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University Degree: Astronomy

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  1. I am writing about a scientific book called 'The Guide To The Galaxy' by Nigel Henbest and Heather Couper

    the thirsty infant Hercules', while the North Americans thought of it as a route of ghosts on their way to the 'land of the hereafter'. The Eskimos saw it as a guide to travellers. The chapter then talks about some scientists like Galileo Galilei and his efforts in inventing the telescope, which took our knowledge of the galaxy into a whole new level. The theory of 'Universal Gravitation' by Isaac Newton and the 'New Hypothesis of the Universe' by Thomas Wright were discussed briefly. The book also mentions the work by Immanuel Kant, William Herschel, Lord Rosse and many others.

    • Word count: 1059
  2. Black Holes.

    The force of gravity then takes over and forces the matter left in the star towards one point. As the star contracts the core heats up and helium fusion takes over, and the elements created get heavier and heavier until the core is made of iron. It then is so tightly packed the protons and electrons merge to form a neutron core, which is under extremely high pressure from the outer envelopes and extreme heat. The consequence of this is a supernova, the core blows out the outer envelopes, and the result is a neutron star or a black hole.

    • Word count: 1805
  3. Is there life Elsewhere?

    The second theory states that comets hit the Earth and evaporated into water. The most logical thought is to combine both theories to explain the origin of water on our planet. However, there are conditions to have and keep this water. The water produced must have been of large quantities, mostly of liquid form and migrated to the surface. Also, it must not have been lost in space. The Earth�s gravity was able to ensure that our atmosphere would hold back the water vapor so that it does not escape us.

    • Word count: 1898
  4. Is There Any Life Elsewhere?

    The search for water is key to looking for life else where in the solar system. As it is believed that water is the main ingredient of life. When scientists say that they have discovered water elsewhere in the galaxy, they do not mean that have found seas of H2O, they mean that water is present but probably not is the situation that we know it. The findings in the above paragraph are a good example, the planets that are suspected to have water are Gas Giants. Therefore the water is probably in gaseous form mixed with Hydrogen and Helium and other gases found in the atmospheres of gas giants.

    • Word count: 1661
  5. Know caves in the United States.

    Even though it is a dead cave, it still has a lot of color inside the cave. In 1974, more than 670,000 people visited Carlsbad Caverns. Caves seem to be a natural wonder to many visitors. Caves have natural openings in the ground that lead deep into the body of the cave. These openings are called sinkholes, which are funnel-shaped structures that are the entrances to the caves. Caves remain at a constant temperature of 60 degrees all year round.

    • Word count: 1149
  6. Life on Mars.

    Data from Mars Global Surveyor indicates Mars' crust is about 80km thick in the Southern Hemisphere but it is only 35km thick in the Northern Hemisphere. Mars' low density suggests that te core is made up of large amounts of sulphur and iron. Is Water needed for life to exist? We have always been fascinated with the Red Planet, and we've wondered-in science fiction, in classrooms, in living rooms, and in laboratories-if anything lives there. Water is the key to many important scientific questions when dealing with Mars.

    • Word count: 1637
  7. Describe techniques that are currently being used to detect extrasolar planets and methods that could be used in the next decade or two to try and determine the atmospheric composition of these planets.

    As the planet orbits the star, it will pull at it from different sides. If the star is watched for a very long time, the net effect of this gravitational pull is a slight wobble in the stars position. The amplitude of the "wobble" depends on the orbital distance of the planet (ap) and the mass of the two bodies (m* and mp), as shown in the equation below: Radial Velocity = 30mpsini 0.5apm* There are two basic methods of seeing this gravitational effect: * Astrometric * Radial velocity detection Astrometric detection: as a planet orbits a star, it exerts a gravitational pull on the star.

    • Word count: 1054
  8. Black holes

    At this part of a black hole the gravity is so intense that it tugs at time and space, causing space to slow down and stretch out. Here not even light can escape this intense gravity. Any body that comes near a black hole would firstly be ripped apart by the immense gravitational force and then upon reaching the event horizon the body would never be seen again and is thought to go irreversibly towards singularity, thus become infinitely more dense.

    • Word count: 1080
  9. Black Holes and the Origin of the Universe.

    An eyesore really.) BLACK HOLES Put simply, a black hole is a region of space that has so much mass concentrated in it that there is no way for a nearby object to escape its gravitational pull, not even light. To explain this more simply, imagine earth as it is. It has a gravitational field that is strong enough to prevent us from drifting into space and holds the moon in orbit. If you throw a rock up, it will come back down because there is a gravitational pull.

    • Word count: 1532
  10. What is a black hole? What is the evidence that black holes actually exist, and where in the Universe do we find evidence of their existence?

    Smaller stars which are not large enough become dense neutron stars. These stars are unable to create gravitation fields to trap light because they are not large enough. Because there is no outward force that acts to repel these overwhelming gravitational forces, the remnant collapses on itself. This directly results in stage where the star reaches a null volume and infinite density, a singularity is also produced, which is just when the quantity used to measure gravitational fields becomes infinite.

    • Word count: 1751

"To confine our attention to terrestrial matters would be to limit the human spirit."

- Stephen Hawking

If you are fascinated by the universe that engulfs our blue-green spheroid, and you sometimes find yourself daydreaming about the Oort Cloud, then a university degree in astronomy could be a perfect fit for you. You can study astronomy on its own, in combination with another subject like physics, or as part of an astrophysics course.

In astronomy as with all of the physical sciences, good written communication skills will enhance your marks. If you need a bit of help, consult Marked by Teachers collection of student-submitted astronomy and physics essays. Studying from real marked examples will give you all the tools you need to criticise and edit your own work: before long, your writing will be almost as brilliant as an ancient quasar.

Students of astronomy can expect to stay in the field by means of teaching and research, or to pursue careers in other areas, including finance, computing and marketing.


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