I. In the beginning...
i. Observing the sun: shadow stick astronomy:a) Daily observations -- sunrise, sunset, noon (shortest shadow).
b) Longer term observations -- equinoxes, solstices, defining the year.
c) Stars in the Heavens -- perpetual apparition, seasonal changes.
ii. Alignment of neolithic structures:Stonehenge; Egyptian pyramids; PreColumbian alignments.
iii. Mapping the sky - setting up an observatory:Babylonian tables; celestial poles, celestial equator, right ascension, declination.
iv. The changing sky: Eclipses, planets, geocentrism and Ptolemy;Greek models - successes and failures.
Observations vs. faith -- falsifiability.
II. Revolution "eppur si muove"
i. Copernicus and the heliocentric model:Unraveling the retrograde loop; eliminating order ambiguity;
establishing the scale of the solar system.
ii. Kepler breaks free of Ptolemy:Ellipses and K's three laws.
iii. Galileo - objective support for heliocentrism:Telescopic observation of the sky; phases of Venus; Jupiter's moons - Jovi-centrism.
iv. Newton and the first universal law:The Science of Mechanics - Aristotle to Galileo; position, velocity, acceleration, force; three laws; circular motion.
v. Law of gravityOn Earth and in solar system; Moon, apple, and universality.
vi. Universal laws of physics.
i. Measuring the stars:Distance, magnitude, spectrum, binary orbits.
Absolute magnitude, luminosity, mass.
ii. Putting it together:Mass - luminosity relationship;
H-R diagrams for local stars and for clusters.
iii. Stellar models:Gravity against pressure; heat rises; H bomb and "gravity bomb" energy conversion; the ideal gas; thermal equilibrium.
iv. Stellar Evolution:Birth of a solar mass star and the associated solar system; main sequence lifetime calculation; death of a solar mass star.
v. Death of a star:White dwarfs and the Chandrasekhar limit; supernovae and neutron stars.
vi. The black hole:Gravity and the principle of equivalence; bending the path of light; the black hole as an evolutionary endpoint.
How to find a stellar black hole.
i. Our galaxy:It shape and size; its spiral structure; the mystery of its mass.
ii. Galaxies afar:The problem with finding distance; more missing mass; supermassive black holes in galactic centers.
iii. Cosmology:Galactic red shifts and the Hubble law; the distance ladder; the Big Bang and microwave background radiation; geometry and evolution of the universe.