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Gcse astronomy coursework shadow stick

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This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. Sign me up!! Create a free website or blog at WordPress. Observe and make detailed drawings of three different constellations, recording dates, times, seeing and weather conditions and noting colours if possible and magnitudes by comparison with reference stars. Observe a meteor shower.

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It takes 25 days to complete one full turn at the equator where gravity is stronger , but 36 days at the poles. Those near the equator return quicker. Timing the disappearance and reappearance of all sunspots reveals a complex rotational pattern.

New ‘controlled assessment’ structure for GCSE Astronomy

What exactly are sunspots? The above images show projected examples. Even the smaller ones tend to be miles across. Are sunspots permanent features of the Sun? Individual sunspots last from a few days to several weeks. At the same time, sunspots follow an overall trend known as the solar cycle , in which the number of sunspots increases to a maximum every 11 years. The cycle then restarts, with the number first falling to a comparative minimum, then building to a new maximum.

Centuries of observation have confirmed the validity of this year cycle. Take a look. Each check represents a sunspot. Time is measured in years. The further along you go, the later in time it gets. Then, over the next 11 years, the pairs drift closer — almost meeting at the equator before the cycle resets. About midway through each cycle 5.

This is the maximum point. The minimum coincides with the start of a cycle. As you see, once the maximum point is passed, the number of sunspots declines. However, a simplified diagram will suffice at GCSE. Knowledge of the principles, and the ability to deduce facts from data, is what counts. You could also be asked to examine a graph like the one below, in order to predict e. Simple graphs and butterfly diagrams make this cycle more apparent.

Every such reaction involves a release of energy; hence, the heat and light we get from the Sun is energy released in nuclear fusion reactions. More precisely, the core has a temperature of 15 million Kelvin.

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GCSE Astronomy Revision Notes

This extreme heat causes atoms of hydrogen within the core to whizz around… fast! So fast, in fact, that they cannot resist slamming together to form entirely new atoms. The next point is subtle, but could make the difference between getting the marks or not. In the exam, avoid confusing nuclear fusion the merging of nuclei with general atomic bonding.

Help with GCSE Physics and Astronomy

A proton is a positively charged particle. By contrast, a helium atom has two protons in its nucleus. Therefore, whenever two hydrogen nuclei fuse, their protons are added together to give us a helium nucleus with two protons inside. This combining of protons is known as the proton-to-proton chain.

What is the solar wind? The corona is made of charged particles — e. These particles are flying away from the Sun in all directions. After leaving the corona, they continue to hurtle through space at speeds between kilometres per second.

What are the aurorae? The video below shows the aurorae in action, with their dazzling display of colours. How are the aurorae caused? Since different elements in our atmosphere emit light at different wavelengths, our eyes detect different colours; chiefly green, yellow and red. Why do the Moon and Sun appear to be the same size from Earth?

Still, it should be stressed that this is an apparent similarity, owing to our unique perspective. In truth, the Sun is far bigger! As a result, we observe almost identical angular sizes — so one body can completely cover the other. During a partial eclipse, the Sun looks to be missing a piece — as though a bite were taken from it. A solar eclipse is caused by the Moon in its New Moon phase passing directly in front of the Sun from your perspective on Earth.

Coursework Requirements | Helen's Guide To The Galaxy

Lunar eclipses do not occur at every Full Moon, for the same reason that solar eclipses do not occur at every New Moon. Hence, lunar eclipses occur more frequently.

Astronomy GCSE - Stellar Distances

Do solar and lunar eclipses always last the same amount of time? By contrast, totality in a total lunar eclipse may last from 30 to 90 minutes. The Sun may be partially eclipsed for up to two hours. The Moon may be partially eclipsed for up to three-and-a-half hours. Both solar and lunar eclipses can be determined years in advance, almost down to the moment they occur. Earth spins from west to east, or anti-clockwise if viewed above the North Pole, taking 23 hours and 56 minutes to go all the way round.

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Earth also lies tilted on its axis by What is a sidereal day? Why is a solar day longer than a sidereal day? A similar rule governs the apparent movement of the Sun across our sky. Due to our orbit around the Sun, it takes an extra four minutes each day for the Sun to reach its highest point noon. A solar day is noon to noon, just as a synodic month is New Moon to New Moon.