Astronomy Discussion

choose 1 of these three topics:
1. Explain why most astronomers in the 18th and 19th century believed that all nebulae were small systems within the Milky Way. Discuss the extent to which this belief was influenced by the classification of nebulae. What evidence convinced early 20th century astronomers that some nebulae were not small systems within the Milky Way? Why did this information become available at that time? How did stellar spectroscopy and Hubble’s discovery influence this outcome?

2. Discuss the development of the telescope from about 1600 to after 1900. Discuss the relative advantages and disadvantages of refracting and reflecting telescopes during these times and identify the key technological advance that has shifted the balance between the two types of telescope. What were the important discoveries using these telescopes? How did stellar spectroscopy influence these discoveries? Finally, discuss the development of the radio telescope.

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3. The Copernican Principle states that the Earth, or the humans who live there, do not hold a special place in the universe. This special place includes the solar system, galaxy, and the universe as a whole. Trace the development of this Principle from the time of Copernicus, through the ideas and discoveries of later astronomers, and finally to the present time. Did any cultures or thinkers approach this view before Copernicus? 

Use and cite only the in-class readings, the North and Hoskins books, and a maximum of three other source materials total, which must be cited at the end of the question (see citations).

In class readings are:
Michael Hoskin. The Cambridge Concise History of Astronomy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999.

John North. Cosmos: An Illustrated History of Astronomy and Cosmology. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008.

Citing and citations:
* You can use MLA, APA, or Chicago Manual of Style Author-Date formatted citations, but please pick only one format, and be consistent.
* You may either reference sources or lectures using either: 
* A) “parenthetical citations” in the body of the text and then including a proper “works cited” section at the end
* B) properly formatted footnotes for each citation with a bibliography at the end of the paper.
* In either case, make sure to include specific page numbers when you are quoting an author or referring to a specific passage. (Finn and Perkel 2009:22-24)
* You may paraphrase ideas from in-class readings, videos, or lectures, but you must properly cite these passages as well. In other words, use citations even if you don’t quote.
* If you represent work as your own that is not, by failing to cite quotes and paraphrased ideas, it will be considered plagiarism in violation of the student code. For more information on Astronomy Discussion checkout this:

Astronomy Discussion

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