Category Archives: Astronomy

Learn Some More About Astronomy

Gazing at the sky in the night and wondering at its expanse is what astronomers have been doing since thousands of years. But even now there are a few aspects of the universe that are beyond the imagination of the human brain. The more we tend to plunge deep into the secrets of astronomy, the more confused we get at the amazing ness of it. The celestial world which seems so quiet and gorgeous holds a rage inside and is full of multitudes of truths which we do not know or assume wrong. Checkout the few of these interesting and amazing facts.

It may appear very surprising to you, but it is impossible to see everything around you? According to studies, we are able to observe just 5% of matter that surrounds us. The rest is invisible and is known as the dark matter. This holds true for high cholesterol levels too. They’re present in the body but are unidentifiable unless you go through a cholesterol screening test.

We know that Sun is the prime spring of energy of our planet. But, we are absolutely unaware of the fact that its core generates energy in great quantities every second which is equal to the energy of billions of nuclear bombs combined.

It is quite expected that the planet Mercury, being the nearest to the sun must have rising temperatures. However, quite surprisingly, the temperature of this planet could conveniently drop down to -280 degrees F. Such a drastic fall in temperature can be attributed to the fact that Mercury lacks atmosphere, which makes it impossible for the planet to trap any heat as coming from the sun. No wonder the face of this planet away from sun is colder.

On the contrary the planet Venus is comparatively hotter despite being distant from sun. Cause of the same being, the thick layer of atmosphere around Venus helps trap the heat from the sun, helping to raise the temperature significantly.

Quite surprisingly, the popular invention of telescope by Galileo Galilee might be somebody else s creation. Many researches have suggested that the actual inventor of telescope is Johannes Lippershey, a Dutch eyeglass maker by profession. Galileo was in fact the 1st one to use telescope. This device was invented to get a far better view of celestial objects like moon.

Not many are aware of the fact that the shooting stars are just basic dirt particles. Comets tend to leave a cluster of dust behind when they pass through the atmosphere of the earth. These particles in turn get heated up, when passing through the atmosphere. This results in streak of light which takes shape of a shooting star.

These are just some lesser known facts about the universe. Astronomy is in fact replete with such unknown facts that could amuse the mankind to no ends.

Kids Telescopes Help Your Child To Develop An Interest In Astronomy

One of the best ways of giving a boost to your childs interest in astronomy is to get a kids telescope for him/her. If you see your child interested in observing the sky you could think of a reflector or refractor telescope as a gift.

A telescope is an instrument that collects electromagnetic radiation such as visible light for aiding observation of remote objects. The earliest telescopes were refractive telescopes and the first practical telescope appeared in Netherlands in 1608. It was Galileo, an Italian astronomer and mathematician, who improved the original design in the next year and used it to have a peek into and observe the Universe. It is also possible to use two or more telescopes together to get a better image of remote objects. There has been no looking back since then and telescopes that use various technologies for a better and sharper of view of the skies.

Before the telescope was invented people had all sorts of funny ideas about our Universe. They thought that the Earth was placed inside a glass ball and the stars were just holes or windows that allowed light from the heavens to pass. All that changed when Galileo had the first look at the stars through a homemade telescope. What he saw changed our perception of the Universe and all thanks to a small homemade telescope.

Galileo was able to establish that all stars were not at the same distance to us; some were near while others far from the Earth. He also discovered that unlike the earth, the Jupiter had many moons. Galileos discoveries opened the doors for people interested in knowing more about the stars around us and since then we have built telescopes that are not only bigger but also better. Some of the best known manufacturers are Meade and Celestron that make different types of telescopes including kids telescopes.

A telescope inspires children and helps them reach their true potential in a much better way than leisure time articles. A picture they say is worth a thousand words. That is exactly why educational programs on TV are considered to be a better way of helping a child to learn new things. Even better is to give your child a firsthand introduction of the craters of the moon or let him/her have a glimpse of the galaxy Andromeda and see the difference it makes. Astronomy for kids can be fun, rewarding and educational.

There are innumerable models and designs and lots of things to consider before you buy a telescope for your kid. The right thing would be to read some telescope reviews before you decide. Cost may a deciding factor because technology does not come cheap. What you could do is to start with Meade Telescopes and Celestron Telescopes for beginners that can be had for less than $300. Once you see your childs interest develop you can then move on to more sophisticated and advanced models.

