Discussion Week 1

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Discussion Week 1

Category: Research Paper

Subcategory: Astronomy

Level: College

Pages: 2

Words: 550

Discussion Week 1
Author’s Name
Astronomy (and other Space Sciences)
1) When looking at the night sky, you can see the light of different stars. If one star looks brighter than another, is it necessarily brighter? Explain.
No, simply put comparing the apparent magnitude of two stars is not the same as comparing their luminosity. The star that appears brighter certainly could be brighter. However, this is not enough information on its own. The observed brightness of a star or any light is inversely proportional to the square of its distance. In other words, if you observe a light from a certain distance and then move twice as far away the light will appear four times as dim. This means that one star that appears dimmer could be farther away. There are many stars in the night sky which are much brighter than our sun. However, they are simply so far away that during the day they cannot even be observed.
2) In ancient times, Egyptians thought that the combined light of the Sun and the brightest star in the nighttime sky, Sirius, created summer heat. Today, many believe this heat is caused by closeness to the Sun for part of the year. What can you point out that proves these both to be a misconception?
There is an entire hemisphere that we could point to dissuade anyone of this belief. The southern hemisphere experiences it’s season opposite of those in the northern hemisphere. (Wells, 2013) In fact the star, Sirius is not even visible in the southern hemisphere.

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