more tiny satellites within the rings (Uranus, 2011).

Uranus is at times just barely visible with the naked eye on a very clear night. It is fairly easy to spot with binoculars, if one knows know exactly where to look. A small astronomical telescope will show a small disk. There are several Web sites that show the current position of Uranus along with the other planets in the sky, but much more detailed charts are required to actually find Uranus (Uranus, Seventh Planet in Earth's Solar System Was First Discovered Planet, 2011).


Uranus. (2011). Retrieved from

Uranus, Seventh Planet in Earth's Solar System Was… [read more]

Meteorite Offers 2-Billion-Year-Old Glimpse of Mars Sindya Research Paper

… ¶ … Meteorite Offers 2-Billion-Year-Old Glimpse of Mars

Sindya Bhanoo, New York Times, 3 January 2013


The article covers a study led by the University of New Mexico that happened upon a meteorite in the Sahara Desert. The… [read more]

Surviving 2012 and Planet X Term Paper

… Surviving 2012 and Planet X

There has been much in the media lately about the infamous 2012 deadline and associated Ancient prophesies. Most of the beliefs around the time range from spiritual transformation to apocalyptic. Many of these versions center… [read more]

Life Form Found on Mars Term Paper

… Another author notes, "Mars is almost certain to have been warmer and wetter in its distant past, so the existence of primitive life has been a tantalizing possibility for some time, but the real search may be just beginning" (Williams).… [read more]

Planets Do Planets Around Other Stars Thesis

… Planets

Do planets around other stars have ecliptics?

Ecliptic is the great circle representing the apparent annual path of the sun; ecliptic plane is the plane of Earth's orbit around the Sun. The other planets in our solar system also have their orbits near this plane and in the same direction of rotation as Earth.

So it's likely that other stars in the universe have ecliptics since the star- and planet-formation mechanisms are similar throughout the universe. When stars form, the leftover gas and dust accumulate by mutual gravitational attraction into planets. Observation of disk-shaped dust clouds around newly formed stars are an indication of planet formation in progress (O'Connell).

In 1999 astronomers announced the first-ever detection of an entire solar system around a star. Only 44 light-years from Earth, three large planets were found circling the star Upsilon Andromedae, a sun-like star visible to the naked eye on Earth. Again the presence of the planets was inferred from gravitational wobbling. Astronomers suspect the planets are similar to Jupiter and Saturn -- huge spheres of gas without a solid surface. One of them completely circles its star in only 4.6 Earth days (O'Connell).

Do they have Seasons?

What causes seasons? Earth is tilted with respect to its orbit. So when our North Pole is tilted toward the sun, we get summer in the Northern Hemisphere (winter in the south). When the South Pole is tilted toward the sun, we get winter. So if a planet is tilted with respect to its orbit, it should have seasons (Imhoff). The same would apply in another solar system. However,

the term "seasons" is relative depending on the distance the planet is from its star. Extreme distances from its sun may cause a planet to always experience freezing -- summer or winter.

Must they have Seasons?

If a planet has no tilt with respect to its orbit, it has no seasons. In this case, on every part of the… [read more]

Extra-Solar Planets Term Paper

… Spectral analysis of radiated light yields clues to the terrestrial and atmospheric composition of distant planets. Other direct and indirect methods of astronomical analysis provide data into the relative proximity of orbiting planets to their host stars, which primarily determines terrestrial climate conditions likely to prevail on planets.

To date, we have catalogued 108 extra-solar planetary systems comprising 123 individual planets including 13 multiple planet systems (Schneider). It is not yet possible to determine their relative ability to support biological life, but this is the eventual goal of future projects utilizing the latest generation of powerful telescopes and interferometers launched into deep space, which are already under preparation.

In the words of Frank Drake, one of the original scientists to concentrate on the search for intelligent life elsewhere in the universe and father of the SETI and Phoenix projects:

Our needle in the haystack is elusive, but many of us feel that searching for it is one of the greatest quests our species can undertake." (Davies)

Works Cited

Butler, R. Paul, et al. "Three New 51 Pegasi-Type Planets." Astrophysical Journal

1997): 474; 115-118

Davies, Paul. Are We Alone? Philosophical Implications of the Discovery of Extraterrestrial Life. New York: Basic Books, 1995.

