Astronomy Of The Universe Lab

Classical vs. Cosmological Redshift LAB

Astronomy Of The Universe Lab

For this lab, you’ll use the following lab write-up as a template. Record

your answers to each question and activity this document, and upload

as a .doc or .pdf document to the following module item for grading:

“Classical vs. Cosmological Redshift Lab Submission”

1) Write a paragraph or two summarizing what you learned from the

background information. Include anything you found interesting,

and propose how you think this information would be helpful in

astronomy and astrophysics.

2) Consider the following formula:

Here z is the redshift and the lambdas represent the observed and

emitted wavelengths for the light in consideration. What does a

redshift of zero mean? What does a redshift of one mean? How

many times longer is the observed wavelength than the emitted

wavelength if the redshift is seven?

3) Consider the following link:

The lookback time tells us how long the light has taken to reach

us. Why is this not equal to the current distance to the galaxy?

In order to calculate the current distance to the galaxy, several

assumptions about the Universe must be made. How fast is the

Universe expanding? Has it always been expanding at this rate?

These are questions beyond the scope of this lab.

4) In astrophysics we assume that there is no preferred spot in the

Universe and that the laws of physics are the same everywhere in

the Universe. As a result, we would expect objects to be moving

randomly throughout space.

Let’s assume that all of the galactic motion in the Universe is

classical in nature. What would we expect to see as far as redshift

and blueshift are concerned? Would this change in any significant

way with distance? Why or why not?

Now assume that all of the galactic motion in the Universe is

cosmological in nature. What would we expect to see as far as

redshift and blueshift are concerned? Would this change in any

significant way with distance? Why or why not?

5) In reality the galactic motion in the Universe is a mixture of the

two. Consider looking at galaxies with several different redshift

values. Consider the following two cases:

a. Classical motion dominates over cosmological motion. The

magnitude of the random velocity is greater than the

magnitude of the recessional velocity. Now what would we

expect to see as far as redshift and blueshift are concerned?

Would this change in any significant way with distance? Why

or why not?

b. Again repeat, but now assume that cosmological motion

dominates over classical motion. The magnitude of the

recessional velocity is greater than the magnitude of the

random velocity.

6) Consider that light was emitted from a galaxy with a wavelength

of 2.50 * 10

-10

meters. What would be the observed wavelength

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