Look Toward The Stars With An Astronomy Blog

Astronomy has fascinated many people throughout the ages. The mysteries that lie beyond Earth still to this day have captured the interest of amateur and professional astronomers alike. Since the invention of the telescope, people have turned their gaze towards the heavens to take in the many wondrous sights that it provides. If you are one of those who love astronomy and want to share your interests and experiences with others, than starting an astronomy themed blog will give you that opportunity.

With so many different things to see and enjoy in the heavens, there is never a moment where there is nothing to write about or share with others on your blog. Astronomical events occur nearly daily and there are even some that only happen once every few years. Some events can only be seen in a certain hemisphere of Earth. Keeping others who have an interest in astronomy informed about upcoming astronomical events is just one idea for providing content to your astronomy blog.

New discoveries of stars and planets in the vast expanse of space are made by scientist and astronomers on a fairly regular basis. Some of these discoveries are made through the use of telescopes that are far more sophisticated than the telescopes that amateurs can purchase for home use but the discoveries are well worth talking about. These new discoveries provide a perfect opportunity to share content about your ideas, opinions, or hypotheses about the newly discovered heavenly bodies.

The expanse of space that the amateur astronomer can typically see with a home telescope is quite large depending on the type of telescope he or she owns. Providing amateur astronomers information and reviews on different telescopes is another great idea for content to be posted to your astronomy blog. Many amateur astronomers do not know what the best telescope is but, you can help them make an informed buying decision based on the information you provide to them on your blog.

People with an interest in astronomy do not necessarily need to have a telescope to enjoy astronomy and what the sky has to offer. Many people choose to simply be star gazers. Star gazers often look towards the sky and take in what they can see with the naked eye. They often take the time to locate and identify the star constellations or even gaze up in the hopes of seeing a shooting star flash across the night sky. Since the constellations move with the seasons, providing information on where to locate constellations on your blog can appease star gazers.

Astronomy is fun and exciting and can be a worthwhile hobby. Starting an astronomy blog and sharing your discoveries and other pertinent information about astronomy can certainly gain the interest of would be readers and encourage them to take up astronomy. With so many things to see and different astronomical events that occur in the heavens, you can consistently provide fresh content to your blog to keep readers interested.

How To Beat The Winter Blues With Winter Astronomy

Why do some folks dislike the winter time with such a hatred? Is it the snow, the cold, the slippery sidewalks, or is it something else they truly hate, and that is getting the winter blues because they always think there’s nothing to do. I have always loved the winter time, from when I was a kid to my present age, I don’t care much for the cost of the rising heat bill each year, but as far as the beauty of the winter scenery, I think it’s wonderful, truly a gift from God.

How many times have you been outside on a cold, crisp, clear winter night and looked up to the heavens. The one thing that stands out in the winter over the summer months is, the sky becomes much clearer and the visibility of the stars and other celestial objects increases dramatically. The winter time is the best time of the year to pick up an exciting hobby like Astronomy or Star Gazing as it’s often called.

Astronomy is a hobby that has become very affordable and can be enjoyed by anyone that has a nice unobstructed view of the nighttime winter sky. If you live in the heart of a major city that has a lot of bright lights, you will probably not be able to enjoy astronomy, as much as someone who lives in a small town, or the country. To get started in astronomy you should pick up a couple books on astronomy for beginners. The books will show and tell you what incredible heavenly objects you can see, and the size or power of the telescopes needed to see them.

The standard for a great astronomy telescope is a reflector type telescope with at least a 6 inch lens, I would go for an 8 inch lens, or larger if you can afford it. The large lens, makes for more light gathering power and it allows you to see faint objects like nebula and planets in much greater detail. Once you purchase and get used to your telescope and viewing heavenly objects, you can them progress to taking astronomy photos. Winter astronomy is a hobby that a person living alone can do, and it’s also a great hobby for the entire family to enjoy, and it’s great to help beat the winter blues.

There is a website that describes numerous activities and other methods to help eliminate the Winter Blues, this website is called: Winter Activities – and it may be found at this url:

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Beginning Astronomy

For many people there 1st telescope happens to be a Tasco planet telescope. A Tasco planet telescope may not be the best planet telescope on the market, however, it has allowed people easy entry into the hobby of astronomy and looking at the stars and other space objects.

I remember a Tasco planet telescope from Toys R Us. Walking down the isles around the science section, there was a planet telescope. I simply had to get it the Tasco planet telescope. After all I had a fond interest in seeing the Moon, stars and other space objects.

