Northeastern Illinois University Astronomy and Astrology Discussion Questions

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Northeastern Illinois University

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1. Why do you think astrology remains so popular around the world even though it has failed all scientific tests of its validity? Do you think the popularity of astrology has any positive or negative social consequences? Defend your opinions.


2. Learn about CT scans or other technologies for medical imaging of the human body. How do they work? How are such technologies similar to those used by astronomers to learn about the universe?

3. Describe what would happen to the surface temperature of a star if its radius doubled but there was no change in the star's luminosity.

4. Historical accounts describe supernovae in the years 1006, 1054, and 1604. Choose one of these supernovae and learn more about historical records of the event. Did the supernova influence human history in any way? Write a summary of your findings

5. One hundred years ago, many scientists believed that the universe was infinite and eternal, with no beginning and no end. When Einstein first developed his general theory of relativity he found that it predicted that the universe should be either expanding or contracting. He believed so strongly in an eternal and unchanging universe that he modified the theory, a modification he was said to have called his "greatest blunder." Why do you think Einstein and others believed the universe had no beginning? Do you think that a universe with a definite beginning in time has any important philosophical implications? Explain.

6. How convincing do you find the evidence for the Big Bang theory? What are its strengths? What does it fail to explain? Do you think the Big Bang really happened? Defend your opinion.

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1. Why do you think astrology remains so popular around the world even though it has failed all
scientific tests of its validity? Do you think the popularity of astrology has any positive or negative
social consequences? Defend your opinions.

Despite its detachment to science, astrology holds descriptive analyses that are
coincidingly accurate to people’s undertakings, making it one of the most enduring human beliefs.
Astrology offers the people a set of varied approaches towards its meaning; it links us with the
cosmos and the totality of things, it proffers baseline means of describing ourselves, and even a
non-threatening form of therapy with the astrologer. Out of a reading, we get emotional comfort,
spiritual support, and interesting points for self-reflection – making us feel good about ourselves
and hence, making us want to do it again. It has both positive and negative effects on society, but
the effect is manageable given there is moderation. Astrology offers insights on shared and
universal aspects of the human experience, giving us ideas on how to go about our daily lives and
what to expect and what to avoid; it can become a guide of sorts. However, it could easily become
a fraudulent activity when the astrologers only say what you want to hear for money. Moreover,
people might tend to relate and/or refer to it too far, making it the sole factor of decision-making
instead of acting as a guide. Thus, the people shall observe moderation and perceive integrity as
well as validity, especially since astrology has been commercially abused nowadays.

2. Learn about CT scans or other technologies for medical imaging of the human body. How do
they work? How are such technologies similar to those used by astronomers to learn about the
universe?

Medical x-rays...


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