Astronomy as a Science
- Give me one of the periods of time that we found out was determined by astronomy and tell me which object (s) determined it.
There are many occasions as well as activities that were determined by the astronomers in the old days that varied from time to time. Farmers, for example, relied wholly on astronomers who could interpret the movement of planets, the moon or stars on the sky to determine when to plant the crops and time to harvest. These specialists also could determine when the winter period to start and end to find out whether individuals still have enough food left on their granary to survive.
- You’ve now described a simple form of calendar. Using the words “describe” and “explain” tell me why you think your part A qualifies as science (or not).
A whole process is a form of science since astronomers could predict how the sky operates and a basis of their calendar of the year in carrying out different activities. It is evident that people were dependent upon the movement of the objects in the sky to predict activities to conduct for their survival, which qualifies the historical astronomy as a science. The description, as well as explanations that such specialist gave out, were indeed helpful for the society as a whole.
Reflected motions [a.k.a. reflex motions] are an important idea this semester that touches on a key issue with science. Let’s talk about reflected motions.
- Define (in your own words) what a reflected motion is.
The earth usually rotates on its axis though we do not sense the rotation. The process by which we experience the rotation of the earth through observing the sun appearing to move across the sky is referred to as reflected motion.
- Think about what the core idea of science is and then tell me why recognizing which motions are reflected is such a crucial action in science.
The movement of the earth on the axis is one of the crucial art of science that can be proved scientifically by specialists. It is evident that we can only see the sun moving across the sky and beyond human interpretation and prediction, the earth’s movement can only be proved as an art of science through study.
Let’s get to one of the fundamentals of science. I’m going to write two very similar statements. Tell me which one is more correct and explain why.
Statement A: Rocks are sharp for the purpose of giving animals something they can scratch themselves on. Statement B: Because rocks are sharp, animals choose to scratch themselves upon rocks.
The first statement is more correct “Rocks are sharp for the purpose of giving animals something they can scratch themselves on.” Animals can choose to adapt to their surrounding based on the existing ecological systems. The rocks take a different form of shapes as solid, that is either flat or sharp, and animals can use sharp rocks purposely for scratching themselves.
Science is a process, a way of thinking and coming up with the best answers one can with the evidence available.
- Give me one example of the ancient Greeks being scientific in the creation of their earth-centered system. Explain why.
Thales is one of the ancient Greeks who contributed fully to the prediction of the eclipses (Miller 86). However, he relied mostly on the Babylonian records to support his research. Thales also added to the attribution of measuring the diameter of the sun as well as the importance of star’s constellation.
- The ancient Greeks were trying to be scientific, but they did mess up at least once. Give me one example of where the ancient Greeks did not follow the scientific process, and explain why they were not performing science correctly this time.
Plato’s argument that humanity is born with an innate knowledge is one of the ancient Greek’s scientific research that was challenged by other scholars such as Aristotle with the contrary opinion that knowledge can only be gained in comparison with what is already known.
This problem will be about the skill of problem-solving. This semester you will be learning both astronomy as well as problem-solving so we need to study this too. Consider the following problem: “Using size balance (pressure vs. gravity) and temperature balance (energy created vs. energy lost), explain why being a more massive star causes it to be more luminous than a less massive star.”
There is proof that the pressure due to gravity is balanced by the pressure of ionized gas in the star. The degeneracy pressure exerted is what support gravity. As much as stars are small in size, they do have the mass close to the sun, and the surface temperatures are often high, though no fusion could supply energy. The total energy luminosity is dependent on the time at which stars spends in a given location as well as the distance at which visible light becomes more obscured. It is also evident that the gravitational contraction of stars can release more thermal energy at the center of a massive star thus gives proof that temperatures of high-mass stars towards it end are greater than that of a low-mass star.
Miller, Arthur I. Insights of genius: Imagery and creativity in science and art. Springer Science & Business Media, 2012.