Engelbert, Phillis and Dupuis, Diane, L. The Handy Space Answer Book.

Detroit: Visible Ink, 1998

Hawking, Stephen W. A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes

New York: Bantam, 1988

Kolb, Rocky. Blind Watchers of the Sky: The People and Ideas that Shaped Our View of the Universe. New York: Addison Wesley, 1996.

Lemonick, Michael, D. "Can We Find Another Earth?" Discover Magazine (2002) Vol. 23, No.3: 32-37

Reuters ( "Cosmic Magnifying Glass Finds Distant Planet." (April 15, 2004). Accessed May 1, 2004, at

Sagan, Carl. Billions & Billons: Thoughts on Life and Death at the Brink of the Millennium. New York:… [read more]

Astronomy Term Paper

… Astronomy

Please answer all questions show your work and explain your reasoning in a short to the point answer.

Comet Halley has an orbital period of 75 years and when it enters the inner Solar System, it passes within a few AU of the Sun.

Determine the average distance of Comet Halley in AU.

The relation of the orbital period to the semi-major axis is given by the equation P2=a3, where P. is the orbital period and a is the semi-major axis. P is given as 75 and taking the cube root of both sides leaves 752/3=a, or a=17.78. The average distance of Comet Halley (assuming "a few AU" can be interpreted as close to 0) is thus about 18 AU.

Right now, Comet Halley is just about past the orbit of Neptune, which has an average distance from the sun of about 30 AU. Explain how this is possible given the average distance you found from its orbital period.

AU represents the average distance because it is half the major axis measurement, meaning the comet travels twice this linear distance in the completion of its orbit. Comet Halley as a very elliptical orbit if it traverses this distance in this time period, which explains why it can be near Neptune now and back near the sun in about 32.5 years (half its orbital period).

HIPPARCOS (an acronym for HIgh Precision PARallax COllecting Satellite) was a scientific mission of the European Space Agency (ESA), launched in 1989 and operated between 1989 and 1993. It was the first space experiment devoted to astrometry, the accurate measurement of star positions, distances from us, parallaxes, and proper motions.

(a). If the measured parallax shift of star a was 0.1 arcsecs and the parallax shift of star B. was 0.05 arcsecs, which star was farther away from the Earth, why?

The star with the smaller parallax shift, star B, if farther away from the Earth. Distant objects appear to "move" less than nearer objects -- the parallax shift is smaller for distant objects as the Earth moves along its orbit around the Sun.

(b). What is the distance of the farthest star in parsecs?

A parsec is defined as the distance between the Sun and an object with a parallax shift of one arcsec (a 1:1 ratio). Star B. has a parallax shift of 0.05 arcsecs, therefore is at a distance of 1/0.05 parsecs or 20 parsecs.

(c). What is the distance of the farthest star in light-years?

One parsec = approx. 3.26 light years, therefore 20 parsecs = 65.2 light years. Star B. is approx. 65.2ly away.

There… [read more]

Mars Saturn Earth Nebular Theory Essay

… ¶ … large scale features of this planet? This would include size, rotation and orbit, magnetic field and interior structure.

Mars has a polar radius of 3.37 km and an equatorial radius of 3.39 km. This is roughly half the… [read more]

Astrophysical Object Phenomenon Thesis

… Astrophysical Object

Pluto's Demotion: From Fully-Fledged Planet to One of a Hundred Dwarfs

My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas" (Greene 2006). For years, every school child memorized this mnemonic device, to better recall the order of the… [read more]

Uranus Is One of Nine Planets Term Paper

… Uranus is one of nine planets in the same solar system as the Earth. It is the seventh planet from the Sun. It is approximately 2.87 billion kilometers from the Sun. This distance is about 19 times the distance of… [read more]

Ever Life on Mars Term Paper

… Life on Mars

Life of man is not only full of basic bare truths as can be evidenced through physical facts, as we may not know all physical facts of the world that we live in even till the time… [read more]

Chemical Properties of the Universe Essay

… The element plays a significant role in acid-base chemistry as it allows reactions that exchange protons between soluble molecules. Molecular clouds of hydrogen are thought to be vital to star formation because it plays a vital role in the proton-proton reaction and resultant nuclear fusion fueling of the star. In the universe, though, hydrogen is found largely in the atomic and plasma states. As plasma, hydrogen's electron and proton properties are not bound together, resulting in robust electrical conductivity and high emissivity (producing light). The charged particles are also highly influenced by magnetic and electrical fields. Molecular hydrogen (protonated molecular hydrogen or H3+) is found in interstellar gases. This form is generated by the ionization of molecular hydrogen from cosmic rays and becomes relatively stable in low temperatures of space (Gagnon).