Having taken the Tasco planet telescope home, and pointing the Tasco planet telescope to the sky, from my bedroom, it took a bit to get used to. I used the Tasco planet telescope for a while, though it just wasn’t capable of seeing other planets in any detail or size So, the planet telescope got taken back.

I have since found that many people start with a Tasco planet telescope, then few years later buy a true planet telescope such as Orion, Meade, Celestron. The experience of owning a Tasco planet telescope may not be the best but it does allow easy access to start your astronomy hobby.

Tasco planet telescopes are considered to be one of the basic most popular 1st telescopes for under $100. Tasco planet telescope also make binoculars, rifle scopes and spotting scopes. They are easily available in sporting goods, photography, astronomy, department, and big chain stores like Kmart and Wal-Mart.

I usually don’t recommend buying a Tasco planet telescope, because of its basic parts. A planet telescope is a scientific instrument after all, and getting better planet telescope parts, will have the effect of giving you many years of happy viewing of the heavens. A Tasco planet telescope does have its benefits however. If it is your 1st telescope and you don’t know if you want to continue the hobby of astronomy, then a Tasco planet telescope may be ideal.

If you don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on a planet telescope, then a Tasco planet telescope can be ideal. Also a Tasco planet telescope is usually small and compact so doesn’t need a lot of space when using or to store the planet telescope.

Tasco planet telescopes are lightweight and can be easily moved around. This is great news for kids, as the planet telescope can easily be taken inside or outside with ease. This however is not all good, as a lightweight tripod and mount can make even the slightest breeze move the planet telescope out of view of the space object.

A Tasco planet telescope is also great for viewing birds and wildlife. This can not be achieved with a powerful planet telescope which is designed specifically for astronomy. So a Tasco planet telescope could be beneficial if you want to use it for multiple purposes.

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History of Astronomy

Astronomy is the oldest of the sciences and predates the written word. ARCHAEOASTRONOMY has shown that early peoples made use of astronomical observations in the alignment of their megalithic monuments. Written records of astronomical observations in Egypt, Babylon and China and Greece date from pre-Christian times and it is to the Greeks that we owe the beginnings of scientific theorizing and systematic efforts to understand the Universe. The main legacy of Greek astronomy was a system of thought dominated by the work of ARISTOTLE, though many other Greek scientists of great originality contributed to early astronomical knowledge. Greek ideas survived the medieval period, largely through the ALMAGEST of Ptolemy, a Graeco-Roman compendium of astronomical knowledge preserved by scholars in the Islamic world and the Byzantine Empire.

-Modern’ astronomy can be said to have begun with the rejection by Nicholas COPERNICUS of Aristotle’s complex picture of planetary orbits, which assumed that the Sun was the centre of the Universe. Although Copernicus put forward a simpler and more logical view, which placed the planets at distances from the Sun that increased with their periods, its details were very complex and unconvincing to many of his contemporaries. Only after the meticulous observations of Tycho BRAHE and their interpretation by Johannes KEPLER did the new ideas begin to gain general acceptance. The invention of the telescope and its exploitation by GALILEO began an era of astronomical discovery that completely destroyed the picture formulated by the ancients. Building on the mathematical and physical discoveries of the 17th century, Isaac NEWTON produced a synthesis of ideas which explained earthly mechanics and planetary motions, based on his three laws of motion and his inverse-square law of gravitational attraction. The 19th century saw the development of astrophysics as the centre of astronomical interest: astronomers became interested in the physics of celestial phenomena and the nature of celestial bodies, rather than just describing their positions and motions.

The great outburst of technological development associated with World War II led to the development of sensitive radio and infrared detectors that allowed the Universe to be investigated at wavelengths where new phenomena such as pulsars and quasars were discovered. In the late 1950s space probes had been developed that could take X-ray and gamma-ray detectors above the Earth’s atmosphere and open yet further vistas to astrophysics. Even visible-light observations have been improved by the development of CCD detectors many times more sensitive than photographic plates. The early 21st century is characterized by a new generation of giant telescopes and a vigorous investigation of conditions near the time when the Universe was formed. Massive data-handling techniques are allowing surveys of unprecedented detail to be made, searching for new phenomena hitherto unobserved or unobservable because of their faintness or rarity.

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Astronomy as Hobby – Studying the Skies

Long before people developed telescopes, the night sky has had an appeal to humanity’s hearts that can’t be compared to anything else in existence. Many superstitions have sprouted up from observing the sky, most notably things like constellations, reading the stars to tell the future, and good fortune bestowed by -falling’ stars. Amateur astronomy is a hobby that has been around for quite while.

