Study Guide for Astronomy & Astrophysics I Exam 1 (Fall 2017)
- Be familiar with Galileo's observational evidence for the heliocentric model of the solar system.
Make sure you understand Kepler's Third Law in all of its forms, what the
constant k = 4p2/G(m1
+ m2), and what the third law implies for relative speeds of planets with distance.
- Be able to identify the key orbital positions of planets (conjunctions, oppositions, greatest elongations) and what planets would look like as viewed from Earth.
relationships between semi-major axis, semi-minor axis, eccentricity, and perihelion/aphelion
distances. Keep in mind that you can draw an ellipse with a string and two pins.
- Review the four conic sections, how they relate to orbit types, and what eccentricities and energies correspond to them.
- Be able to explain how planets behave in their orbits, especially near perihelion and aphelion, in terms of distance, speed/velocity, angular momentum and energy.
- Review the concepts and equations of plate scale and angular size of features seen with a telescope/camera.
Review the relation between synodic and sidereal periods.
- Be familiar with effective potential energy and the role of angular momentum.