Starting with dangers, the most obvious is that of fire and/or explosion, mainly due to the vast quantity of rocket fuel needed to break free of Earth’s orbit. The reference in brackets after each Meanwhile, in Alexandria, a shadow of approximately 7.2° was cast. Some are far more intriguing than our own. Determining north-south is easy:  in the northern hemisphere, for instance, the higher the Pole Star appears in the sky, the nearer you must be to the North Pole. A thick, disc-shaped region of icy bodies that lies beyond Neptune (40 AU on average). A straight-forward question will ask you to calculate the recession velocity. Note that a comet’s tail always points directly away from the Sun. — warm clothing; NEOs that will pass within 0.05 AU (7.5 million km) of Earth. Orion – The Hunter Cygnus – The Swan Cassiopeia – The Vain Queen The Plough. In the interests of balance, I should point out that a growing body of scientific opinion denies that the polar ice caps are melting. The lessons cover the shape of the Earth, its internal geological divisions, longitude and latitude, divisions of the Earth’s surface (Tropics, Meridian, Equator etc) and the effects of the Earth’s atmosphere on astronomical observations (sky colour, skyglow, twinkling and seeing). Meanwhile, in orbit, Colonel Worden entered the Guinness Book of World Records for being the most isolated human in history. What steps are humans taking to explore planets and other bodies? All that remains is the hazy glow of the Sun’s corona. The supplementary video has more information on magnitudes. — ASTRONOMY. But lest it be thought that poor Tycho was a fool, But remember:  to be sure of leaving a black hole in its wake, a supernova must result from the death of a giant star, at least ten times the mass of our Sun. The GCSE astronomy course at Royal Observatory Greenwich offers a firm grounding in the study of the Sun-Earth-Moon system, the Solar System, the Milky Way Galaxy and the wider Universe. — What does “1 astronomical unit” refer to? You’ll see that if you hold the finger close to your nose, it ‘jumps’ significantly as you view it with one eye, then the other. But using the stick ensures that you identify your local noon precisely. Thus, the Pole Star never sets; nor does it change position in the sky — unless you go north, in which case you’ll see it get higher, or south, then you’ll see it get lower. This is a paradox, since the similarities with Earth are highly unlikely to be a coincidence. You could also be asked to examine a graph like the one below, in order to predict (e.g.) — This left-behind matter doesn’t just disappear; it continues along the comet’s path, forming a diffuse particle stream in orbit around the Sun. The first stipulates that a practical activity is carried out to solve a problem without the use of technical equipment. Basically, a short wavelength indicates a blue-shift (galaxy coming toward), whereas a long wavelength indicates a red-shift (galaxy moving away). An indirect method of observing the Sun is safest. – Satellites and the International Space Station are daily seen orbiting overhead. Year 2018. My notes are offered as an aid to revision, not as a complete guide to the subject! If we could look behind the Sun during the day, we’d see whichever constellation it happened to be in alignment with. … where “magic horizon no.” is latitude subtracted from 90. And finally, sailing beyond the equator, the Pole Star would set… with stars you’ve never seen before rising to take its place. That’s four light-years. GCSE ASTRONOMY (9-1): FULL LESSONS (TOPICS 1-16) 4 3 customer reviews. Hence, to ask the astronauts “How are you?” and to receive the reply “We’re fine!” will take around 40 minutes, depending how far apart Earth and Mars are in their respective orbits. But from every failing (big and small), valuable lessons have been learned for the future. Therefore, whenever two hydrogen nuclei fuse, their protons are added together to give us a helium nucleus with two protons inside. Can we view our whole galaxy through ordinary telescopes? Over the years, different scientists have published different versions of the Drake Equation. The bigger a solid thing (or ‘mass’), the stronger the pull of its gravity. But Earth is on the move, so the Moon must travel a bit farther to renew its phase cycle each time. About 6 trillion miles (9.5 trillion kilometres). However, you’re expected to be able to discuss it intelligently… no pun intended! The ‘seas’ resulted from lava seeping through cracks in the surface (probably caused by impacts). It contains around 2000 galaxies, all orbiting a common centre of gravity (located around 15 to 20 megaparsecs from here). Our GCSE Astronomy resources cover a wide range of tasks as well as fun stuff. GCSE Astronomy doesn’t require