Understanding the Universe - An Introduction to Astronomy, 2nd Edition - Series 1 - Part 1

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Science Documentary hosted by Alex Filippenko, published by The Teaching Company in 2007 - English narration

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Image: Understanding-the-Universe-An-Introduction-to-Astronomy-2nd-Edition-Series-1-Part-1-Cover.jpg

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Understanding the Universe: An Introduction to Astronomy, 2nd Edition is a nontechnical description of where that picture stands today. In 96 richly illustrated half-hour lectures, you will survey the main concepts, methods, and discoveries in astronomy—in-depth—from the constellations drawn by the ancients, to the latest reports from planetary probes in the Solar System, to the most recent images offered by telescopes probing the farthest frontiers of space and time. These lectures fully update Professor Alex Filippenko's 1998 edition of this course and his companion course from 2003. All of the material in this course is integrated so that one topic builds on another as you develop the conceptual tools that allow you to explore the Universe. For example, the study of the Solar System leads naturally to the investigation of planets around other stars and the possibility of life elsewhere in the cosmos. Likewise, rainbows and similar atmospheric phenomena introduce the subject of light, and light is the key to unraveling the mysteries of stars and galaxies. Dr. Filippenko uses thousands of diagrams and photographs. There are almost 300 short movies and computer animations that make astronomical phenomena easier to understand, and they put planets, stars, and galaxies into context as you zoom through the cosmos. A showman in the classroom, Dr. Filippenko delights in simple, easily reproducible demonstrations that use tennis balls, apples, paper plates, and other objects to explain scientific concepts. Furthermore, he has a gift for analogies: at one point, he makes the energy content of one erg vivid by comparing it to one fly doing one push-up! Altogether, this course is an unrivalled opportunity to experience a full-year introductory college course on astronomy, delivered by a five-time winner of "Best Professor" on campus at the University of California, Berkeley, who himself is a leading participant in some of the groundbreaking discoveries at the forefront of the field. Professor Filippenko is both a world-class teacher and researcher: In 2006 he was named one of four national Professors of the Year by The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and in 1998 his international team of astronomers was credited with the top "science breakthrough of the year" for their amazing discovery that the expansion of the Universe is speeding up—a finding that is now shaking the foundations of physics. Observing the Heavens 1. A Grand Tour of the Cosmos You embark on a fantastic voyage throughout the Universe, starting in this lecture with a whirlwind tour of the course, which extends from phenomena in Earth's atmosphere to events at the farthest reaches of space and time. 2. The Rainbow Connection The daytime sky contains intriguing natural sights that offer a colorful introduction to astronomy. One such phenomenon is the rainbow. This lecture examines how a rainbow is created and how it appears under different circumstances. 3. Sunrise, Sunset Continuing the study of the daytime sky, this lecture examines phenomena associated with sunrise and sunset, including the elusive green flash, Buddha's rays, and Earth's own shadow at sunset. 4. Bright Objects in the Night Sky Many objects in the night sky can be enjoyed with the naked eye, even from the city. These include several famous constellations, bright stars, planets, and satellites such as the International Space Station. 5. Fainter Phenomena in the Night Sky Far from city lights, the night sky becomes spectacular and includes such sights as the Milky Way, the Magellanic Clouds, zodiacal light, and comets. Though not technically "celestial," auroras are also wondrous spectacles. 6. Our Sky through Binoculars and Telescopes A relatively inexpensive telescope and even a simple pair of binoculars greatly increase the number of celestial objects you can study, such as the craters on the Moon, the Orion Nebula, and the Andromeda Galaxy. 7. The Celestial Sphere As Earth rotates on its axis and orbits the Sun, the night sky changes over a 24-hour period, as well as throughout the year. This lecture explains how to locate celestial bodies and why the sky appears different from place to place. 8. The Reason for the Seasons Contrary to popular belief, the seasons are not caused by changes in the distance between Earth and the Sun over the course of a year. Instead, the tilt of Earth's axis of spin relative to the axis of its orbital plane produces seasons. 9. Lunar Phases and Eerie Lunar Eclipses Lunar phases occur as the Moon orbits Earth, changing the viewing perspective of the Moon's illuminated hemisphere. Lunar eclipses take place when Earth, the Sun, and Moon are almost exactly aligned. 10. Glorious Total Solar Eclipses Total solar eclipses are stunning celestial sights, which occur when the Moon comes between Earth and the Sun, totally blocking the Sun for a small portion of the Earth. These rare events reveal beautiful and thrilling phenomena. 11. More Eclipse Tales Solar eclipses also come in annular and hybrid varieties, reflecting the varying distance of the Moon from Earth. A famous total solar eclipse in 1919 provided observational evidence for Einstein's general theory of relativity. 12. Early Studies of the Solar System Astronomy has its roots in the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia, Babylon, India, Egypt, and China. The Greeks in particular developed sophisticated and sometimes surprisingly accurate theories of the nature of the heavens. 13. The Geocentric Universe The Greek philosopher Aristotle concluded that Earth is stationary at the center of the Universe, surrounded by 55 nested spheres. Ptolemy elaborated this geocentric model into a system that held sway for nearly 1,500 years. 14. Galileo and the Copernican Revolution In 1543, Copernicus proposed a heliocentric system, in which Earth and other planets orbit the Sun, which is at the center of the Universe. In the early 1600s Galileo provided strong evidence for this model with the newly invented telescope. 15. Refinements to the Heliocentric Model This lecture explores the refinements in the Copernican model made possible by Tycho's extremely accurate measurements of planetary positions, which were analyzed by Kepler to produce his laws of planetary motion. 16. On the Shoulders of Giants According to legend, Newton saw a falling apple and realized that the force that pulled it toward Earth also pulled on the Moon, keeping it in its orbit. Building on the work of Kepler and Galileo, he revolutionized astronomy with his law of universal gravitation and laws of motion. 17. Surveying Space and Time Observations of the transit of Venus across the face of the Sun in the 18th century helped determine the scale of the Solar System. In the wider Universe, distances are so vast that the finite speed of light means we are literally looking back in time. 18. Scale Models of the Universe The best way to understand the size of the Universe is to investigate it in a series of steps, each 10 times larger or smaller than the one preceding. In this way, you explore the cosmos from the smallest to the largest scale. 19. Light - The Supreme Informant Astronomers obtain most of their information through the analysis of light. This lecture introduces the electromagnetic spectrum and the technique of spectroscopy, in which light is dispersed into its component colors, as in a rainbow. 20. The Wave-Particle Duality of Light Delving deeper into the nature of light, you explore the strange duality between electromagnetic waves (light waves) and particles (photons), which is a fundamental feature of quantum theory.

