Welcome to the second astronomy computer lab. Throughout the semester, we will be learning a lot about astronomy and how astronomers do their research. Astronomy is a science and the language of science is mathematics. So before we can go much further, we need to develop and use some important tools. This lab is very important to the rest of the course. 

Question: Is the number on the display to the left correct? You will be able to answer that question after completing this lab.

To learn about size and scale of the universe and its contents. The concepts that you will need to review and or learn are scientific notation, units and dimensions and significant figures. These are the tools you will need to fully appreciate and understand the scale of the universe.


  1. Use the slide show labeled "Tour" to explore the relative sizes of objects in the universe.
  3. Read the background material by clicking on the topics listed on the menu on the left side of this page. For a given topic there may be multiple pages each of which can be accessed using the navigation buttons arranged across the
    top of each page.

  4. Click on the menu item "Problems". A window should open at the bottom of your screen with the questions.
  5. Answer the questions by filling in the form fields on the computer. Hit the button labeled "Submit" when you are done. A confirmation page will appear with all your answers imbedded. Be careful not to close the problems window until you are finished and want to submit or your answers may be lost and you will have to reenter your answers.

  6. Check over the confirmation page to make sure that you are happy with your answers. If you need to change your answers go back to step 4 and re-submit. We will only grade the last form you submit.

    Good luck!