knowledge of these men’s lives, including the insurmountable odds they sometimes faced in convincing others. the velocity and constant, then asked to determine distance. Hence, evidence suggests that you’re far more likely to be struck by lightning than a meteorite! Due to a process called Rayleigh scattering. Time is measured in years. Therefore, you can also tell whether a star is circumpolar by using a simple maths trick: circumpolar IF:  lowest declination  >  90 — latitude. GCSE Astronomy webinars. How do astronomers know the appearance of the Moon’s far side? Unread Topics Content I Started Content I Posted In My Activity Streams Search More . The CMB radiation does more than cause space to glow; it heats the void to an average temperature of 2.7K above absolute zero. Topic 4: Birth and life This topic concentrates on how the action of a single force – gravity – can generate structure on all scales. Astronomy Now It was detected by a Geiger counter aboard Pioneer 3 — a lunar probe sent by America which failed to escape the pull of Earth’s gravity, but transmitted valuable data during its doomed 38-hour flight. Please note that different schools allocate different amounts of periods/week for teaching GCSE Astronomy. In summary, the atmosphere of Venus illustrates what can happen to an Earth-like planet if the greenhouse gas level soars. There’s more about EM radiation on the GCSE Physics page of this website. Question Paper 1. How can the Sun be observed safely by amateur astronomers? In truth, the Sun is far bigger! So what’s the point? It was first detected by a Geiger counter aboard Explorer 1 — the first American satellite. If you're studying one of the subjects above, feel free to click and read my lesson notes. You just need to ensure that (1)the sundial’s gnomon points towards the Pole Star at night, and (2)the shadow indicates noon at the same time as an accurate local clock. What techniques are involved in naked-eye observing? It says that your personality and future can be predicted according to which star constellation happened to lie behind the Sun on the day you were born. How to See More Detail in While Observing at Night. The teacher provides a helpful explanation. — during British Summer Time (BST), clocks go forward, but fixed sundials can’t! The numbers involved are so complex that liberties are often taken to keep things looking smooth. Well, unless you’re willing to build a different clock for every day of the year! It’s all around you, appearing as the static on de-tuned TVs. GCSE Astronomy Topic 1. Solar System Observation resources (1x .ppt lesson, 2x .doc worksheets). The Leonid Meteor Shower occurs each November; it radiates from a point near the constellation Leo. NASA: The best site to find your research for you paper is the NASA website. [could be rocky planets or gas giants], ne = Students of GCSE Astronomy just need to recognise this graph when they see it, and be able to deduce things from it. Well done if you noticed that this is 2.2 days longer than the orbital period (27.3 days). Here they are at-a-glance: What is the period of the lunar phase cycle? There is one specification, Edexcel GCSE Astronomy. Discussion for the requirements of life on Titan, Europa, Enceladus and outside the Solar System. SpaceKidets Induction. An active galaxy is powered by matter falling into a supermassive black hole located at its centre. What is a sidereal day? This is known as the distance modulus formula. — Describe the key features that distinguish the Earth from other planets in the Solar System. Between 15 and 25 students choose to study it and are taught by both the specialist astronomy teachers. The southern hemisphere has no “Pole Star” as such, though many astronomers consider Sigma Octantis, a dim star above the South Pole, to be the southern equivalent to Polaris. Earth is an oblate spheroid — that is, a ball flattened at its poles for a slightly ‘squashed’ look. As stated:  dark patches on the Sun’s surface. Answer:  we photograph a star from two points in Earth’s orbit around the Sun. The Lunar Module, Falcon, was on the surface for almost 67 hours. A few months back, I published an article on this site: … in which I discuss the discovery of a planet (called Proxima b) found orbiting Proxima Centauri, the next closest star to Earth. You may find that some of these lessons do not quite fit in your allocated time-slots. What effects does Earth’s atmosphere have on EM radiation? The main theories for the formation of gas planets. What is a meteoroid? During the lifetime of a star, as it grows hotter/colder, or as it shrinks/expands, so the location of its habitable zone can shift. Help can be given with these arrangements. This is a very exciting opportunity available to Lower Sixth students. What are galactic clusters? Familiarity