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Introduction to Astrophysics

Lecture 3: Our Solar System and the Pluto Problem

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Lecture Details :

Class begins with a review of the first problem set. Newton's Third Law is applied in explaining how exoplanets are found. An overview of the Solar System is given; each planet is presented individually and its special features are highlighted. Astronomy is discussed as an observational science, and the subject of how to categorize objects in the Solar System is addressed. The Pluto controversy is given special attention and both sides of the argument regarding its status are considered.

Course Description :

Contents:
Planetary Orbits - Our Solar System and the Pluto Problem - Discovering Exoplanets: Hot Jupiters - Planetary Transits - Microlensing, Astrometry and Other Methods - Direct Imaging of Exoplanets - Introduction to Black Holes - Special and General Relativity - Tests of Relativity - Special and General Relativity - Stellar Mass Black Holes - Pulsars - Supermassive Black Holes - Hubbles Law and the Big Bang - Omega and the End of the Universe - Dark Matter - Dark Energy and the Accelerating Universe and the Big Rip - Supernovae - Other Constraints: The Cosmic Microwave Background - The Multiverse and Theories of Everything

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