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Discussing Astronomy in regards to Philosophy

How can we talk about the evolution of stars over billions of years when human beings have been observing stars for only a few thousand years?

Some advances in our knowledge have been made possible through better equipment, such as Hubble's discoveries using the 100-inch Hooker telescope at Mount Wilson. What other major discoveries in cosmology have relied on improvements in existing apparatus?

Was the formation of Earth unique, or was it similar to the processes which created all the planets in the solar system?

The temperature of Earth's core is estimated to be > 5,000 degrees Celsius. Is the core temperature of a planet like Jupiter hotter or colder? Why? Does the distance from the Sun affect the core temperature?

How does Clyde Tombaugh's work fit into the scientific method?

Solution Preview

Most of the stars we observe in our galaxy, are at the distance of the order of a few kilo parsec. Parsec is the unit of distance, used in astronomical contexts, and it is denoted as pc. 1 pc == 3 light year; and 1 k-pc == 1000 pc. Hence, a star which is at distance of 1 kpc from the earth, the signal we receive today from it was actually emitted by the star ~3000 years ago.

When we observe another galaxy which is at a distance of a few Mpc (1Mpc == 1 mega pc == 10^6 pc), the ...

Solution Summary

Answers to a few philosophical questions related to Astronomy.

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