Astronomy C

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Unome
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Re: Astronomy C

Postby Unome » February 8th, 2017, 4:59 am

embokim wrote:Thank you so much! it helped me so much
But may I ask, what is the small angle formula?

The small angle formula is an approximation of trigonometry. The basic concept is based upon something like this. (usually written as ) represents the linear diameter of the object being measured. This could be a single object, like the moon, or the separation between two stars in a binary system. (usually written as ) is the distance to the object, and is of course the angle. You can write as an equation representing the system. This works if and are measured in the same units, and if is measured in radians.

The small angle formula is an approximation for very large values of (and hence very small values of ) where the formula is approximately .

To get a more useful form of this equation, note that 1 radian = 206265 arcseconds, and 1 parsec = 206265 AU. This means that the function is also valid if is is AU, is in parsecs, and is in arcseconds. These are the units you're most likely to see in problems.

embokim wrote:For Newton's Law of Gravitation in what unit is R? (star separation distance)
Thanks

It can be in any unit, so long as G (the gravitational constant) is expressed in the same units; the units should cancel out to end up as units of force.

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Unome wrote:On the same test: can anyone explain how to do 2.a and 2.c?

(that was a great test btw, I ended up scoring ~55 or so).


for 2a you look at the peak in B and see that it is slightly above 2446560 JD. Convert a value of around 2446562 JD to the Gregorian calendar and you should get around may 11th, 1986, which is probably pretty close.

How do I convert? I can't find any reliable ways of doing it (and I'm not entirely sure how to derive the formula).
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Re: Astronomy C

Postby CVMSAvalacheStudent » February 8th, 2017, 6:19 pm

embokim wrote:Thank you so much! it helped me so much
But may I ask, what is the small angle formula?

I can't write it but you can search it up
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Re: Astronomy C

Postby EastStroudsburg13 » February 10th, 2017, 10:23 am

embokim wrote:Thank you so much! it helped me so much
But may I ask, what is the small angle formula?

Short answer: if you have a small angle on a right triangle, the angle is approximately equal to the far side multiplied by the near side:
Image
So in the above, x = A/B. Note here that x is in radians, and A and B must be in the same units. Often, in astronomy, you'll be given arcseconds instead of radians, so you'll have to convert arcseconds to radians by multiplying by 206265 (units of arcsec/rad).

Now the long answer. Note: this may be a little confusing at first depending on your math background... I recommend drawing a little triangle and following along on your own if this is the case. You have been warned. ;)

The long answer involves explaining why the small angle formula works, which goes into a bit of trigonometry. In case you haven't seen trig yet, basically each trigonometric relation (sine, cosine, etc) is a ratio of two sides of a right triangle. So using the above angle x, the sine of x (sin x) is the length of the opposite side (A) divided by the length of the hypotenuse, the cosine of x (cos x) is the length of the adjacent side (B) divided by the length of the hypotenuse, and the tangent of x (tan x) is the length of A divided by the length of B.

Now, if x is really, really small, there are three approximations that arise: sin x = x, cos x = 1, and tan x = x (these are technically based on limits, which are part of calculus). Therefore, instead of saying tan x = A/B, you can say x = A/B, which is the small angle approximation that is used in the small angle formula.

The reason I went through this whole explanation is because the small angle approximation is used a lot in different areas of engineering, materials, and physics at the university level. You may not see it a ton in high school, depending on how advanced your school goes, but it's a good thing to be aware of by the time you encounter professors who are using it!

EDIT: Also see Unome's response
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Re: Astronomy C

Postby y_utsumi » February 10th, 2017, 10:29 am

What is the difference among the 3 variants of Kepler's Law? They all produce different answers..

1. p^2 = a^3

2. p^2 = (4 pi^2 a^3) / (GM_total)

3. M_total = a^3 / p^2

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Re: Astronomy C

Postby EastStroudsburg13 » February 10th, 2017, 10:37 am

y_utsumi wrote:What is the difference among the 3 variants of Kepler's Law? They all produce different answers..

