This is the first of two articles in which we examine how astronomers measure distances on an astronomical scale and explore some of their most important applications to cosmology.
While every one of us knows perfectly well where their home is located in their country, city, or town, scientists are exploring the Universe to understand what's out there to improve our knowledge about what surrounds us. In order to do this, measuring the distances between our planet and the astronomical objects of our Universe is a fundamental prerequisite. Astronomers have developed a variety of tools to evaluate these data with precision. In this article we will explore some of their most important applications to cosmology.
An understanding of basic trigonometry is required, and the article makes use of the tools of parallax, redshift and standard candles from the astronomers' toolkit.