Final Assessment

To begin this final assessment, I will explain why objective two, “I can explain how planets have seasons”, and objective five, “I can apply Kepler’s laws of planetary motion”, were two of my favorite blog posts this semester. Before objective two, it has never occurred to me how planets could have seasons or how this process works. We discussed how although many people believe that the distance between our Earth and sun is the reason for seasons, it is actually the Earth’s tilted axis that causes the sunlight to shine on Earth at different times of the year. The article I had chosen for this conceptual objective called, “Switching of Seasons”, helped me to have a better understanding of why this is so. I discovered that the article simply stated that the tilt of the axis is always facing in the same direction while the Earth rotates around the sun, having a tilted axis of 23.5 degrees. Simplistically enough, when the Earth is on one side of the sun, the Northern Hemisphere has the sun beaming directly on it, opposed to the Southern Hemisphere and vice versa. This objective was one of my favorites because it helped me to have a better and more understanding way of why some parts of our world experience different temperatures at different times. Before this, I never really thought too much into this theory and I found it to be one of the most enjoyable, as well as easy, to learn. Although this objective was one of the first few that we did a while ago, it is still very pleasing to know this information and can describe in detail why and how planets have seasons to someone outside of this class and to me that is what doing these blog posts was all about. My second favorite blog post that I did was conceptual objective five because it was satisfying to apply Kepler’s laws of planetary motion to a new and important discovery that was made at the time. While I was in high school, I remember taking science classes that have brought up and briefly discussed Kepler’s laws, but I never fully understood these laws, let alone be able to apply them to a scientific discovery, until this astronomy class. To help me have a better understanding of this and apply the laws sufficiently, the article I found called, “Seven Earth-sized planets orbit nearby supercool star”, explained the following known as Trappist -1. The article explained how long each individual planet takes to orbit the star, its distance from the star, as well as their relative mass to Earth. Each planet was identified as, “B, C, D, E, F, G, and H”, having B being the closest to the star and H being the farthest. This information from this article allowed me to apply Kepler’s laws of planetary motion accordingly. For example, Trappist -1b is closer to the coolstar, which is interpreted as the “sun”, and has a distance and orbital period opposed to the planets farther away from the star. First off, this article and discovery made of these seven planets was one of my favorite and most intriguing articles that I have used for any blog post because not only was discovery one of the first and most important in our history so far, but I was also able to apply the laws and gain a better understanding of the material. At first, the discussion of Kepler’s laws was challenging to me just from hearing a lecture about them in class, but after doing a blog post on it myself I felt a lot more confident in the objective. This is so interesting to me and one of my favorite blog posts because of this and earning a five out of five, including a “nice work!”, made me feel self-assured that I was right on track with my understandings of my blogs. I would recommend that future Astronomy 101 classes continue to do a class blog, because I honestly felt they were a lot easier and a lot more informative, rather than if this class decided to do quizzes or tests. Going home and finding real and up to date articles that would help relate to what we learned in class, as well as researching more on my own from the book, benefitted me in ways that no other class has let me do. I would 100% recommend the class blog posts and also for others to take this Astronomy 101 class because even though I was nervous and hesitant about taking the class beforehand, it has taught me objectives that I would have never thought so much about in detail and actually have a reliable explanation for why things in our universe/ galaxy. This Astronomy 101 class has made me gain so much knowledge, as well as to “keep looking up!”.


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