This is a low-vision and blind accessible adaptation of the OpenStax Astronomy textbook (.doc files). This was adapted for use with screen readers and to include essential images with alt-text and high contrast images added. Some text and chapters were removed to fit a single semester course. Word documents are used to allow for easy accessibility and the content should be legible even at 400% zoom.
" This course covers the fundamentals of astrodynamics, focusing on the two-body orbital initial-value and boundary-value problems with applications to space vehicle navigation and guidance for lunar and planetary missions, including both powered flight and midcourse maneuvers. Other topics include celestial mechanics, Kepler's problem, Lambert's problem, orbit determination, multi-body methods, mission planning, and recursive algorithms for space navigation. Selected applications from the Apollo, Space Shuttle, and Mars exploration programs are also discussed."
Astronomy is designed to meet the scope and sequence requirements of one- or two-semester introductory astronomy courses. The book begins with relevant scientific fundamentals and progresses through an exploration of the solar system, stars, galaxies, and cosmology. The Astronomy textbook builds student understanding through the use of relevant analogies, clear and non-technical explanations, and rich illustrations. Mathematics is included in a flexible manner to meet the needs of individual instructors.
These labs were created for Astronomy students with both low-vision and low-mobility. Images have alt-text and have high contrast. Word docs are used for ease of screen readers and reuse.
Galactic dynamics: potential theory, orbits, collisionless Boltzmann equation, etc. Galaxy interactions. Groups and clusters; dark matter. Intergalactic medium; x-ray clusters. Active galactic nuclei: unified models, black hole accretion, radio and optical jets, etc. Homogeneity and isotropy, redshift, galaxy distance ladder. Newtonian cosmology. Roberston-Walker models and cosmography. Early universe, primordial nucleosynthesis, recombination. Cosmic microwave background radiation. Large-scale structure, galaxy formation.
Size and time scales. Historical astronomy. Astronomical instrumentation. Stars: spectra and classification. Stellar structure equations and survey of stellar evolution. Stellar oscillations. Degenerate and collapsed stars; radio pulsars. Interacting binary systems; accretion disks, x-ray sources. Gravitational lenses; dark matter. Interstellar medium: HII regions, supernova remnants, molecular clouds, dust; radiative transfer; Jeans' mass; star formation. High-energy astrophysics: Compton scattering, bremsstrahlung, synchrotron radiation, cosmic rays. Galactic stellar distributions and populations; Oort constants; Oort limit; and globular clusters.
" This course covers examination of the state of knowledge of planetary formation, beginning with planetary nebulas and continuing through accretion (from gas, to dust, to planetesimals, to planetary embryos, to planets). It also includes processes of planetary differentiation, crust formation, atmospheric degassing, and surface water condensation. This course has integrated discussions of compositional and physical processes, based upon observations from our solar system and from exoplanets. Focus on terrestrial (rocky and metallic) planets, though more volatile-rich bodies are also examined."
Thermal backgrounds in space. Cosmological principle and its consequences: Newtonian cosmology and types of "universes"; survey of relativistic cosmology; horizons. Overview of evolution in cosmology; radiation and element synthesis; physical models of the "early stages." Formation of large-scale structure to variability of physical laws. First and last states. Some knowledge of relativity expected. 8.962 recommended though not required. This course provides an overview of astrophysical cosmology with emphasis on the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) radiation, galaxies and related phenomena at high redshift, and cosmic structure formation. Additional topics include cosmic inflation, nucleosynthesis and baryosynthesis, quasar (QSO) absorption lines, and gamma-ray bursts. Some background in general relativity is assumed.
The Early Universe provides an introduction to modern cosmology. The first part of the course deals with the classical cosmology, and later part with modern particle physics and its recent impact on cosmology.
This course is a detailed technical and historical exploration of the Apollo project to "fly humans to the moon and return them safely to earth" as an example of a complex engineering system. Emphasis is on how the systems worked, the technical and social processes that produced them, mission operations, and historical significance. Guest lectures are featured by MIT-affiliated engineers who contributed to and participated in the Apollo missions. Students work in teams on a final project analyzing an aspect of the historical project to articulate and synthesize ideas in engineering systems.
The spring 2017 syllabus for the General Astronomy Course (AST 110), developed as part of the textbook free courseware initiative at Borough of Manhattan Community College.
This course provides an introduction to the universe beyond the Earth. We begin with a study of the night sky and the history of the science of astronomy. We then explore the various objects seen in the cosmos including the solar system, stars, galaxies, and the evolution of the universe itself. As an online course, it is equivalent to 6 lecture hours, and satisfies science requirements for the AA and AS degree. It is designed to be thorough enough to prepare you for more advanced work, while presenting the concepts to non-majors in a way that is meaningful and not overwhelming. We will consider the course a success if you have learned how to think about the universe critically in an organized, logical way, and to have enhanced your appreciation of the sky around us.
