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ASTR101: Introduction to Astronomy

Unit 4: The Renaissance and the Scientific Revolution   In this unit, you will be introduced to the changes that occurred in our model of the universe in the seventeenth century.  The Greek worldview will be replaced with the modern worldview.  (Note: Do not mistake the “modern worldview” for our current worldview.  In the twentieth century, the modern worldview was replaced with the “contemporary worldview.”)  This modern worldview was based on advances in science made during the Scientific Revolution, specifically on the work of Isaac Newton.

Unit 4 Time Advisory
This unit will should approximately 11 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 4.1: 2 hours

☐    Subunit 4.2: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 4.3: 2 hour

☐    Subunit 4.4: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 4.5: 3 hours

☐    Assessment: 2 hours

Unit4 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, the student will be able to: - Identify the major contributors and the contributions they made to astronomy during the Renaissance and the Scientific Revolution. - Identify the most significant reasons why the heliocentric model of the universe became accepted by the start of the eighteenth century. - Identify the most significant difference between the work of Kepler on the planetary orbits and that of Newton.

4.1 The Renaissance   - Reading: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 4: The Renaissance and the Scientific Revolution” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 4: The Renaissance and the Scientific Revolution” (PDF)

 Instructions: This article provides an overview of the material we
will cover in Unit 4.  Read it carefully, but please don’t think
that you have to fix every single fact into your memory.  What you
should strive for is to be sure that it makes sense to you as you
are reading it and that when you are finished you can briefly
summarize the main points of the reading.  You should read this both
as you start and after you have finished working your way through
the unit.  

 Reading this article should take approximately 45 minutes.
  • Web Media: SisyphusRedeemed’s “A Brief History of Science, Part 2: Renaissance to the Copernican Revolution (Part 2-2)” Link: SisyphusRedeemed’s “A Brief History of Science, Part 2: Renaissance to the Copernican Revolution (Part 2-2)” (YouTube)

    Instruction: This video is a follow-up to the video you watched in Unit 1.

    Watching this video should take approximately 15 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: Brigham Young University: Maggie Gallup’s “Renaissance Astronomy” Link: Brigham Young University: Maggie Gallup’s “Renaissance Astronomy” (HTML)

    Instructions: This is a very brief discussion of the contributions made to astronomy during the time of the Renaissance.

    Reading this article should take approximately 5 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

4.2 Nicolaus Copernicus   - Web Media: YouTube: Granger Meador’s “Ptolemaic vs. Copernican Model” Link: YouTube: Granger Meador’s “Ptolemaic vs. Copernican Model” (YouTube)

 Instructions: This is a very brief illustration of the complexity
of the Ptolemaic model verses the relative simplicity of the
Copernican model.  

 Watching this video should take less than 5 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Web Media: YouTube: AllHistories’ “Turning Points in History – The Scientific Revolution” Link: YouTube: AllHistories’ “Turning Points in History – The Scientific Revolution” (YouTube)

    Instructions: This video discusses the scientific method.  It ends with a segment on how the scientific method is applied to inventions and focuses on Thomas Edison.

    Watching this video should take less than 5 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

4.3 Tycho Brahe and Johannes Kepler   - Reading: Oracle ThinkQuest: “Tycho Brahe” Link: Oracle ThinkQuest: “Tycho Brahe” (HTML)

 Instructions: This is a brief description of Brahe’s model, a
combination of the models of Ptolemy and Copernicus.  

 Reading this article should take approximately 5 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Web Media: YouTube: Troy Wayne’s “Kepler’s Laws” Link: YouTube: Troy Wayne’s “Kepler’s Laws” (YouTube)

    Instructions: This video provides a summary of Kepler’s laws of planetary motion and provides a visual representation of each law.

    Watching this video should take less than 5 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: The University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Department of Physics and Astronomy: “Johannes Kepler: The Laws of Planetary Motion” Link: The University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Department of Physics and Astronomy: “Johannes Kepler: The Laws of Planetary Motion” (HTML)

    Instructions: In this article, you will be introduced to calculations using Kepler’s third law.  This law relates the average distance between the sun and a planet to the amount of time it takes the planet to orbit the sun (its period) by a simple algebraic formula.  You will need a calculator that can cube numbers and take cube roots.  Practice this calculation for several of the planets, sometimes starting with the period and calculating the average distance, sometimes vice versa.  Here is the data you can use for the calculations.  The second column is the average distance between the planet and the sun, and the third column is the period of revolution of the planet around the sun.

