Astronomy Notes 2013 Edition

The following updates/revisions/additions were made for the 2013 hardcopy edition [the website is continually updated]:

  1. In chapter 1: discussion about the December 2010/January 2011 media stories about astrology signs and added an example of how one can make the astrology predictions always match what happens.
  2. In chapter 3: tweaks to Moon phases and eclipses section and updated inferior planet phases illustration.
  3. In chapter 4: illustration of parallax effect with thumb and eye and added discussion about Galileo disagreement with the Church (the reality is not so clear cut as what is shown in the media).
  4. In chapter 6: LIGO discussion.
  5. In chapter 7: analogy of dirty water stream with filter to describe absorption line.
  6. In chapter 8: descriptions of new radio telescopes (GBT, ALMA, etc.).
  7. In chapter 9:
    1. tweaks to energy transport in planet atmospheres;
    2. additions and clarifications in Weather vs. Climate section;
    3. MESSENGER updates about Mercury;
    4. why Earth has plate tectonics;
    5. clarifications in Venus section;
    6. many updates in Mars section including Curiosity, Opportunity, and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter results;
    7. additions to plate tectonics' role in the Earth's carbon cycle, more Snowball Earth evidence, and clarifications and updates in the human role in the carbon cycle;
    8. updates on Moon's interior;
    9. and corrections and updates in the Galilean moons, Titan, and Enceladus sections.
  8. In chapter 10:
    1. updates of asteroids from the various spacecraft including Dawn's visit of Vesta and Chang'e 2's flyby of Toutatis;
    2. illustration of why more meteors seen after midnight;
    3. corrections to the Effects of an Asteroid Impact on Earth section, discussion and illustration of the Yarkovsky effect, new section on deflecting and using near-Earth asteroids;
    4. updates of comets including Hartley 2;
    5. discussion of scattered disk comets beyond the Kuiper Belt and use of diameter as key property in determining geologic activity for planets, moons, and dwarf planets;
    6. meteor speeds included in meteor shower table;
    7. updates in the Condensation Model (solar nebula model) for the solar system's formation;
    8. and updates in the exoplanets section including results from the Kepler mission and illustration of the microlensing exoplanet detection technique.
  9. In chapter 12: new asteroseismology section and expansion of brown dwarf discussion.
  10. In chapter 14: updates in the dark matter explanation.
  11. In chapter 15: new section on the dark matter in galaxy clusters, expansion of dark matter discussion with regard to large scale structure and galaxy formation, and updates in the Hubble Law part of the Steps to the Hubble Constant section.
  12. In chapter 16:
    1. discussion of Lemaitre's derivation of the Hubble constant;
    2. Planck mission early results;
    3. greater discussion of results from Big Bang nucleosynthesis including what it tells us about dark matter and the Standard Model of Particle Physics;
    4. expanded discussion of Dark Matter section showing how the dark matter to ordinary matter ratio is about 5-to-1 and what the dark matter could possibly be;
    5. updates from the WMAP and Planck missions measurements of the cosmic microwave background fluctuations;
    6. and clarifications in discussion about the Type Ia supernova observations that led to the discovery of an accelerating expansion of the universe.
  13. In chapter 17:
    1. results from the Kepler mission, Alpha Centauri exoplanet, and "free floater" planets;
    2. greatly expanded discussion of life characteristics including origins of life research, common ancestor to all of life on Earth, evolution by natural selection, a working definition of life; and extremophiles;
    3. updates in Drake Equation section;
    4. and corrections in SETI searches section.
  14. In glossary: a few new terms added as a result of the chapter 17 additions.
  15. Expanded index
  16. More margin notes to aid in quickly finding particular material and noting key points.

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