1. p^2 = a^3

2. p^2 = (4 pi^2 a^3) / (GM_total)

3. M_total = a^3 / p^2


3 only works if M_total is in solar masses, p is in earth years, and a is in AU.

If the system has a solar mass of 1 (i.e. our solar system), then 3 simplifies to 1.

2 is the true full form of the law, and the units can be anything as long as they cancel correctly. So for example, if your G is in Nm^2/kg^2, then your a has to be in meters and your p has to be in seconds.
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Re: Astronomy C

Postby Unome » February 10th, 2017, 11:15 am

EastStroudsburg13 wrote:
y_utsumi wrote:What is the difference among the 3 variants of Kepler's Law? They all produce different answers..

1. p^2 = a^3

2. p^2 = (4 pi^2 a^3) / (GM_total)

3. M_total = a^3 / p^2


3 only works if M_total is in solar masses, p is in earth years, and a is in AU.

If the system has a solar mass of 1 (i.e. our solar system), then 3 simplifies to 1.

2 is the true full form of the law, and the units can be anything as long as they cancel correctly. So for example, if your G is in Nm^2/kg^2, then your a has to be in meters and your p has to be in seconds.

Something I haven't been able to figure out; how does one get from #2 to #3? It seems too convenient for G and 4pi^2 to just cancel like that, so I think I'm missing something.
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Re: Astronomy C

Postby EastStroudsburg13 » February 10th, 2017, 11:32 am

Unome wrote:
EastStroudsburg13 wrote:
y_utsumi wrote:What is the difference among the 3 variants of Kepler's Law? They all produce different answers..

1. p^2 = a^3

2. p^2 = (4 pi^2 a^3) / (GM_total)

3. M_total = a^3 / p^2


3 only works if M_total is in solar masses, p is in earth years, and a is in AU.

If the system has a solar mass of 1 (i.e. our solar system), then 3 simplifies to 1.

2 is the true full form of the law, and the units can be anything as long as they cancel correctly. So for example, if your G is in Nm^2/kg^2, then your a has to be in meters and your p has to be in seconds.

Something I haven't been able to figure out; how does one get from #2 to #3? It seems too convenient for G and 4pi^2 to just cancel like that, so I think I'm missing something.

It has to do with the fact that G/4pi^2 is a constant, so one can say that a^3 is proportional to p^2*M_total (rearranging the equation to avoid fractions ;) ). So we can express each variable as a ratio of values from two systems: (a1/a2)^3 = (p1/p2)^2 * (M1/M2). We know that if M2 is 1 solar mass and a2 is 1 AU, then p2 must be 1 earth year. So as long as we carry those units through, a2, p2, and M2 can all be dropped because they all equal 1, and we're left with #3.
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Re: Astronomy C

Postby choiireneus » February 10th, 2017, 1:39 pm

Hi Science Olympians!

I am looking to hear some tips for this year's astro tests! What specific things do you think is a MUST HAVE for my notes?? Any information would be awesome!

Good luck to everyone :!:

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Re: Astronomy C

Postby Ashernoel » February 10th, 2017, 2:54 pm

choiireneus wrote:Hi Science Olympians!

I am looking to hear some tips for this year's astro tests! What specific things do you think is a MUST HAVE for my notes?? Any information would be awesome!

Good luck to everyone :!:


You must have wikipedia articles or just know them. Many test supervisors will just take their question from the 3-10th paragraphs, or even the first on a wikipedia page, so the info is actually super valuable. Have all the DSOs, a lot of reference stuff, math resources and then ace the test.
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Re: Astronomy C

Postby Avogadro » February 10th, 2017, 4:53 pm

Ashernoel wrote:
choiireneus wrote:Hi Science Olympians!