Helium -- Helium, atomic number 2, is also colorless, odorless, tasteless, non-toxic, and inert with boiling and melting points the lowest among the elements and existing as a gas only in extreme conditions. It is the second lightest and second most abundant element in the universe, or about 24% of the total elemental mass, or more than 12 times the mass of all the other heavier elements combined. Helium is rare on earth, and the vast majority was formed by nuclear synthesis during the Big Bag event. It is formed by the nuclear fusion o9f hydrogen as part of stellar nucleosynthesis. This is a process in which chemicals assemble inside the cores of stars. Then, as the star ages, there are chemical changes of the elements within the stars. In other words, as stars lose their mass the abundance of elements heavier than helium increase (Jones).

Thus, chemically, the universe is about 98% hydrogen and helium, with other elements being generated by stellar processes. These include, in order of abundance: oxygen, carbon, neon, iron, nitrogen, silicon, magnesium and sulfur. The universe, however, is likely made up of between 70-80% dark matter; a substance not totally understood because it interacts with gravity -- but neither reflects, emits or obstructs light and cannot be observed directly. There are, in fact, about 90 total chemicals in the universe, but most of a very small percent. See Figure 2 for the other common chemical elements in the universe, after the 98% of hydrogen and helium (SAO Encyclopedia of Astronomy; Hubble Space Telescope Project).

Figure 2 - Chemicals after Hydrogen and Helium


Gagnon, S. "Hydrogen." March 2006. Jefferson Labs. Web. May 2013. .

Hubble Space Telescope Project. "Coposition of the Universe." May 2009. Web. May 2013. .

Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "The Planets and Their Composition." March 2011. Web. May 2013. .

Jones, L. Stars and Galaxies. Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing, 2010. Print.

Palmer, D. Prehistory past Revealed: The Four Billion Year History of Life on Earth. Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2003. Print.

Palmer, J. "Multiverse theory suggested by microwave background." 3 August 2011. BBC News - Science. Web. May 2013. .

Richmond, M. "The Chemical Compsition of Stars and… [read more]

Terraforming Mars Is This a Good Idea or a Bad Essay

… Terraforming Mars: Is this a good idea or a bad one?

Terraforming mars

Mars is the 4th planet from the sun. It is the 2nd smallest planet in the solar system as after Pluto (Markley, 2005). The planet derived its… [read more]

OP ED on Environmental Friendly New Year's Resolutions 2012 Article

… ¶ … Environment

There could be no more important New Year's Resolution than all of us promising to do whatever is in our power to support the global environmental movement although an even better term to describe it would be political ecology. Some scientists today are now describing the current geological epoch as the Anthropocene of the "Age of Man," in order to emphasize just how much damage humans have inflicted on the environment in modern times, especially since the beginning of industrialization. Over the years, we have learned that ecosystems are not stagnant entities, but that does not justify our depleting the ozone, carelessly releasing carbon dioxide, damaging biodiversity or even intensifying natural disasters, allowing global corporation to take control over human, animal and plant genomes, or even cannibalize human beings in poor countries for their organs, as if these were spare parts. Political ecology is of vital importance to all life on this planet, in both the Global North and Global South, and for us in the wealthier nations, some of the solutions are undemanding no-brainers like planting a tree, recycling paper, using energy efficient light bulbs.

Unfortunately, the Earth is past the point of minor reforms and alternations in personal lifestyles to bring about recovery of the environment. When older fossil fuel systems are eliminated entirely and the world's population is dependent on solar, wind and maybe even nuclear energy, one considerable step towards preservation of the environment for future generations will have been taken, but even that is not enough. Hoping to preserve nature completely untouched by humans is in fact a very unrealistic and utopian idea. What needs to be understood clearly is that our actions must have boundaries to keep the human population from preventing the preservation of the irreplaceable natural balance that sustains life as we know it on this planet. To prevent a complete environmental catastrophe, radical measures will have to be taken in the future, not simply to reduce consumption but to reduce the number of consumers. There is no other way to do this except population control measures in a rather extreme form.