with Stellarium and the main concepts of the Celestial Sphere is required. Sceptics maintained that our Solar System was the only place in the Universe where planets were likely to be found. As these “icy dirtballs” venture close to the Sun, they heat up — evaporating and leaving behind a trail of gas and dust. It has accurate information because they are the experts on astronomy. Most burn up rapidly, giving the impression of a “shooting star” that streaks across the sky. Conversely, if you cube r, you’ll get the orbital period by requesting the SQUARE ROOT of the answer. Gone now are the need to complete two assessed projects, once visual, one unaided. — Solar wind direction/intensity; 31 Oct,2020 admin. If our Sun wasn’t so bright, you’d see these constellations all day long. I’ll never forget my first view of a solar flare through a H-alpha filter. Here, once again, is the useful mnemonic we met in lesson nine, which takes the first letter of each planet: Mercury For more on open and globular clusters, see the supplementary video. Then Google:  “period-luminosity law.”. ), but beyond our Solar System, stars lie so far apart that miles become meaningless. Edexcel GCSE Physics Revision made by expert teachers. Ceres (asteroid belt) Pluto (Kuiper belt) Huamea(Kuiper belt) MakeMake(Kuiper belt) Eris (scattered disc) Centaurs. STUDY. 0-1 on the scale represents a low likelihood of impact, or very low damage if an impact ever did occur. The table below contains data that you should learn for the exam. Edexcel GCSE Astronomy (2017) Specification published in 2017. In fact, the true value is 40,075km… remarkably close. The course consists of two units: Naked-eye Astronomy and Telescopic Astronomy. Apollo 15 was the fourth manned mission to explore the Moon’s surface. Learn gcse astronomy with free interactive flashcards. — In scientific terms, we could say that the object appears to be ‘displaced’ from its starting position. [orbiting within the habitable zone, at least], fl = Astronomy GCSE. To date (late 2016), over 3000 exoplanets are confirmed to exist, and the number keeps rising. fraction of those planets capable of supporting life? Meanwhile, the Pole Star remains (almost) still because it’s directly above the northern axis point, like so: We’re lucky in Britain to have a bright star marking north for us. This causes the light to lose energy, gradually becoming red-shifted. What is meant by “dark matter” and “dark energy?” — The closer a comet gets to the Sun, the greater and more pronounced this trail of matter becomes. GCSE Physics Astronomy learning resources for adults, children, parents and teachers. The late great astronomer, Sir Patrick Moore, admitted being irritated whenever somebody asked him:  “What’s the difference between astronomy and astrology?”. One local person said it resembled “a bright reddish light, like a roman candle with trailing smoke.”. The human eye requires about 30 minutes to become fully dark-adapted. Simple graphs and butterfly diagrams make this cycle more apparent. To put things in perspective, over 99% of the mass in our Solar System exists inside the Sun. Psychological Stress — The cramped conditions of space flight, and having to live so close to others, can result in low motivation, irritability and depression. The bigger the rock, the more chance that it (or part of it) will reach the ground. “Longitude” — Angular distance along our planet from Greenwich (east-west). Every PHO is assigned a place, 0-to-10, on the Torino Scale. Secondly, students of GCSE Astronomy need to know the names of the planets, and in their correct order of distance from the Sun (nearest to farthest). One such approach is to use your telescope as a projector, like so: But even this method involves some danger. That’s the distance you must walk in a straight line in order to get back to where you started. Look at it with one eye closed. — In our Solar System, the biggest thing of all is the Sun; hence, it exerts the strongest gravitational pull, causing everything else to orbit it. A little smaller and a neutron star is more likely to be left behind. However, due to a quirk in the retina’s design, our rod cells receive more light from a source when looking slightly away from it, engaging the peripheral vision. In reality, huge distances separate the planets, yet they appear to line-up because they all orbit the Sun in a flat plane. Nonetheless, his system (including its errors) remains in common use today. Click Here! More precisely, the Sun is 400 times larger in diameter than the Moon, although its size is mitigated by its distance:  400 times farther away. What are the main physical characteristics of the planets? Within the chromosphere, the temperature is actually lower than at the surface. The video also discusses the celestial sphere, including the celestial co-ordinate system (right ascension and declination). You could say the Moon’s atmosphere “escaped.”