Archive for January 2011

Week 1 – Scale and the Sky / Apparent Retrograde Motion / Lunar Phases   Leave a comment

Welcome to Week 1

Astronomical Scale

This week we are looking at some astronomy basics.  We are all familiar with the use of the word “astronomical” for indicating that something is very big; so the first concept to grasp is scale.  Scale is definitely THE concept to become familiar with when starting to look at astronomy; the phenomena we will be looking at occur on a much larger scale than that which we are used to interacting with.  The video below is by Charles and Ray Eames, was made in 1968/77, and is still relevant.

Regarding Retrograde Motion
The second concept we are looking at is called Retrograde Motion.  Retrograde motion is a complex concept, it was not understood for many centuries and caused quite a lot of trouble when astronomers were trying to come up for a model of the movement of the Earth, Sun, stars and planets.
It is important to note that the assignment is about Apparent Retrograde Motion being observed in the motion of planets.  Apparent retrograde motion is different to real retrograde motion.
The following video explains this phenomena very nicely, use it in addition to the Rasmussen text.

Lunar Phases

The final concept for the week is understanding the phases of the Moon.  We have all seen the Moon many times in our lives and will see it many more times; but what are we really seeing?  This is the moment when we get it straight!

Rasmussen College has a very good introductory tutorial located HERE to help you understand the phases of the Moon.

-drplim

Posted January 1, 2011 by brunoplim in Uncategorized

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