Space Physics: Signals from Space
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the universe ...
consists of many galaxies separated by empty space
a galaxy is ...
a large cluster of stars
a star is ...
- a large ball of matter that is undergoing nuclear fusion and emitting light and other forms of electromagnic radiation.
- the sun is a star
the sun ...
has a solar system
a solar system ...
consists of a central star orbited by plants
a planet is ...
- a large ball of matter that orbits a star.
- plants do not emit light themselves
a moon is ...
- a natural satellite
- a lump of matter that orbits a plant
why do we use the light year as the unit of distance in space?
distances in space are so enormous, so its more appropriate
what is a light year?
one light year is the equivalent distance light travels in one year
apart from the Sun what is the nearest star to Earth? how far away is it?
- Proxima Centauri
- 4.2 light years
how long does light from our Sun take to reach us?
white light is made up of a range of colours. how can these colours be seperated?
by splitting white light with a prism to obtain a spectrum
what is a spectroscope?
a spectroscope uses a prism to display the colours which make up a source of light
what do optical telescopes do?
observe visible light from space
what are the disadvantages of optical telescopes on the ground?
- they can only be used at night
- they cannot be used if the weather is poor or cloudy
what do radio telescpoes detect?
radio waves coming from space
what advantages do radio telescopes have over optical telescopes?
- can be used in bad weather
- can be used in daytime as well as night
why do x-ray telescopes need to be at a high altitude?
x-rays are partly blocked by the Earth's atmosphere
what electromagnetic radiation is emitted through objects in the universe?
electromagnetic radiations are blocked by the Earth's atmosphere, what are they detected by?
telescopes which orbit round the Earth
Telescopes in space can ...
observe the whole sky and they can operate both night and day.
what are the disadvantages of telescopes in space?
- they are difficult and expensive to launch and maintain.
- if anything going wrong only astronauts can fix them
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