. The circles radiating outwards are trails of light formed by other stars during the night. “Tropics” — Area between 23½° north (Cancer) and 23½° south (Capricorn). However, since Earth is closer to, and larger than, the Moon, it casts a bigger shadow — making it much more likely that the Moon will pass through Earth’s shadow than vice versa. The Doppler Shift Formula: … where λ (‘lambda’) is the observed wavelength of a galaxy’s spectral line (that is, its light);  λ0 is the true (at rest) wavelength as measured in a lab;  v is the galaxy’s radial (that is, recession) velocity, and c is the speed of light (300,000 km/s). Beyond our Solar System, distances are so vast that the AU becomes meaningless. OASA Diploma Astrophysics and Space Science. Circumpolar stars form circles all the way around the Pole Star, whereas non-circumpolar stars form circles “broken” by the horizon. What do galaxies look like? The Orionids result from the debris left by Halley’s Comet, a short-period comet that passes by the Sun every 76 years. Indeed, we wouldn’t need a solar day! But why do all the planets line-up so neatly? In other words, all planetary orbits should resemble the image below, roughly speaking: Notice that the Sun does not lie at the centre. This provides a steady, average time to set our clocks and watches by, which doesn’t depend on the Sun’s true position. GCSE stands for General Certificate of Secondary Education. Astronomy Now If the video seems a lot to absorb, don’t panic. As you can see, elliptical galaxies (E) appear along the handle; spiral galaxies (S) appear along the upper prong; barred spirals (SB, not BS!) How is the Sun’s energy generated? — thermal or electrical activity. Another popular theory (the “outgassing theory”) is that early volcanoes emitted hydrogen and oxygen atoms all over the planet, which combined to form H2O molecules in the form of steam. The most famous short-period comet is Halley which returns every 76 years, and will next appear in 2062. Your exam requires the use of kilometres for this calculation, not miles. However, the water in this particular comet was much “heavier” than that found on Earth, which also tends to go against the theory. Every such reaction involves a release of energy; hence, the heat and light we get from the Sun is energy released in nuclear fusion reactions. Topic 1: Earth, Moon and Sun. Simply a meteoroid that touches down (as opposed to burning up) after surviving the blazing hot, high-friction fall through Earth’s atmosphere. — The Goldilocks zone and the Drake equation, as well as the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence and its benefits and dangers. It sent back lovely, close-up images of the comet in the hours before impact. However, I have been told Astronomy is very hard and a portion of it is Maths and Physics while everyone has started the Geography GCSE course and it is said to be far easier. But it highlights yet another piece of compelling evidence:  the existence of different time zones. And what is its cause? Using Star Trails to measure Sidereal Day. Whenever they find a new one, they catalogue it, and track it with computers — making predictions as to its future course. Exam centres. We met these in lesson nine. A neutron star is incredibly dense — so much so, its own fierce gravity causes all protons and electrons within its atoms to fuse, forming neutrons. You could accidentally start a fire, as powerful solar rays are focused at a single point. — However, you should take care! I'm currently doing the Astronomy GCSE couse, and I came across this site. If the thought of rocks falling from the sky worries you… relax. Any comet or asteroid that will pass within 0.3 AU (45 million km) of Earth. What does the term “apparent Sun” refer to? That record is held by Venus, the second planet from the Sun. At the end of most topics in this specification, there are details relating to the ‘Use of mathematics’ which give the astronomy-specific mathematic skills that are found in each topic of content in the document Astronomy GCSE subject content, published by the Department for Education (DfE) in March 2016. — However, it deserves to be pointed out that Tycho’s defence of geocentrism was not irrational, but genius. An even longer journey (say, to Mars) could lead to astronauts developing cancer, unless a sensible and affordable way is found to make spacecraft ‘ray-proof.’