      Mercury     0.39 AU   0.241 years
      Venus   0.723 AU     0.615 years
      Earth   1 AU   1 year
      Mars   1.524 AU   1.88 years
      Jupiter   5.203 AU   11.862 years
      Saturn   9.539 AU   29.456 years  
      Uranus   19.18 AU   84.07 years
      Neptune   30.06 AU   164.81 years

    Reading this article and completing this exercise should take approximately 45 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

4.4 Galileo Galilei   - Reading: The University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Department of Physics and Astronomy: “Galileo: The Telescope and the Laws of Dynamics” Link: The University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Department of Physics and Astronomy: “Galileo: The Telescope and the Laws of Dynamics” (HTML)

 Instructions: This article covers both Galileo’s telescopic
observations and his studies of motion.  You should come away from
the reading knowing his major telescopic discoveries and his ideas
about inertia.  

 Reading this article should take approximately 15 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Reading: Australia Telescope Outreach and Education: “Galileo and the Telescope” Link: Australia Telescope Outreach and Education: “Galileo and the Telescope” (HTML)

    Instructions: This article addresses Galileo’s discoveries using a telescope.

    Reading this article should take approximately 30 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: PBS: Dava Sobel’s “Galileo’s Place in Science” Link: PBS: Dava Sobel’s “Galileo’s Place in Science” (HTML)

    Instructions: This article addresses Galileo’s contributions to the study of motion and the scientific method.

    Reading this article should take approximately 15 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

4.5 Isaac Newton   - Reading: The University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Department of Physics and Astronomy: “Sir Isaac Newton and the Unification of Physics and Astronomy” Link: The University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Department of Physics and Astronomy: “Sir Isaac Newton and the Unification of Physics and Astronomy” (HTML)

 Instructions: This is a very brief reading on “The Great Synthesis
of Newton.”  

 Reading this article should take approximately 5 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Reading: Buzzle: Omkar Phatak’s “Isaac Newton’s Discoveries” Link: Buzzle: Omkar Phatak’s “Isaac Newton’s Discoveries” (HTML)

    Instructions: This article is an overview of Newton’s discovery of the law of gravity and his discoveries regarding motion.

    Reading this article should take approximately 20 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

4.5.1 Newton’s Laws of Motion   - Reading: The University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Department of Physics and Astronomy: “Newton’s Three Laws of Motion” Link: The University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Department of Physics and Astronomy: “Newton’s Three Laws of Motion” (HTML)

 Instructions: This article will introduce you to Newton’s laws of
motion.  In this course, we will not be doing calculations with
these laws (that is more appropriate in a physics course), but it is
important to know of these laws as they are necessary, together with
Newton’s law of gravity, to determine the orbits of the planets
around the sun.  

 Reading this article should take about 10 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

4.5.2 Newton’s Law of Gravity   - Assessment: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 4 Assessment” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 4 Assessment” (PDF)

 Instructions: When you have finished the entire unit, please
complete this assessment without referring to the readings.  When
you are finished with the assessment, you can check your answers
against the Saylor Foundation’s [“Unit 4 Assessment – Answer
Key”](http://www.saylor.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/ASTR101-Unit-4-Answer-Key.FINAL_.pdf) (PDF).  

 Completing this assessment should take approximately 2 hours.
  • Reading: University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Department of Physics and Astronomy: “Sir Isaac Newton: The Universal Law of Gravitation” Link: University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Department of Physics and Astronomy: “Sir Isaac Newton: The Universal Law of Gravitation” (HTML)

    Instructions: This reading will introduce you to computations using Newton’s law of gravity.  Please read this carefully.  The reading does not actually require numerical computations; however, it is important to understand how the law is actually used in astronomy.

    Reading this article should take approximately 45 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.