ASTR 110 M02,M03,M04 - Fall 2013 - Holtzman
Review list for first midterm
Review class powerpoints
(http://astronomy.nmsu.edu/holtz/a110/ppt) and notes
(http://astronomy.nmsu.edu/holtz/a110/a110notes): Sections 1 and 2, and
Section 3 through what we have covered in class.
Review homework/quizes, and in class questions. You should be able to
answer all of these if they were short answer questions (i.e., not
multiple choice, so you should be able to answer them and describe
why you gave the answer you did).
- Understand how the process of science works, including the fundamental
concept of how scientific models and theories are based on data,
predictions and verification. Understand some hallmarks of good
science, and why pseudoscience is fundamentally different from science.
Understand the difference between astronomy and astrology.
- Understand motions of objects in the sky as seen from Earth, which result
from a combination of our motion (reflex) and the intrinsic motion of
the object. Understand revolution and rotation of planets. Understand
apparent motion of stars, Sun with respect to the stars, and planets
with respect to the stars. In particular, understand day and night
and the path of the Sun and stars through the sky at different times
- Understand how the rotation axis of the Earth is tilted with respect to
its plane of revolution. Understand and be able to clearly
formulate the reason we have seasons.
- Understand the orbit of the Moon. Understand the reason that the Moon
has phases, and how the phases are related to the time of day/night when the
Moon is seen from Earth. Understand what solar and lunar eclipses are
and why they don't occur every month.
- Understand the motions and appearances of the planets. Be able to figure out
whether planets have phases when you look at them. Know what retrograde
- Understand historically how humans have reached the present understanding
of motions in our Solar System, e.g., the geocentric and heliocentric
models and what observations motivated these models. Understand the
contributions of Ptolemy, Copernicus, Galileo, Tycho Brahe, and Kepler.
- Understand Kepler's laws and be able to use them. Know the terminology which
comes into Kepler's laws: ellipses, focii of ellipses, semimajor axis,
eccentricity, period, astronomical unit.