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Astronomy of the Earth's motion in space:
Introduction to this part
1. Stargazers and Skywatchers
1a. The Celestial Sphere
1b. Finding the Pole Star
2. The Path of the Sun, the Ecliptic
2a. Building a Sundial
3. Seasons of the Year
3a. The Angle of the Sun's Rays
4. The Moon: the Distant View
4a. The Moon: A Closer Look
4b. Optional: Libration of the Moon
5. Latitude and Longitude
5b. The Cross-Staff
6. The Calendar
6a. The Jewish Calendar (optional)
8. The Round Earth and Christopher Columbus
8a. Distance to the Horizon
8c. How Distant is the Moon?--1
8d. How Distant is the Moon?--2
The central role of the Sun
9a. Aristarchus: Is Earth Revolving around the Sun?
The Earth's Shadow
9b. The Planets
"The Solar System--General Overview," February 2008|
A beta version--if changes are needed, please tell!
9c. Copernicus, Galileo, and the Discovery of the Solar System
10. Kepler and his Laws
10a. The Scale of the Solar System
11. Graphs and Ellipses
11a. Ellipses and Kepler's First Law
12. Kepler's Second Law
12a. More on Kepler's Second Law
12b. How Orbital Motion is Calculated
Optional: The 2004 Transit of Venus
12c. Halley's Method of Deriving the AU
12d. The displacement D of the track of Venus
12e. Deriving the Astronomical Unit
13. The Way Things Fall
16. Newton and his Laws
17a. Mass Measurements aboard Space Station Skylab
17b. Comparing Masses without the Use of Gravity
18. Newton's Second Law
18a. Newton's Third Law
18d. Work against an Electric Force: The Van de Graaff Generator
19. Motion in a Circle
20. Newton's theory of "Universal Gravitation"
21. Kepler's Third Law
21a. Applying Kepler's Third Law
Optional: Spaceflight to Mars
21b. Flight to Mars: How Long? Along what Path?
21c. Flight to Mars: Calculations
21d. Flight to Mars: the Return Trip
22. Frames of Reference: The Basics
22a The Aberration of Starlight
22b The Theory of Relativity
22c Airplane Flight
22d Airplane Flight: How high? How fast? (optional)
23. Accelerated Frames of Reference: Inertial Forces
23a Frames of Reference: The Centrifugal Force
23b Loop-the-Loop (optional)
24a. The Rotating Earth
24b. Rotating Frames of Reference in Space and on Earth
The Sun and related Physics
How the Sun produces weather and climate
S-1. Sunlight and the Earth
S-1A. Weather and the Atmosphere
S-1B. Global Climate, Global Wind flow
S-2. Our View of the Sun
S-3. The Magnetic Sun
S-3A. Interplanetary Magnetic Field Lines
S-4. The Many Colors of Sunlight
S-4A. Experimenting with Colors
S-5. Waves and Photons
S-6. Seeing the Sun in a New Light
S-7. The Energy of the Sun
Peripheral Subjects related to section S-7 above:
Spaceflight and Spacecraft
25. The Principle of the Rocket
26. Robert Goddard and his Rockets
27. The Evolution of the Rocket
29a. Satellites observing the Sun, solar system and the universe
29b. Satellites observing Earth from above
29c. Satellites which observe the local space environment
29d. Satellites for commercial benefits
29e. Missions to planets and distant space
30. Far-out Pathways to Space: Great Guns?
30a. Project HARP and the Martlet
31. Far-out Pathways to Space: Nuclear Power
32. Far-out pathways to Space: Solar Sails
32a. Early Warning of Interplanetary Disturbances
33. Ion Rockets
34. Orbits in Space
34a. The Distance to the L1 Point
34b. The L4 and L5 Lagrangian Points
34c. The L4 and L5 Points--Another Derivation
35a. Planetary Swing-by and the Pelton Turbine
Afterword: "Do Frogs Exist there Too ?"
A Math Refresher
Elements of algebra
(M-1) Basic ideas
(M-1A) Algebra Proficiency Drill
(M-2) How it all started
(M-5) Deriving Approximate Results
(M-6) The Theorem of Pythagoras
Elements of trigonometry
(M-7) What is it good for?
(M-8) How to tell sines from cosines
(M-9) Deriving sines and cosines
(M-10) Going past 90 degrees
(M-11) Deriving sin(α+β), cos(α+β).
(M-11A) Trigonometry Proficiency Drill
(M-12) The Tangent
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Questions and Answers -- Listed by subject
(and oh, do we get questions!)
Questions and Answers -- Listed in the order they were received.
Hints to users.
A Glossary of Terms (Cross-linked, keyed to the text)
Annotated Timeline (Chronology with links and added dates from history).
Of special interest to teachers:
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"From Stargazers to Starships" follows an earlier site "The Exploration of the Earth's Magnetosphere". "Stargazers" deals with the world of gravity--of massive planets and stars, and the way spaceflight is achieved despite their strong pull. "Exploration" on the other hand looks at the hot (but usually rarefied) gases which fill most of space, which are ruled by magnetic and electric forces rather than by gravity. The polar aurora, the radiation belts, the solar wind, magnetic storms, "space weather", cosmic radiation--this is the site which tells you all about them.
Author and Curator: Dr. David P. Stern
Mail to Dr.Stern: stargaze("at" symbol)phy6.org .
Last updated: 3-22-2005
Above is background material for archival reference only.