One of the major problems the world has to face is that the population has exceeded its carrying capacity and will have to be reduced. Population control measures, including abortion, contraception and sterilization will have to be supported and encouraged to reduce the overload. In China, which still has a one-child-per-family policy, ultrasound is used to detect the gender of the fetus, and because sons have always been far more valued than daughters, the girls are being aborted in larger numbers. Indeed, this is also a problem in South Korea and other Asian countries, but in China, boys now outnumber girls by 117 to 100. This means that eventually… [read more]

Satellite Communication With Mars Term Paper

… Satellite Communication With Mars

Satellite Communication

The use of Satellites Communication satellites for data and information transfer are now becoming common for both national as well, as international usage. As one pundit notes," Our world is becoming one of ever… [read more]

Organic Evolution Essay

… Organic Evolution

Please discuss the pre-biotic conditions on planet earth. Why did it take approximately one half billion years before the earliest bacteria-like life evolved? Why did the formation of oxygen by photosynthesizers make such a difference on the planet?… [read more]

Pluto Why Is Pluto No Longer Term Paper

… Pluto

Why is Pluto no longer a Planet?

Once upon a time, not so long ago, schoolchildren all over the world learned that the planet farthest away from the sun in our solar system was Pluto. They learned mnemonic devices… [read more]

Milky Way Galaxy Research Paper

… Hershel had to grind his own mirrors and spent his nights, with his sister and brother, gazing at the stars, making observations and relating them to anyone who would listen. He eventually devised a telescope large enough that he could see the previously unnoticed planet Uranus just beyond the rings of Saturn (or so it appeared to him) (Soylent Communications, 2012).

Hershel had many great discoveries in his lifetime, and many would say that his method for determining the distances to stars and the discovery of twin rotating solar bodies, but he also was interested in the breadth and depth of the Milky Way Galaxy. He had determined that the Sun was at the edge of "the bifurcation of the Milky Way, and that all the stars visible to us lie more or less in clusters scattered throughout a comparatively thin, but immensely extended stratum" (Soylent Communications, 2012). His desire was to determine the extent of the Galaxy, but he realized that with the technology he had to use he would be unable to see the edges of the Milky Way. One of his last paper to the Royal Society (a scientific society that included astronomy among other pursuits) was with regard to his discoveries related to the Milky Way, and he was worried that he would not be able to complete his observations because he was growing old and because the instrument had not yet been made that could see wanted to see (Soylent Communications, 2012). His discoveries, from the solar system out to the edge of the galaxy have made him one of the most revered astronomers in history.


Soylent Communications. (2012). William Hershel. Retrieved from

Wethington, N. (2009). Facts about the Milky Way. Retrieved from [read more]

Scientific Knowledge There Lies Question Research Paper

… Biology is an area that has proved science knowledge because the bigger portion of our knowledge bases on investigations and observations of the environment around us. A good example is the knowledge that living things have organs. This proves through… [read more]

Big Bang Theory Blake Williams Research Paper

… It is also imagined that the big bang involved a fireball but this would not have been possible because at the time that the big bang occurred the necessary elements for creating a fire did not exist. The big bang occurred at a time when there was a vast nothingness. A fire was not possible.

Evidence for the legitimacy of the Big Bang Theory grew throughout the twentieth century. First, simple reason dictates that the universe had to have a beginning. For centuries other explanations were offered but as science began to play a more significant role in society the value of reason became more widely accepted as well.

Second, the adoption of Hubble's Law which demonstrates that the galaxies are moving away from the earth's galaxy supports the expansion of the universe and correspondingly that the universe was once quite compacted. Hubble's Law, which was named after the individual who discovered the phenomena, Edwin Hubble, was formulated in 1929.

Finally, in 1965, two astronomers, Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson, discovered an extremely hot cosmic microwave that was suspected to be a remnant of the conditions that existed at the time of the Big Bang. This microwave was found in the distant universe where it would be expected to be as a result of the universe's expansion.