I am looking to hear some tips for this year's astro tests! What specific things do you think is a MUST HAVE for my notes?? Any information would be awesome!

Good luck to everyone :!:


You must have wikipedia articles or just know them. Many test supervisors will just take their question from the 3-10th paragraphs, or even the first on a wikipedia page, so the info is actually super valuable. Have all the DSOs, a lot of reference stuff, math resources and then ace the test.

This holds especially true for objects- a lot of event supervisors will pull all questions on objects from the respective Wikipedia page, even moreso than some of the concepts. Also make sure to have a whole lot of images, since a lot of tests will just have you straight matching it with the picture.
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Re: Astronomy C

Postby antoine_ego » February 11th, 2017, 5:35 am

choiireneus wrote:Hi Science Olympians!

I am looking to hear some tips for this year's astro tests! What specific things do you think is a MUST HAVE for my notes?? Any information would be awesome!

Good luck to everyone :!:


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Re: Astronomy C

Postby Ashernoel » February 11th, 2017, 9:38 am

antoine_ego wrote:
choiireneus wrote:Hi Science Olympians!

I am looking to hear some tips for this year's astro tests! What specific things do you think is a MUST HAVE for my notes?? Any information would be awesome!

Good luck to everyone :!:


Stellar evolution in ridiculous detail.

Know all the stuff about the hr diagram.
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Re: Astronomy C

Postby Avogadro » February 13th, 2017, 6:08 pm

Ashernoel wrote:
antoine_ego wrote:
choiireneus wrote:Hi Science Olympians!

I am looking to hear some tips for this year's astro tests! What specific things do you think is a MUST HAVE for my notes?? Any information would be awesome!

Good luck to everyone :!:


Stellar evolution in ridiculous detail.

Know all the stuff about the hr diagram.

These two things, to a ridiculous degree.

Like, really, after I'm done with the event this year I'm not going to want to look at another HR diagram for several months or I may rip my eyes out.
Lower Merion 2017
Subtitled: Revenge of the Non-Harriton

Placement Record:

Code: Islip | Conestoga | Tiger | Regionals | States
Out of: 61 | 42 | 36 | 37 | 36

Chemistry Lab: 9 | - | - | 4 | 4
Astronomy: 14 | - | 5 | 10 | 3
Material Science: 12 | 19 | 9 | 5 | 9
Optics: 14 | 7 | 3 | 4 | 2

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Re: Astronomy C

Postby Ashernoel » February 13th, 2017, 6:43 pm

Avogadro wrote:
Ashernoel wrote:
antoine_ego wrote:
Stellar evolution in ridiculous detail.

Know all the stuff about the hr diagram.

These two things, to a ridiculous degree.

Like, really, after I'm done with the event this year I'm not going to want to look at another HR diagram for several months or I may rip my eyes out.

You don't like the smooth curves? It's quite a beautiful representation of stars...
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Re: Astronomy C

Postby Avogadro » February 13th, 2017, 6:48 pm

Ashernoel wrote:
Avogadro wrote:
Ashernoel wrote:Know all the stuff about the hr diagram.

These two things, to a ridiculous degree.

Like, really, after I'm done with the event this year I'm not going to want to look at another HR diagram for several months or I may rip my eyes out.

You don't like the smooth curves? It's quite a beautiful representation of stars...

I don't like answering repeated questions on what each of the axes is and where to find certain types of stars on the diagram, more accurately. Actual representations of things (i.e. HR for M15) isn't so bad.
Lower Merion 2017
Subtitled: Revenge of the Non-Harriton

Placement Record:

Code: Islip | Conestoga | Tiger | Regionals | States
Out of: 61 | 42 | 36 | 37 | 36

Chemistry Lab: 9 | - | - | 4 | 4
Astronomy: 14 | - | 5 | 10 | 3
Material Science: 12 | 19 | 9 | 5 | 9
Optics: 14 | 7 | 3 | 4 | 2


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