Support materials only that illustrate some possible contexts for exploring Science as a Human Endeavour concepts in relation to Science Understanding content.
Ballistics is the study of the flight of projectiles, especially bullets. The path of a bullet can be predicted by understanding the effects of air resistance and gravity, and determining the effect of environmental conditions. Scientists study and record the motion of bullets through use of analytical methods such as high speed video analysis and 3D computer modelling (ACSPH086). Databases have been created recording the motion of a variety of bullets from different weapons and computer matching is used to identify weapons used in crimes (ACSPH086). Forensic evidence is often used in court though, despite messages in the popular media, forensic science cannot always provide sufficient conclusive evidence to lead to convictions (ACSPH090).
Artificial satellites are used for communication, research and observation. Knowledge of orbital heights and speeds allow satellites to be best positioned for observation of weather, natural phenomena, traffic and military movements (ACSPH092). Communication via satellite is now used in GPS, satellite phones and television. Orbits and uses of satellites are classified by altitude (Low Earth, Medium Earth or High Earth) and by inclination (equatorial, polar, polar sun-synchronous). Thousands of decommissioned satellites, spent rocket stages and fragments from collisions (collectively called space debris) continue to orbit Earth, causing problems upon collision with functional satellites and posing danger upon re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere. Various strategies including active removal are in place to try to limit an increase in orbiting debris (ACSPH089).
Ptolemaic astronomy proposed a geocentric model of the solar system that used the idea of epicycles to explain planetary movement. This model was used until Copernicus proposed a heliocentric model of the solar system (ACSPH087) which was later championed by Galileo, causing conflict with the Catholic church (ACSPH088). Johannes Kepler proposed three laws of planetary motion which form the basis of our modern understanding of orbits. Newton was able to show how these laws were derived from his theory of gravitation (ACSPH087).