As was pointed out earlier, the Big Bang Theory is a difficult concept to understand and imagine. There remain a great number of detractors and a number of contrasting theories but it remains a popular one (Cowen, 2009). Obviously, one of the contrasting theories involves God's involvement in creation. In some ways, creation and the Big Bang Theory are closely aligned (Oppy, 2009). There are supernatural aspects to both actions but the fact that the Big Bang Theory relies upon the idea that before the big bang occurred there was a vast nothingness is strangely supportive of the fact that someone or something like God could have been responsible for starting the whole thing in action. Big Bang theorists reason that the universe had a beginning. Is the possibility that God was the motivator of the beginning so implausible?

As with all theories, it is important to remember that the Big Bang Theory remains just an idea. It is not law like the law of gravity which is indisputable but is more like the Theory of Evolution. It remains for future generations to prove whether or not the Big Bang Theory ever develops into a law. At the present time, it is only one possible explanation for the creation of the universe. It is an explanation that is difficult to understand but one that is widely accepted. How it stands up to the test of time will also determine how widely it is ultimately accepted.


Cowen, R. (2009). The solar system's Big Bang. Science News, 26-29.

Dominey, B. (2011). What Triggered the Big Bang. Astronomy, 24-29.

Oppy, G.… [read more]

History of Understanding the Science Term Paper

… In the Field Guide to Meteors and Meteorites (Norton, et al., 2008, p. 20) the authors claim that in November, 1799, a German naturalist, Alexander von Humboldt, and a French botanist, Aime Bonpland, had taken a five-year scientific expedition to… [read more]

Giordano Bruno Commemoration Term Paper

… ¶ … Giordano Bruno Commemoration

Giordano Bruno was a gifted mathematician and early astronomer who lived from 1548 until 1600. Among his prescient deductions were the fact that our sun was just an ordinary star whose brightness was explained by its proximity to earth and not because it was the center of the universe. Bruno rejected the idea that God had a special relationship to earth or to our solar system and he rejected the idea of the fixed spherical theory of planetary and stellar orbits. Bruno also argued that the universe was infinitely large and whose borders were impossible to image. Finally, he promoted the belief that there was nothing special about earth or about the existence of man on earth and that the universe was likely full of sun-like stars that supported life on the planets that orbited them exactly the way life on earth is supported by our sun.

Bruno's ideas were extremely advanced for his time and demonstrated imagination and the ability to think in original, creative, and open-minded ways. It would take another 400 years of scientific thought and empirical experimental research for scientists to confirm Bruno's ideas, but they were indeed confirmed. Today, we know that our sun is merely a medium size star on the inside of one of the arms of an ordinary spiral galaxy that contains more than 100 billion star and countless planets, many of which may be very similar to earth. We also know that the boundaries of the universe are defined by a complex concept of space time. Unfortunately, the world was not ready for these ideas in Bruno's time because they conflicted with the dominant view of the universe held by religious authorities. Instead of recognizing his brilliance, the Church authorities tried him for heresy, and when he refused to… [read more]

Earth Science When Teaching Essay

… Earth Science

When teaching Earth Science to students there are many options today and many things that need to be addressed in the lesson plans. Most school districts have certain scope and sequence areas that are to be addressed in… [read more]

Aspects of the Film Two Small Pieces of Glass Essay

… ¶ … Small Pieces of Glass: The Amazing Telescope

In the era of the ancient Greeks, science was a subset of philosophy. The scientific method for the Greeks was conducted mainly through empirical observation and deduction, rather than by using… [read more]

Neptune When Most People Talk Research Paper

… Neptune

When most people talk about the outer planets of the solar system, they will often think of Jupiter as the largest and most dominant one. While this is true for the most part, the fact of the matter is… [read more]

AME's Travel Matrix Research Paper

… ¶ … overarching objectives and background and the solution that was developed in response to the problem.

