APA Format

The purpose of this research paper is to introduce you to deeper interests within astronomy by exploring different topics. By choosing one of five topics provided by the instructor, you will develop critical thinking skills through the scientific method. You will start writing your research paper in Unit II and complete it by Unit VIII. By submitting different sections of your research paper throughout the course, you will be able to build upon your work and receive constructive feedback from your professor. Your final research paper must be 4-6 pages in length (not including the title page, abstract, and reference list), and you must use a minimum of four scholarly references to support your response. APA formatting is a necessity for Your paper must have a separate page for each of the following: title page, abstract, and reference list. The expectation is to also have a running header, page numbers, indented paragraphs, proper citations, and type it in Times New Roman 12 point font/ double spaced. Below is a brief timeline for this assignment:
· Unit II: Choose research topic and submit for approval/feedback
· Unit IV: Complete Introduction and Background sections
· Unit VI: Add the Analysis and Development sections to your paper

Topic 1: Curtis and Shapley’s Debate
We now know that there are hundreds of billions of galaxies in the universe. A galaxy is an isolated bound system supported by gravity, and its members are stars, interstellar medium, and dark matter. However, the word “galaxy” was not well-defined until about 100 years ago. The galaxy’s true identity was not revealed until the early 1920s when Harlow Shapley and Heber D. Curtis debated about the scale of the universe. For this topic, you are asked to research and compare/contrast each side of the Shapley and Curtis debate. Visit the links below to get started:
http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/diamond_jubilee/debate20.html
http://cosmos.phy.tufts.edu/~zirbel/ast21/handouts/Curtis-Shapley.pdf
Topic 2: Greek Astronomy
The birth of astronomy closely followed the birth of civilization. Astronomy has intrigued our ancestors since the beginning of time. The first civilization of human beings rose nearly 12,000 years ago. Among them, Babylonian astronomy, from Mesopotamia, was especially highly developed, based upon Sumerian astronomy. Later, this Babylonian astronomy influenced Greek astronomy. Plato, Eudoxus, Aristotle, Eratosthenes, Aristarchus, Hipparchus, and Ptolemy were all AST 2200, Explorations in Astronomy 3
great philosophers, as well as astronomers. This topic asks you to examine astronomical achievements by ancient astronomers and compare them to a modern view. Visit the links below to get started:
http://galileoandeinstein.physics.virginia.edu/lectures/greek_astro.htm
http://ircamera.as.arizona.edu/NatSci102/NatSci102/lectures/greekast.htm
Topic 3: Dark Matter
If we only consider baryonic matter (ordinary matter), we cannot explain the galactic rotation curve. If all mass were concentrated in the center, the rotation curve would follow a modified version of Kepler’s 3rd law. There must be unknown mass, or dark matter, there. Here, the rotation curve is the relation between the orbital velocity of stars and radial distance. The mass of the disk of the Milky Way contains about 200 billion solar masses, as well as an additional mass in an extended halo, so the total mass should be about over one trillion solar masses. Most of the mass is not emitting any radiation: dark matter.
Candidates for dark matter DM include low-mass stars, exotic subatomic particles, gravitational lensing (a star’s light is brighter than usual by deflection) by a faint foreground object, MACHOs (dim, star-sized objects), massive neutrinos, and WIMPs (relatively massive subatomic particles). This topic asks you to research current DM candidates and propose the most plausible one. Visit the links below to get started:
http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/physics/Relativity/GR/dark_matter.html
http://science.nasa.gov/astrophysics/focus-areas/what-is-dark-energy/
http://map.gsfc.nasa.gov/index.html
Topic 4: Attack of Asteroids
Can you save the Earth from the cosmic rocks invasion? Some asteroids orbit near the Earth, and if an asteroid with a fair amount of mass should enter into Earth’s atmosphere, its effect on the Earth could be catastrophic. For example, there is a theory that an asteroid struck the Earth about 65 million years ago and caused the mass extinction of dinosaurs. This topic asks you to investiga