Astronomy Final Review

Know the following vocabulary words:

asteroid belt
autumnal equinox
background radiation
big bang
black hole
Coriolis effect
cyclic tides
Doppler effect
focus (foci)
full moon
lunar eclipse
H-R diagram
main sequence
neap tide
new moon
neutron star
nuclear fusion
quarter moon
red giant
red shift
solar eclipse
solar system
summer solstice
super giant
spring tides
terrestrial planets
vernal equinox
white dwarf
winter solstice

Be able to answer the following questions:

1. Know the difference between rotation and revolution.

2. How do the stars move around Polaris? How would the stars move around Polaris if the Earth did not rotate?

3. What is the relationship between the altitude of Polaris and the latitude of the observer?

4. Be able to recognize the phases of the moon given a diagram of the Earth, Moon and Sun.

5. What causes moon phases?

6. How does the relative size of the moon compare with the Earth?

7. Know the positions of the Earth, Moon and Sun during a lunar and solar eclipse.

8. How does the pattern of tides change per day? In which phase of the moon are the tides the strongest?

9. Be able to differentiate between the Geocentric and Heliocentric models of the solar system.


10. Know how to use the Earth Science reference tables to answer questions about
the characteristics of planets.

ex. 1. How long does it take Venus to revolve around the Sun?

ex. 2. Which planet has the most moons?

11. When is the gravitational attraction between two objects the greatest?

12. When do planets move the slowest and the fastest within their orbit?

13. Which planets take the longest to orbit (revolve) around the sun?

14. Know how to calculate the eccentricity of a planets orbit. What is the eccentricity of a circle?

15. In which season is the Sun the farthest from us? the closest? Be able to diagram the tilt of the Earth relative to the vertical sun’s rays during summer vs.

16. What two things cause seasons?

17. Know the differences between the seasons- dates, length of daylight, location of sun’s zenith (directly overhead), angle of sunlight and relative length of

Summer Solstice

Autumnal Equinox

Winter Solstice

Vernal Equinox

18. Be able to interpret a diagram of the sun’s path and locate how the sun would appear to move across the sky during the summer and winter solstices and the equinoxes.

19. In which direction does the sun rise and set? What causes this? How many degrees per hour does the sun move through the sky?

20. When does the sun rise exactly in the East and set in the West?

21. Where does the sun rise and set in summer and winter? How would that change if you lived south of the equator?

22. How does the position of the noon sun in the New Paltz sky change throughout the year?

23. Why does the sun shine?

24. What is the age of the Earth and the solar system?

25. What are the types of galaxies?

26. Using the reference tables, be able to determine information from the H-R diagram such as the temperature, color and luminosity of stars.

27. Know how the evolution of blue giants differs from the evolution of a small to medium star. What are the final stages of a star’s life?

28. What is the evidence of the big bang theory?

29. How does the Coriolis Effect change the direction of winds and ocean currents in the Northern Hemisphere?

30. What causes the Coriolis Effect?