The background of this project concerns a federal contractor, ABC Services ("the company"), which has been in operation since September 1993. The company… [read more]

Is Space Exploration Necessary? Research Paper

… ¶ … Space Exploration Necessary

More than most of us can imagine, astronomy as a study has been around for long. Our first tour into the unknown realm outside our atmosphere started only just after half a century ago. Hitherto,… [read more]

Mercantilism: This Term Refers to an Economic Essay

… Mercantilism:

This term refers to an economic system within a nation-state with the purpose to build wealth and prosperity. Usually attributed to Adam Smith, mercantilism was based upon the idea that a nation-state can best build its wealth through limiting… [read more]

Post Big Bang Term Paper

… Big Bang and the Evolution

Of The Universe

One of the most important questions posed by astronomers and cosmologists revolves around exactly how the universe was created and although most lay persons think that the universe is infinite with no… [read more]

Missions to Mars Term Paper

… Physics - Mission to Mars


The Apollo Space Program that culminated in a spectacular series of moon landings concluded in 1973 and the focus of subsequent American space programs shifted to developing reusable space vehicles like the… [read more]

Science of the Sunlight and Stars Term Paper

… Stellar Evolution and Hydrostatic Equilibrium in the Study of Stars in the Field of Astronomy

Science of Stars

In studying the science of stars in the field of astronomy, it is vital to determine its physical properties and chemical composition in order to have an understanding of how equilibrium takes place and is a vital process that stars undergo. Stars are generally known as spheres containing hot gases and emit light and electromagnetic radiation.

The chemical components of stars mainly include the presence of incandescent gases, specifically hydrogen and helium. Stars' physical properties include mass, size, luminosity, temperature, and energy output. Combining both the chemical components and physical properties of stars make up the stellar structure, a fact generated from the theory of stellar structure.

In the theory of stellar structure, it was posited that the mass and chemical components of a star ultimately determines a star's other characteristics. This theory was especially applicable to stars with different masses, since all of the stars have no difference in chemical composition (i.e., hydrogen and helium). A star that has greater mass would have greater and increased luminosity as compared to a star with lesser mass.

Over time, however, as stars consume the hydrogen contained within them, the process of equilibrium takes place. The death of a star occurs when the hydrogen is consumed, and it no longer has capability to induce nuclear reactions as a result of this loss of hydrogen component. Its death, however, is compensated and buffered by the birth of another star… [read more]

Fallibilism Brought Up in a Rather Superstitious Term Paper

… Fallibilism

Brought up in a rather superstitious society, Joan was warned throughout her childhood not to walk under ladders as they bring bad luck. Her mother would often tell her the story of how she once walked under the ladder and then the same day had an accident.

Steve believes that Jupiter orbits around the sun in about 12 earth years because he was taught in his geography class that the fifth planet from the sun, Jupiter, was the largest planet in the solar system and its one complete orbit around the sun is in a period of nearly 12 earth years.

After Jonathan began to attend medical school, he was taught that penicillin is to be administered during infections as it is very efficient in curing it.

Mike is a die hard music fan and keeps a track of all the Music Awards just to be a witness to the moment when his favorite singer is awarded. Every year since the past three years he has been watching the Video Music Awards hosted by MTV and thus knows that MTV hosts it every year.

5. Living in the dark ages, Samantha was often told that she should not visit the old forest at night as witches come out then and cast spells and curse on those who enter their territory.


6. If one picks up the newspaper of the past or any book on the recent history of the… [read more]

Evolution and the Big Bang Theory Term Paper

… Evolution and the Big Bang Theory

The metaphysical questions that have haunted us since the dawn of mankind are perhaps answered by the theory of evolution and "the Big Bang Theory." The Big Bang theory regarding the origin of the… [read more]

Scientific Revolution of 1600-1715 Term Paper

… But this mathematician is most famous for making his first telescope in 1609, modeled after telescopes produced in other parts of Europe that could magnify objects three times. (Wilde, "Biography," The Galileo Project Website, 2004)

Galileo created a telescope that could magnify objects twenty times. With this telescope, he was able to look at the moons, satellites of Jupiter, and sunspots. His discoveries proved the Copernican system to be true as opposed to the geocentric system. (Wilde, "Biography," The Galileo Project Website, 2004) The sun did not revolve around the earth, as stated in Aristotle's cosmology of a central Earth surrounded by concentric spherical shells carrying the planets and fixed stars was the basis of European thought from the 12th century CE onward. ("Copernican System," The Galileo Project Website, 2004)

Born the same year Galileo died, Newton made a huge impact on theoretical astronomy. He defined the laws of motion and universal gravitation. He used these to predict precisely the motions of stars, and the planets around the sun. Using his discoveries in optics Newton constructed the first reflecting telescope. (Chew, 1995) But what is least known about Newton is that he was also a religious philosopher as well. He denied the doctrine of the trinity, for instance. (Newton, 17)

Although not as provable as the laws of gravity, Newton's freethinking and anti-trinitarianism shows how, when individuals learned to question scientific truths with observation, they threatened the unquestioned beliefs in religious doctrines that attempted to solidify falsehoods as dogmas. As humanity learned to question the church with observation, the technology of telescopes, and mathematical proofs, so they also learned how to question other truths -- such as the divine authority of the Pope and sovereigns.