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  • Duration per episode: ~30mn
  • File size per part: 114 MB
  • Container: AVI
  • Width: ~496 pixels
  • Height: ~378 pixels
  • Display aspect ratio: 4:3
  • Overall bit rate: ~520 kbps
  • Frame rate: 29.970 fps
  • Audio Codec: MP3
  • Channel(s): 2 channels
  • Sampling rate: 48.0 KHz
  • Credit goes to: anonymous

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Understanding.the.Universe.Series.1.Part.1.01of20.A.Grand.Tour.of.the.Cosmos.DVD.XviD.MP3.MVGroup.Forum.avi (114.45 Mb)
Understanding.the.Universe.Series.1.Part.1.02of20.The.Rainbow.Connection.DVD.XviD.MP3.MVGroup.Forum.avi (114.59 Mb)
Understanding.the.Universe.Series.1.Part.1.03of20.Sunrise.Sunset.DVD.XviD.MP3.MVGroup.Forum.avi (114.50 Mb)
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Understanding.the.Universe.Series.1.Part.1.05of20.Fainter.Phenomena.in.the.Night.Sky.DVD.XviD.MP3.MVGroup.Forum.avi (114.45 Mb)
Understanding.the.Universe.Series.1.Part.1.06of20.Our.Sky.through.Binoculars.and.Telescopes.DVD.XviD.MP3.MVGroup.Forum.avi (114.40 Mb)
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Understanding.the.Universe.Series.1.Part.1.10of20.Glorious.Total.Solar.Eclipses.DVD.XviD.MP3.MVGroup.Forum.avi (114.40 Mb)
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