Tuesday 10 April 2018 - 09:46:43 Posted by  Bobby

The Milky Way

Milkyway1

 Our galaxy is called the Milky Way, because its appearance on a dark night reminded the ancient Greeks of spilled milk. The word "galaxy" has its root in the Greek word for milk, galactose, because astronomers knew of only one Galaxy, our own, until the 1920s. The words "Milky Way," "galaxy," and "universe" were used interchangeably back then. Even today, the "Galaxy" usually refers to the Milky Way...

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Top 10 Globular Clusters

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 These Globular Clusters are all showpieces, presented in the order of their eyepiece impression.
Unfortunately, for Northern hemisphere observers, most globular clusters reside in the southern half of the sky, including most of the finest globular clusters...

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Top 12 Open Clusters

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 A group of young stellar siblings. Born of the same molecular cloud but only loosely bound together by gravity, such clusters are fated to disperse over a period of several hundred million years. These Open Clusters are all showpieces, presented in the order of their eyepiece impression...

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 What is a Star?

Deltacorvi

 A star is a rotating sphere of plasma - hot ionized gas. After a newborn star's core is heated by gravitational contraction to 10 million°K, nuclear fusion of hydrogen and helium increases to a significant level. The thermal energy produced eventually builds up enough pressure to counteract the crushing force of gravity, & a normal star, like the Sun, settles into the longest stable period of its existence. Late in a star's life, after the hydrogen fuel in its core is depleted, and if the star has sufficient mass, the fusion of heavier elements occurs...

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 What are Nebulae?

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 Nebulae and stars are inextricably intertwined. Stars are born from collapsing molecular clouds. Then, in their old age as red giants, stars enrich their surroundings with carbon that they have created from helium fusion. Heavier elements are produced by supergiant stars when they explode as supernovae, spewing those elements into space, perhaps to form planets, with elements such as iron, silicon, and gold, when another molecular cloud collapses...

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 What is a Galaxy?

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 A galaxy is a cluster of stars, nebulae, dark matter, and other astronomical objects. Most galaxies are tens of thousands of light years in diameter, and contain billions of stars. Galaxies come in three primary shapes; Spiral Galaxies are thin disks, with spiral arms surrounding a central hub; Elliptical Galaxies are uniform, oval-shaped agglomerations; and Irregular Galaxies have little or no definite structure...

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What are Quasars?

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 Quasars are active galaxies with highly luminous nuclei. Their phenomenal luminosity somehow originates in the immediate vicinity of the supermassive black holes that they harbor. They stand out as the beacons of the cosmos...

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 Brief History in Astronomy

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 Astronomy is considered by some to be the oldest of all sciences. Since the first emergence of Homo sapiens, approximately 200,000 years ago, thousands of cultures around the world have noticed the repetitive changing cycles of celestial objects and terrestial seasons, and sought to make sense of them. It is not so difficult to understand why the heavens created, and still create, so much interest and inquiry...

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 Ancient Astronomy

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 All ancient peoples studied the sky, and gave names to the pictures they envisaged in groups of stars. Separated by vast distances and time, many cultures developed similar beliefs: The Babylonians, Greeks, Chinese, Egyptians, and others assigned god-like powers to the stars, planets, and constellations; the Babylonians and Mongols saw the Milky Way as a seam sewing together the two halves of heaven, while the Vikings, Sumerians, and some Native North Americans believed it was a bridge between the living and dead...

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 Meteor Shower List

Ursids

 Meteor Showers are generally active in the early hours of the morning, which means a late night or early rise for eager meteor observers. You need to find some place dark and away from lights. The easiest way to observe is to find somewhere to lie on your back - one of those reclining chairs or pool deck chairs are ideal - and look up. Make sure you allow time for your eyes to adapt to the dark - around 20-30 minutes.

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