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Facts for school project

  1. Nov 19, 2014 #1
    Hello people!! ,
    I got to do a school project and i chose to find information about galaxies and stars...i found interesting because i never studied about them..and i thought it was time to learn some things..at first i was about to choose the topic about black holes but i thought it would be too complicated to present..What i wanted from you would be to write above some cool facts and interesting facts about galaxies and stars mostly, in order to collect them ( and find of course more stuff on my own and create a presentation in Power Point) (videos are helpful source too)

    thanks in advance
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 19, 2014 #2


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    You need to do some research on your own and come here if you have specific questions. The internet is FULL of facts about such things. Part of the POINT of school projects like this is to force you to learn how to do research. Circumventing that by asking people here to do it for you is not helpful to you in the long run.

    You say you are going to do more stuff on your own. Good. Do that and them come back and say what you've learned and you're more likely to get help here.
  4. Nov 19, 2014 #3
  5. Nov 19, 2014 #4
    thanks..both of you phinds you are right ;)
  6. Nov 19, 2014 #5


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    Hey! UVCatastrophe beat me to it with an excellent suggestion! That "carma" university of maryland website seems like a very good place to start.
    Just some comments: Maybe it's good to consider researching several different topics before you decide what to present, and to sample some WIKIPEDIA articles on them. Don't need to spend a lot of time, but get a taste of this and that different topics. The "carma" website lists some examples of topics. I will mention some others.

    One possible topic to research is SUPERNOVAS, what we can learn from them.
    Wikipedia must surely have some immediately accessible facts about supernovas.
    It is interesting that there are several different TYPES. There is an interesting type called "Type 1A" which occurs only when you have a double star where one of the two is small old and has run out of fuel and the other one is becoming a red giant star and expanding and slowly shedding its outer layer of gas. All Type 1A explosions have the same brightness. So they can be used to judge distances to other galaxies (wherever they occur).

    Maybe that is too complicated for you, but if you look up Supernovae in Wikipedia you might learn some other stuff you can present.

    Another possible topic is how astronomers judge distance. It is very important for them to be able to estimate distances.
    One way they do it is with Supernovae Type 1A, as I said.
    But another way is by a very special type of star called a CEPHEID VARIABLE which gets brighter and dimmer and brighter and dimmer at a regular rhythm over days and weeks. The rhythm of varying brightness correlates with the overall brightness. So you can tell how bright the star actually is. And that lets you estimate its distance (by comparing how bright it looks with how bright you know it actually is)
    You can probably look up "cepheid variable" on WikiP. And you can probably look up "astronomical distance scale" on WikiP, or something like that.

    Another possible topic is COSMIC MICROWAVE BACKGROUND. This is the most ancient light we can see and it comes from a time when there was just hot gas, and before any stars had formed. So you would need to ask your teacher if you can report on the CMB even though it is not exactly a "stars and galaxies" topic. It is BEFORE stars and galaxies. But it is very important. You can look it up in Wikipedia. There is an oval TEMPERATURE MAP.
    The CMB is nearly the same temperature in all directions, and it comes from all directions in the sky. The light has been traveling almost the whole age of the universe to get to us. The map shows the tiny fraction of a percent temperature differences. Some directions in the sky the ancient light is a tiny bit warmer or cooler. This makes a pretty map, and people can learn about ancient times by studying the map.

    So I would suggest that you do some preliminary research and look up several different topics in Wikipedia and get a taste of them and see what interests you that you can understand well enough to talk to the others about.
    I suggested 3 topics (none of them might be right for you) just as examples: supernovas, the distance scale e.g. Cepheid variable stars, and the CMB.
    If you don't like any of those you could find many other topics. Like "different sizes and shapes of galaxies". that would let you put many photographs in your PowerPoint slide show. Or "the coming collision of Andromeda galaxy with our Milky Way galaxy"---there are computer animation videos of what can happen when two galaxies collide, the stars do not necessarily bump but the spiral structure of both galaxies can get disrupted and some spiral arms fly off etc etc. That would let you put videos in your PowerPoint. Or "structure formation", how galaxies condense out of clouds of gas. there are also some videos of computer simulations of that. But they might be hard to find.
    Don't spend too much time sampling different topics. Pick something where the source material is readily accessible and start putting the slideshow together. It is a lot of work to make a presentation.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2014
  7. Nov 20, 2014 #6
    thank you so much...your advice is really really helpful!!!
  8. Nov 20, 2014 #7
    UVcatastrophe this site is so cool ! :P
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