Unit 1 : Activity 1 : Sunrise, Sunset, Star-rise, Star-set : Crescent Venus : The Wanderers in our Sky : Unit Exam









Unit 1: Known to the Ancients

Some of the things you may have observed in doing Activity 1 are presented in this unit but only as observable facts that ancient astronomers would have known. In later units you'll see how we can understand these motions using a couple of ideas from physics and a little geometry. There have been other interpretations for these astronomical observations, such as "the gods are moving about in the heavens," but those belong in courses in human history, anthropology, literature, or mythology. Those are also fine areas of study, but they do not fall within the bounds of this course.

This unit is designed to follow Activity 1, in which you observe some of the paths followed by objects in the sky over the course of a year. In that activity, you are asked to ponder questions raised by these observations. Unit 1 answers some of these questions. You should complete Activity 1 before working on this unit. If you read this unit before doing the activity, the material may not be as clear. We have carefully designed the order of activities and units to cultivate your ability to notice and analyze unexpected phenomena. The sub-units contained within this unit are also designed to be worked through in order. At the end, there is a link to a quiz that covers all the sub-units.