Light and Astronomy

In an article, called “Light and Astronomy” by Carolyn Collins Petersen published on perfectly explains our conceptual objective #7 on how astronomers use light to determine the chemical composition, the speed and direction of an astronomical object’s motion. The article begins with going over the basics of light by describing the properties of light such as the luminosity, brightness, intensity, wavelength, and polarization.  Furthermore, the article goes into depth about lights electromagnetic spectrum also known as EMS. These properties consist of radio waves, microwaves, infrared, visual, ultraviolet, x-ray’s, and gamma rays. It then continues how we see objects in space because light is reflected off of objects like were able to see the moon because light from the sun is reflected off of it. Next, the article talks about how we can study planets and objects in space with the light they reflect in all wavelengths and frequencies. They give an example by this on how the Sun and Jupiter produce out radio frequencies and astronomers take this data in to figure out the planets or objects temperature, velocities, pressures, and magnetic fields. The article goes into further detailing how each wavelength and frequency is able to determine things in space. Lastly, the article talks about how scientists have different types of detectors in order, to study these forms of light to get more accurate information. For example, there is optical and infrared observatories on Earth to get information on the light coming in. To conclude, the article talks about how these wavelengths and frequencies are just not used in astronomy but also other types of science’s.

This article connects with our lectured-tutorials, I-clicker questions, notes, and discussions because it goes into depth of all the frequencies and wavelengths of light to determine the speed, chemical composition, and direct of an astronomical objects motion. The article talks about the Electromagnetic system and on how light is reflected on planets from the sun to gather data. Also, both the article and class discussions both go into detail on how each frequency of light is being used and how they determine this information. Lastly, they both talk about there is different types of observatories just on the frequencies of light.

Due, to the class discussions, I-clicker questions, lectured-tutorials, and this article about Light and Astronomy. I have now gathered a further complete understanding on how light is able to determine the chemical composition, the speed and direction of an astronomical object’s motion.


Jacob Ybarra.


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