" The fundamental concepts, and approaches of aerospace engineering, are highlighted through lectures on aeronautics, astronautics, and design. Active learning aerospace modules make use of information technology. Student teams are immersed in a hands-on, lighter-than-air (LTA) vehicle design project, where they design, build, and fly radio-controlled LTA vehicles. The connections between theory and practice are realized in the design exercises. Required design reviews precede the LTA race competition. The performance, weight, and principal characteristics of the LTA vehicles are estimated and illustrated using physics, mathematics, and chemistry known to freshmen, the emphasis being on the application of this knowledge to aerospace engineering and design rather than on exposure to new science and mathematics."
This course includes Quantitative introduction to physics of the solar system, stars, interstellar medium, the Galaxy, and Universe, as determined from a variety of astronomical observations and models. Topics: planets, planet formation; stars, the Sun, "normal" stars, star formation; stellar evolution, supernovae, compact objects (white dwarfs, neutron stars, and black holes), plusars, binary X-ray sources; star clusters, globular and open clusters; interstellar medium, gas, dust, magnetic fields, cosmic rays; distance ladder; galaxies, normal and active galaxies, jets; gravitational lensing; large scaling structure; Newtonian cosmology, dynamical expansion and thermal history of the Universe; cosmic microwave background radiation; big-bang nucleosynthesis. No prior knowledge of astronomy necessary. Not usable as a restricted elective by physics majors.
" This class explores the creation (and creativity) of the modern scientific and cultural world through study of western Europe in the 17th century, the age of Descartes and Newton, Shakespeare, Milton and Ford. It compares period thinking to present-day debates about the scientific method, art, religion, and society. This team-taught, interdisciplinary subject draws on a wide range of literary, dramatic, historical, and scientific texts and images, and involves theatrical experimentation as well as reading, writing, researching and conversing. The primary theme of the class is to explore how England in the mid-seventeenth century became "a world turned upside down" by the new ideas and upheavals in religion, politics, and philosophy, ideas that would shape our modern world. Paying special attention to the "theatricality" of the new models and perspectives afforded by scientific experimentation, the class will read plays by Shakespeare, Tate, Brecht, Ford, Churchill, and Kushner, as well as primary and secondary texts from a wide range of disciplines. Students will also compose and perform in scenes based on that material."
A dynamically simplified solar system is constructed from online data to explore the real solar system on many different scales.
The realistically scaled solar system is surprising because nothing is visible due to the presence of many different scales. That is why it is usually rescaled in animations or illustrations. This is nice but gives us a wrong sense of distances and sizes. This Demonstration is intended to show the solar system's different scales in their full glory.
Since it is hardly possible to see anything when the real scales are used, controls have been added to modify the sizes of the celestial bodies.
This book is a journey through the world of physics and cosmology, and an exploration of our role in this universe. We will address questions such as: What if the force of gravity were a little stronger? What if there were more of fewer atoms in our universe? What if Newton and not Einstein had been right? Would we still be here? Can the universe exist without us to observe it? Can chance explain the world around us, as well as us?
The purpose of this book is to phrase these questions and pursue the consequences of potential answers through rigorous scientific reasoning; in the process we will learn how the very small and the very large are interconnected, and even how we can affect events that happened six billion years ago.
Licensed CC-BY-4.0 with attribution instructions on page 2 of the document.
Table of Contents
The fundamental forces 10
The force of gravity 18
What if … the force of gravity were different? 23
The electric and magnetic forces 26
The electric force 27
What if … the electric force were different? 39
The magnetic force 48
What if … the magnetic force were different? 58
The strong and weak forces 59
What if … ? 65
How do forces work? 74
The history of the universe 85
What if … ? 94
The history of our species 106
The building blocks of the universe 128
What if … ? 140
Dark energy 150
What if … dark matter were more interesting? 159
When you do not look…. 162
Manifestations of the wave nature of matter 169
The delayed choice experiment: Affecting the past 186
What if … ? 191
The story so far 195
Unification and our role 199
The Multiverse and aliens 226
The laws of physics 234
The Anthropic Principle and Puddle Theory 237
Post mortem 249
Further reading and chapter notes 251
Applications of physics (Newtonian, statistical, and quantum mechanics) to fundamental processes that occur in celestial objects. Includes main-sequence stars, collapsed stars (white dwarfs, neutron stars, and black holes), pulsars, supernovae, the interstellar medium, galaxies, and as time permits, active galaxies, quasars, and cosmology. Observational data discussed. No prior knowledge of astronomy is required.