Works Cited

Chew, Roy. "Sir Isaac Newton Scientist and Mathematician." Library. 1995. Last Updated. August 19, 2004. (October 19, 2004)

Matthews, Roy T. And F. DeWitt Platt. The Western Humanities. New York: McGraw hill, 2003.

Newton, Isaac. "A Historical Account of Two Notable Corruptions of Scripture." 1690. Available online. (October 19, 2004).

Wilde, Megan. "Copernican System." Galileo Project of Rice University. Official Website. 2004. (October 19, 2004)

Wilde, Megan. "Galileo: Biography." Galileo Project of Rice University. Official Website. 2004. (October 19, 2004) [read more]

Galileo Term Paper

… Galileo was certainly one of the most formative and important figures in the history of science -- among the inventions and contributions to science attributable to him are the refinement of lens-grinding and telescope making technologies as well as the… [read more]

Computers in Space Science Term Paper

… These are only a few of the literally thousands of technologies and advances created by NASA computers and technology ("Spin-offs"). Therefore, computer technology in space often ultimately leads to people living better lives as the technology makes its way into everyday living. Today we take items like microcomputers and Velcro for granted, but we really have NASA to thank for many of the technological advances we enjoy in our lives every day. Without computerized technology, the space program would probably still just be a dream, and all of the advances that have come along with it would just seem like so much science fiction.


Author not Available. "Computers at NASA." NASA. 1994. 29 Oct. 2003.

Barber, Jennifer Lauren. "Close Encounters on Your Desktop." Bright Magazine. 2001. 29 Oct. 2003.

Dubinski, John. "Cosmology." Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics. 26 June 1997. 29 Oct. 2003.

Editors. "Hubble's Computers and Automation." HubbleSite. 2003. 29 Oct. 2003.

Spin-offs: Bringing Space Down to Earth." The Ultimate Space Place. 2000. 29. 0ct. 2003.

Testbed." JPL/NASA. 2003. 29 Oct. 2003. [read more]

Geology I Am Implementing Term Paper

… Using comparative planetology I would analyze the terrain of Planet X. I would search for areas indicative of lava flows, which naturally be in lower ground, and would attempt to differentiate the amount of cratering between such lowlands and the highlands of Planet X. I would date the samples of the surface to see how new the surface is to see if there is great recycling going on, or if there was in the past in different regions. I would check the atmosphere and attempt to determine how the atmosphere was created.

I would check the density of Planet X to determine how dense the core was. Wrinkling of the crust may be indicative of shrinking of the planet due to cooling and the size of the core. I would hope that the surface temperature of the planet would allow extensive testing and that the atmosphere did not consist of acids as Venus's does. The planet may be so large like Jupiter or Saturn that it has been able to retain much of its hydrogen and helium. This will give this planet a much lower density than our terrestrial planets. If the planet is extremely large, I would analyze the electric currents that may be occurring from high pressures converting hydrogen to a liquid metal. (and thus creating conduction).

This planet may be large like Jupiter or Saturn but lack the same interiors and maybe have the same interiors or similar interiors to Uranus and Neptune. I would study the density, rotation periods and oblateness of the planet to determine how much heavy metals and frozen ices mixed with rock are in the core. If the planet is very small like Pluto, I will check for few impact craters. (that would tell me the crust is active). Then I would try to determine if there is an atmosphere. In such a case, using Pluto's example, my analysis would point towards initially finding a thin atmosphere of nitrogen, carbon monoxide and methane. That is assuming the small planet actually is able to capture and retain this… [read more]

Eternal Circle of Time Electrons Term Paper

… Eventually, the leaf falls off of its tree, tumbles to the ground, and is carried off by the wind. The wind might drop somewhere else, into another field, or perhaps into the sea. Each and every one of the steps… [read more]

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