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Copernicus and the Universe

Copernicus and the Universe

Summary of the Ptolemaic Earth centered view of the Universe; how the Earth centered (geocentric) view held currency for more than 1000 years; Copernicus and the sun centered (heliocentric) view of the Universe; why Copernicus harbored doubts about the sun centered model; an explanation of the stellar parallax; using the geometry of the Earth to calculate distance. ‘De Revolutionibus’ is published.

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Brown Dwarfs – What Are They?

Brown Dwarfs – What Are They?

Difference between brown dwarfs and stars; how brown dwarfs’ early evolution is similar to that of protostars; gravitational contraction and how brown dwarfs burn deuterium and lithium; how matter inside brown dwarfs becomes degenerate; electron degeneracy explained and how this electron degeneracy impacts on size; difficulties in discovering brown dwarfs. Weather systems of brown dwarfs.

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Jupiter- the Giant Planet

Jupiter- the Giant Planet

The composition of Jupiter including its core, three layers of hydrogen and lower armosphere; an explanation of metallic hydrogen and helium rain; how the lower atmosphere is made up of three different cloud layers; an explanation of the planet’s high pressure zones and low pressure belts; primordial heat inside Jupiter and the extensive jovian magnetic field; auroras, three faint rings and weather on Jupiter.

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Venus- the Hot Planet

Venus- the Hot Planet

In this science article we examine Venus; how its atmosphere was similar to Earth’s 4 billion years ago; features of its atmosphere including its huge atmospheric pressure and sweltering heat; features of the planetary surface including continents, shield volcanoes, impact craters, mountains, lava flows and ‘pancake domes’; the planet’s magnetic field and how it differs from Earth’s magnetic field; amazing facts about the planet.

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Mercury-the Weird Planet

Mercury-the Weird Planet

A description of planet Mercury including its slow rotation around its axis and short orbit around the Sun. An explanation of the planet’s atmosphere, elliptical orbit, magnetic field and the apparent motion of the Sun across the mercurian sky; a description of long mercurian nights and days. The main features of the planetary surface are explained which include some impact craters and impact basins.

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The Sun and Nuclear Fusion

The Sun and Nuclear Fusion

The conditions required for nuclear fusion to occur in the core of the sun; the requirements for extreme pressure, extreme heat and the presence of hydrogen. How the process of nuclear fusion takes place; the state of plasma that exists in the core of the sun and how protons fuse together to produce helium atoms; the state of hydrostatic equilibrium; the sun as it will be in 4.5 billion years time.

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Edmond Halley and his Comet

Edmond Halley and his Comet

This science project looks at the life of Edmond Halley and his work predicting the return of the comet that now bears his name. We investigate Comet Halley’s nucleus and its seventy-six year elliptical orbit. We consider how the orbit of the comet leaves debris in its wake and why meteor showers occur twice a year as a result. We briefly look at some of Edmond Halley’s other notable achievements.

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Comet Bart Simpson

Comet Bart Simpson

Bart Simpson and his amazing discovery of a comet unknown to astronomy. How Springfield is threatened with destruction by ‘Comet Bart Simpson’. Professor Frink explains the features of comets to less intelligent people; we learn about their nuclei, comas, gas and ion tails.The nucleus of a comet as it approaches the sun. Consequences of having a weak force of gravitational attraction.

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Uranus- Planet of Diamonds

Uranus- Planet of Diamonds

This science project investigates the features and characteristics of planet Uranus; the length of a Uranian day; orbit of Uranus around the sun and Uranian seasons; weather and unusual axis of rotation; structure of the planet including its core, mantle and atmosphere; force of gravity and atmospheric pressure; eccentricity and perturbation of the moons; formation of rings and their composition.

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Herschel-King’s Astronomer

Herschel-King’s Astronomer

William Herschel and his discovery of Uranus;mistaking Uranus for a comet; appointment as personal astronomer to the king; building a 40 foot telescope; his discovery of two moons of Saturn Mimas and Enceladus; his discovery of two moons of Uranus Titania and Oberon; observations about the Martian ice cap; invention of the term ‘asteroid’; discovery of infrared light; discovery that corals are animals and not plants

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