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2015.03.13.
Astronomy questions
1. With the best currently available technology, how much time would it take to
leave our solar system
reach the nearest planet
reach the nearest solar system
reach the nearest galaxy?
Search for required data, and give the sources and the details of your solution in your answer.
 
2. In 2006, due to new discoveries in the Kuiper belt, Pluto was redefined as a dwarf planet rather than a planet. What makes a planet? Look for the currently used definition and note the change that declassified Pluto.
 
3. There are only a few nations of the Earth which are capable of sending devices into outer space, and they have all built a strictly protected space center. Mark those space centers on a world map (download or copy a word map if necessary) and name them.
Note that all of them are established in the southern part of their countries. Find a scientific explanation for that.
 
4. What is the explanation of the well-known phrase: "the dark side of the Moon"? Is it really dark?
 
5. Assume that the mass of the Earth suddenly doubles while the Sun remains unchanged. How would this affect the orbit of the Earth around the Sun?
How would the gravitation force change?
 
6. Imagine there is an additional planet in our solar system halfway between Jupiter and Saturn. How long would be a "year" (i.e. orbital period) on this planet?
(Clue: Kepler's laws, Newton's gravitation laws, the dynamics of celestial bodies, the worldwide famous bestseller "Négyjegyű függvénytáblázatok", the NASA homepage, online courses like coursera.)
 
7. The word planet comes from the ancient Greek planetes meaning wanderer. Why did Aristotle (Aristoteles) give this name to certain phenomena? For an observer on Earth, how do different objects of the night sky, i.e. stars, planets, the Sun, the Moon, comets and meteorites seem to behave?
 
8. What is the phenomenon "red shift"? How do the theories of modern cosmology explain it?
 
7. According to modern astronomy, what are the states of the life period of a star? Could our Sun turn into a black hole? What is the Chandrasekhar limit?
 
8. According to the prophet Isaiah, God Almighty created the Earth as our home planet indeed and made it suitable for our needs: "For this is what the Lord says - he who created the heavens, he is God; he who fashioned and made the earth; he founded it; he did not create it to be empty/vain; but formed it to be inhabited-"
(Isaiah 45.18)
Also, the book of Genesis mentions that He made "the skies" as a kind of belt/shield around the Earth: "Let there be an expanse/firmament between the waters to separate water from water. So God made the expanse/ firmament and separated the water under the expanse/firmament from the water above it. And it was so. God called the expanse 'sky/skies/ heavens'."
(Gen. 1. 6-8)
What kinds of belts surround the Earth that makes our lives possible? Describe each of them in one or two sentences.
 
9. How can scientists have any clue about what elements distant heavenly bodies consist of?
 
10. For the twentieth century, scientists unified the laws of nature in four basic forces. Find them and summarize in one sentence how they work. (One sentence for each force.)
 
11. Match the scientists and the statements by writing their letter before the statement. There are more than one correct answers and a letter can be written more than once. (Quotes are marked, others are summaries of the ideas.)
 
a) Plato; b) Aristotle; c) Ptolemy (Ptolemaios); d) Copernicus; e) Kepler; f) Galilei;
g) Giordano Bruno; h) Newton; i) Einstein
 
…….The Universe is infinite, everlasting, boundless and homogeneous.
……."If the apple falls, does the Moon fall?"
…….Earthly and heavenly (celestial) mechanics must be different, as all celestial beings are ideal, eternal and perfect, therefore their motion is perfect. All that is on Earth is only  a shade of heavenly beings and therefore incomplete and improper both in its existence and motion.
…….Earth and the other (first five known) planets of the solar system move in an elliptical orbit and one of the focuses of the ellipse is the Sun.
…….Objects moving on Earth grow tired by time, only force can maintain their motion.
…….No force is necessary to maintain motion, in fact, force causes the change of the state of motion.
……."Let no one ignorant of geometry enter here."
…….When the Earth attracts the Moon  by a certain gravitational force, the Moon attracts the Earth by the same measure of gravitational force.
…….There is no such thing as gravitational force or gravitation field, the phenomenon perceived as gravitation is a simple result of the geometry of spacetime.
…….The Milky Way is neither gaze nor dust and nebula, it consists of thousands of stars.
…….The Earth and other planets move around the Sun in their perfect circular orbit with a constant velocity.
…….The Earth is a perfect, unmoving sphere in the centre, and the heavenly bodies move on different (crystal) spheres around it.
…….In order to explain the seemingly retrograde motion of the five planets we must use epicycles and equants.
…….The orbits of the six planets can be determined by the five platonian solids.
…….Earthly and heavenly mechanics must be the same, the rules that govern motion are universal.
…….„And yet it moves.”
…….If the Earth revolved, a stone that is thrown vertically would not hit the ground at the same point as the Earth would already have turned further on.
…….The old, furious debate between Ptolemy and Copernicus has become meaningless as they both can be right because the laws of nature remain the same in all coordinate systems.
Publikálta: Csaba Zsolt
© 2010 Bornemisza Péter Gimnázium