DANTES Final Exam Outline 

Each topic will be covered in class. 


The Science of Astronomy: An Introduction (4% - 6%)


  • The nature of science: Astronomy as the oldest of all the sciences.

  • The way scientists think and work: A brief history about famous astronomers of the past.

  • The history of early astronomy: Early discoveries and methodologies in Astronomy.


Cosmic Forces: (14% – 16%)


  • Motion: An introduction to Newton’s Law of Motion (Force= Mass x Acceleration).

  • Energy: The measure of the capacity of a physical system to do work.

  • Gravity: A natural force of attraction exerted by a celestial body on objects at or near its surface, tending to draw them toward the center of the body.

  • Relativity: General theory of relativity is a gravitation theory developed by Einstein between 1907 and 1915.


Celestial Systems: (9% - 11%)


  • The Earth and our sky: The atmosphere and the magnetic fields produced by the North and South poles.

  • The Earth and its moon: The relationship between the two bodies and their physical properties.

  • Time and the calendar: The Earth’s rotation and its movement around the sun determine how we interpret time.


The Science of Light: (9% - 11%)


  • The electromagnetic spectrum: Radiation is energy that spreads out as it travels. The various types include radio, microwaves, infrared, visible, ultra-violet, x-rays, and gamma rays.

  • Measurement and analysis of light: The speed of light in a vacuum is constant. Wavelengths indicate an object's distance based on the speed of light.


Planetary Systems: Our Solar System and Others: (14% - 16%)


  • The contents of the solar system: Our solar system is made up of the sun, eight planets, five dwarf planets, and their 174 known moons, asteroids, comets, dust, and gas.

  • How planetary systems formed and evolved: It is believed to be the result of a cloud of gas and dust in space that was disturbed, maybe by the explosion of a nearby star or supernova.

  • Exoplanets: Planets that orbit stars other than our sun living beyond our solar system.


The Sun and Stars: Nature and Evolution: (14% - 16%)


  • The Sun (Earth’s star): The closest star to the sun and the central star of our solar system.

  • Measuring stars properties: The ingredients that make up the different stars in space.

  • Birth, life, and death of stars: The life cycle of a star and the various stages they go through.


The content and structure of our Galaxy and other Galaxies (14% - 16%)


  • Our Galaxy: The Milky Way contains about 200 billion stars, but most are not visible from earth.

  • Other galaxies and galaxy clusters: There are billions of other galaxies in the Universe and all are classified as either spiral, elliptical, or irregular.

  • Cosmic Distances: Astronomical Units (AU) and Parsecs (PC) are used to measure large distances in the Universe.


The Universe: Contents, Structure, and Evolution: (9% - 11%)


  • Large-scale structure: The observable, known Universe.

  • The Big Bang: The Universe was once an extremely hot and dense state that expanded rapidly.

  • The evolution and fate of the Universe: Also known as Cosmology or the study of the beginnings and future of the Universe.


Life in the Universe: (4% - 6%)


  • The extremes of life on earth: How life survives the extreme environments of our planet.

  • Life in the solar system?: The possibility that life can survive beyond our planet.

  • Life beyond the solar system?: Panspermia is the hypothesis that life exists throughout the Universe distributed by meteoroids, asteroids, and planetoids.