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Astronomy Script and Answer Key Astronomy is the study of outer space and everything in it.

. This includes stars, planets and galaxies as well as other things. The word astronomy comes from the Greek words astron which means star and nomos which means law. A person who studies astronomy is called an astronomer. Astronomy is one of the oldest sciences. (1) Ancient people used the positions of the stars to navigate, and to find when was the best time to plant crops. Astronomy is very similar to astrophysics. Since the 20th century there have been two main types of astronomy, Observational and Theoretical astronomy. (2) Observational astronomy uses telescopes and cameras to observe or look at stars, galaxies and other astronomical objects. Theoretical astronomy uses maths and computer models to predict what should happen. The two often work together, the theoretical predicts what should happen and the observational shows whether the prediction works. Astronomy is not the same as astrology, the belief that the patterns the stars and the planets make affect human lives. History of Astronomy Ancient Early astronomers used only their eyes to look at the stars. (3) They used maps of the stars for religious reasons and also to work out the time of year. Early civilizations such as the Maya people and the Ancient Egyptians built simple observatories and drew maps of the stars positions. They also began to think about the place of Earth in the universe. (4) For a long time people thought Earth was the center of the universe, and that the planets, the stars and the sun went around it. This is known as the geocentric model of the Universe. Arabic astronomers made many advancements during the Middle Ages including improved star maps and ways to estimate the size of the Earth. Copernicus, Galileo and the Heliocentric Model During the renaissance an astronomer named Nicolaus Copernicus thought of a new idea. He thought, from looking at the way the planets moved, that the Earth was not the center of the Solar System. He said, and he was right, (5) that the Sun was at the centre of the Solar System and all the planets including Earth moved around it. This is known as a Heliocentric model. Another astronomer called Galileo Galilei built his own telescope, and used it to look more closely at the stars and planets for the first time. What he saw backed up Copernicus' idea. Their ideas were also improved by Johannes Kepler and Isaac Newton who came up with the theory of gravity. (6) At this time the Christian

church decided that Galileo was wrong. The Pope gave the order to lock Galileo up in his house and they did not let him write any more books until he died. Renaissance to Modern Era After Galileo, people used telescopes more often and began to see farther-away objects such as the planets Uranus and Neptune. They also saw how stars were similar to our Sun, but in a range of colours and sizes. They also saw thousands of other faraway objects such as galaxies and nebulae. Modern Era The 20th century saw important changes in astronomy. (7) In 1931, Karl Jansky discovered radio emission from outside the Earth when trying to isolate a source of noise in radio communications, marking the birth of radio astronomy and the first attempts at using another part of the electromagnetic spectrum to observe the sky. Those parts of the electromagnetic spectrum that the atmosphere did not block were now opened up to astronomy, allowing more discoveries to be made. The opening of this new window on the Universe saw the discovery of entirely new things, for example pulsars, which sent regular pulses of radio waves out into space. (8) The waves were first thought to be alien in origin because the pulses were so regular that it implied an artificial source. The period after World War 2 saw the rise of dedicated observatories, where large and accurate telescopes are built and operated at good observing sites, normally by governments. For example, radio astronomy started out of leftover military equipment at Jodrell Bank after the war. By 1957, the site had the largest steerable radio telescope in the world. Similarly, the end of the 1960s saw the start of (9) the building of dedicated observatories at Mauna Kea in Hawaii, a good site for visible and infra-red telescopes thanks to its high altitude and clear skies. Mauna Kea would eventually come to host very large and very accurate telescopes like the Keck Observatory with its 10meter mirror. The next great revolution in astronomy was thanks to the birth of rocketry. This allowed telescopes to be placed in space on satellites (such as those that beam satellite television). Satellite-based telescopes opened up the Universe to human eyes. Turbulence in the Earth's atmosphere blurs images taken by ground-based telescopes, an effect known as seeing. It is this effect that makes stars "twinkle" in the sky. As a result, the pictures taken by satellite telescopes in visible light (for example, by the Hubble Space Telescope)

are much clearer than Earth-based telescopes, even though Earth-based telescopes are very large. By placing a telescope in orbit above the atmosphere, astronomers had access, for the first time in history, to the entire electromagnetic spectrum including those that had been blocked by the atmosphere. The X-rays, gamma rays, ultraviolet light and parts of the infra-red spectrum were all opened to astronomy as observing telescopes were launched. As with other parts of the spectrum, new discoveries were made. The period from 1970s onwards can be generalised that satellites were launched to be replaced with more accurate and better satellites, causing the sky to be mapped in nearly all parts of the electromagnetic spectrum. Future Plans Making new progress in astronomy is becoming more limited by the observatories and facilities being used at this time. (10) To make up for these limitations, astronomers have proposed larger and more ambitious projects. These proposals, some of which are being examined already by governments to see if they will be funded, allow us to glimpse into what the astronomers are planning for the future of astronomy.

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