Astronomy Notes 2010 Edition
The following updates/revisions/additions were made for the 2010 edition:
- In chapter 1: additional material has been added to the Science-Religion interface and interaction supplement on the textbook's website including the slides + script of the talk I gave as part of a Norm Levan Center series in honor of Darwin's 200'th birthday.
- In chapter 3: additional figures were added to the Angles section, the
Moon motion section, and the Moon phases section
and the text modified to clarify
explanations in those sections as well as the Reference Markers section. Corrected illustration of Sun's apparent motion among zodiac constellations.
- In chapter 4: clarification of what the semi-major axis and "average distance" are in the Kepler's Laws section.
- In chapter 5: added paragraph in Orbital Speed section about orbit speed and the mass of the satellite.
- In chapter 6: new Gravity Probe B results for testing General
- In chapter 7: added a section about how we know the universality of the physical laws in space and time from the spectral lines of atoms.
- In chapter 8: added figure and discussion in Light-Gathering Power section about how light spreads out with distances and detectable distance vs diameter of the telescope.
- In chapter 9: This is the single largest revision that has been done to this textbook in ten years. This revision has added over fifty pages of new material (text and illustrations) to this chapter. Since the last revision in 2007, I added a solar system course to the astronomy program. The Planetary Science section needed some more meat but I wanted to make sure I focussed on processes that would apply to all of the planets or to the two major groups of planets (terrestrials and jovians). The section on weather and climate change definitely has an Earth emphasis
though. For more details, here's the list:
- New section on the escape of atmospheres via non-thermal processes
- New section on the behavior of gases including pressure discussion and ideal gas law
- New section on hydrostatic equilibrium
- New section on what determines or affects the surface temperature of a planet
- New section on the layers of a planet's atmosphere
- New section on clouds and air circulation that includes the water cycle, effect of mountains, and ocean currents (yes, definite Earth emphasis here)
- New section on weather vs. climate and what factors can change a planet's climate. Clarified explanation of feedback processes.
- Added illustrations of the Earth's magnetic field and radiation belts and Jupiter's aurorae with connection to Io in the magnetic fields section
- Added information about Earth's interior and the lithospheres of the terrestrial planets in the Planet Interiors section
- New section on the processes that can change a terrestrial planet's surface plus key factors in what determines which shaping agents are important on a planet
- New subsection in the Plate Tectonics section about the evidence for the plate tectonics theory
- New illustrations in the Venus section
- New section about ice on Mars
- Greatly expanded the subsection on the human role in the carbon cycle in the Earth section to present the evidence for a significant human role and the science behind climate changes in deep time and current day. New material added to the Global Warming Skeptics supplement on the textbook's website.
- Additional description including a new illustration about the giant impact theory for the formation of the Moon
- New illustration of tidal heating process in Io section
- Added illustration of ice blocks in Europa section and improved explanation of evidence for liquid water below the surfaces of Europa, Ganymede and Callisto
- New illustration and discussion about methane/ethane lakes on Titan
- New section about Enceladus
- Expanded discussion about the rings of Saturn including several new illustrations and the effect of the sunlight angle and particle size in how light will scatter
- In chapter 10:
- Added information about the DAWN mission's schedule in the asteroids section and description of the Yarkovsky effect in the Earth impacts section
- Expanded findings of Deep Impact for Tempel 1 nucleus.
- Revised illustration of comet orbits for size of Kuiper Belt and give additional information about dwarf planets in the Kuiper Belt section.
- Added illustration of the condensation/"clumping" temperature dependence on distance from the Sun in the solar system formation section. Also added discussion of the using observations of other forming solar systems to revise the solar system formation theory.
- Added Fomalhaut B HST image and updated information about the exoplanets including the histograms through early June 2010 (though it is interesting to note that the new histograms look like the 2007 edition histograms with new scaling of the y-axis). Also added discussion about "hot Jupiters". Re-organized the Other Planetary Systems section to put all of the discussion about planet discussion in one sub-section and the results and discussion of solar system formation theory revisions in another sub-section.
- In chapter 11: Added recommendations for readers to review Electromagnetic Radiation chapter before reading Stellar Properties chapter and why I make that recommendation
- In chapter 12: Added illustration of magnetic field lines and sunspots + prominences in the Stellar Structure chapter and updated website's links to other sources
- In chapter 13: minor clarification in stellar nucleosynthesis section and updated website's links to other sources. Added candle-stick analogy (plus illustration) to the discussion of main sequence turnoff.
- In chapter 14: added discussion of how empty interstellar space is, an illustration of the reason for the "zone of avoidance" and expanded discussion of how Cepheids are so important. Updates on the distance of our Sun from the Galaxy center and its orbit speed from VLBI parallax studies and our galaxy's central black hole.
- In chapter 15: update on the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and value of the Hubble Constant but surprisingly, the basic processes outlined in the galaxy formation section have not needed revision since the last edition
- In chapter 16: updates from WMAP
- In chapter 17:
- Now using "habitable zone" throughout
- Added discussion of binary+multiple star systems as suitable stars for planet systems with life in them
- Expanded discussion in the Habitable Planets section to talk about why water is best solvent and carbon is best atom for life
- Added section on bio-markers---how we will be able to detect life on exoplanets
- Added my photograph of Frank Drake
- Added discussion about the need for having repeatable signals and the "Wow!" signal of 1977
- In tables: planet information updated using information from NSSDC (NASA) website
- In glossary: several new terms added as a result of the chapter 9 additions
- Expanded index