. — That’s roughly one-quarter Earth’s diameter. Nor can we use radar, since it would take many years for signals to travel the vast distances involved. I really enjoyed it. You may be surprised to know that even today, groups of people exist who believe and passionately argue that the world is flat! Boosting magnification allows individual features to be seen up close. Why are the world’s largest telescopes reflectors rather than refractors? The chromosphere extends to about 2000km above the Sun’s surface. Hurtling through the atmosphere, they then collide with atoms and molecules — giving them extra energy, ‘exciting’ them. But 24 hours is often stated for simplicity. That having been said, our moon is the only other place in the Solar System where humans have set foot. What is the temperature of the Sun’s photosphere? For many stargazers, the best star of all is our Sun. The AU is convenient for describing distances to neighbouring planets. Further, Apollo astronaut Alfred Worden talks frankly about the challenges of sharing a cramped cabin with two colleagues for the few days of their mission. A lunar eclipse is caused by Earth passing between the Moon (in its Full phase) and the Sun, so that Earth’s shadow covers the Moon. What does “stellar magnitude” refer to? How far is one light-year? — QUESTION 2: ASTRONOMY. A (somewhat challenging) Stellarium Stellar Transits Worksheet to help students visualise stellar trajectories and understand rising and setting times, as well as the concepts like LST and how can it be used to predict the rising/setting times of stars. What is a meteor shower? — Whether you count from a minimum or a maximum period, you’ll always return to the same point in the cycle 11 years later. Briefly, this phenomenon occurs whenever Earth “overtakes Mars on the inside” as these two planets move around the Sun. — The two clock times enable the navigator to convert their difference into a geographical separation. Why do the Moon and Sun appear to be the same size from Earth? Venus. The lava left behind dark, iron-rich, basaltic plains. He developed his own version, The Tychonic Model, which kept Earth in the middle while neatly incorporating Copernicus! Hey, This is Vignesh. There are numerous hypotheses. Hence, the Sun has much to teach us about the life and behaviour of all stars, and we’re fortunate to have it in our cosmic backyard. There’s more on Kepler’s laws in the supplementary video. stones or some chalk. On Earth, we’ve discovered microbes which lie dead still and shrivelled in dry conditions; yet, add a drop of water and they suddenly spring to life. Drawing a straight line between these points gives you half a compass, like so: If you’re ever lost in the wilderness, this simple experiment will help establish a compass for you to navigate by. This affects orbital speed. By contrast, totality in a total lunar eclipse may last from 30 to 90 minutes. The proud man next to him is me! Starlight entering our atmosphere is refracted (that is, bent), which affects image resolution. He wrongly designated some stars brighter than others, and failed to give some stars a designation at all. Earth What does the term “mean Sun” refer to? It’s widely accepted, however, that dark matter and dark energy exist, and that both were created at the moment of the Big Bang. But since Earth is on the move, the solar day (+4 mins) is a means of compensating for the Sun’s apparent drift. Edexcel GCSE (9-1) Astronomy. It is not (repeat, not!) Planet Earth resources (1x .ppt with two lessons, 4x .doc handouts). Subtract 55 from 90 and you’re left with 35. Please note that different schools allocate different amounts of periods/week for teaching GCSE Astronomy. The lesson covers the Moon’s internal divisions, energy considerations for reaching the Moon, and the Giant Impact Hypothesis, and alternative theories such as the Co-accretion theory and the Capture theory. But is there a way to tell whether any other stars are circumpolar? What were the contributions of Copernicus, Tycho, Kepler and Galileo? With the help of a friend, he planted a stick in the ground at two locations:  one in Syene, and one in Alexandria (790 kilometres north). The Sun may be partially eclipsed for up to two hours. The aim is to take the pain out of the maths required in GCSE (9-1) Astronomy. Just like Top of the Pops, bright stars have low numbers. All About Space, What is the Zodiacal Band? Therefore, I’ll just provide a summary of each man’s contribution to current understanding. This is a simplified version of Kepler’s Third Law. — The syllabus I’m studying is:  Edexcel 2AS01. GCSE Astronomy GCSE stands for General Certificate of Secondary Education. Phases of the Moon Rotational period of the Sun. What are the different lunar phases? The Moon’s gravity is just one-sixth as strong as Earth’s; hence, it was unable to hold on to the gaseous particles generated in its early formation. Ultimately, if the finger is held a full arm’s length away, the jump is much less noticeable. 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