Even now, in this high technology and science era, the mystical fascinate of astronomy still keeping people to staring skyward to view the sun, the moon and the stars. Even though “hard” facts state that stars are simply huge suns billions of miles away, with no possible way to influence our lives and destinies, such logic gets blown away by the simple wonder of lying down on a blanket and looking up at a cloudless, star filled night.

The instruments used by amateur astrologers are quite simple, inexpensive, and easy to obtain. The first and the most obvious thing you’ll need is a telescope, the tool that will let you view the night sky with even greater clarity. Modern stargazing scopes made especially for amateur astronomers even include light filters and built in digital cameras that let you record details that you want to preserve.

Another simple device that every astronomy hobbyist need is a star chart. The star chart list all the known constellations, and most of the known celestial bodies aside from stars that you can view with a good telescope, like faraway galaxies and the other planets in our own solar system. Star charts sometimes come with books that give detailed dates and times when the said heavenly bodies are at their most visible, letting you plan ahead for your stargazing.

The last thing most amateur astronomers need in terms of equipment is a log. Whether typing records on a computer or scribbling in a physical notebook using pen and paper, a log lets astronomers keep track of what they’ve viewed, when, and anything noteworthy that occurred while scanning the skies. For some hobbyist, this time of contemplation makes them turn their astronomy logs into something of a personal diary as well.

With just these simple tools, telescope, star chart and log, anyone can begin astronomy as a hobby. But even without them and nothing more than a blanket to lie down on and look skywards, the most important thing is to hold a deep and abiding love for the skies in your heart, and to know that they can often defy logic science.

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Common Space Acronyms in Astronomy and Aeronautics

space , space acronymsAs terminology- Space- is used in multiple ways. Space can be the vacuum surrounding the earth, in a room, at some location, in a document, and even in abstract sense like breathing space in a speech delivered. In commercial terms also one usually comes across concepts of space economy and space utilization.

However in the modern age dominated by science and technology, its most pertinent use is in the field of Astronomy and Aeronautics. Scientifically space is always related to the universe beyond the planet earth. Over hundred billion galaxies constitute the universe. Milky Way in our own galaxy is around 120,000 light years across and has around 200-400 billion stars. Both astronomy and aeronautics deal with various aspects of the universe in their respective ways.

Since these two are highly technical zones; understanding the common acronyms for space used in them would be helpful. Acronyms are the words that are constructed using the first letter(s) of the words in the phrase or name.

Some common space acronyms are –

AAS – American Astronomical Society.

APOD – Astronomical Picture of the Day.

CCD – Charged Coupled Device.

ESA – European Space Agency.

FOV- Field of View, with reference to telescopes and binoculars.

GRB- Gama Ray Bursts, a very high energetic phenomenon.

HR – Hertzsprung-Russell diagram that charts the colour and luminescence of the stars.

IAU – International Astronomical Union – the professional astronomers group worldwide.

JPL – Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

LMC = Large magellanic Clouds- that represents a dwarf galaxy near the Milky Way.

MACHO – Massive Compact Halo Object – component of dark matters.

NASA – National Aeronautics and Space Administration of United States.

NEO – Near Earth Object, such as the asteroids.

PHA – Potentially Hazardous Asteroid;

QUASAR – QUASI Stellar Radio Source

SDSS – Sloan Digital Sky Survey – the program for searching redshifts in Sky.

UT – Universal Time.

WIMP – Weakly Interacting Massive Particle that is a candidate for the dark matters.

ZHR – Zenith Hourly Rate- indicating the number of meteors seen during the meteor showers peak.

While there are many other acronyms related to space , these are some of the most widely used ones. Memorizing these common acronyms will help one understand the concept of space in astronomy as well as aeronautics quite convincingly.

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Backyard Astronomy Without A Telescope

Are you looking to do backyard astronomy? You maybe stuck in a problem. No telescope and you still want to do backyard astronomy! In this article, you will discover some astronomy experiments you can do without the need for a telescope.

The first thing we see, when we look up at the sky, is lots of shinning points of light. These points of light seem to make up patterns, and these patterns are what we call constellations.

There are 88 in total that are visible from the Earth. These constellations have such an old meaning to us, that we still have birth signs. Your birth sign is one of those 88 constellations.

Constellations are made up of a group of objects in space. This makes looking at constellations, one of the greatest things to do. Imagine, knowing where these 88 constellations are. You could literally take any rough coordinate for a star or object in the sky, and manage to navigate to it, much more easily. And all this because you learned about the constellations.

Many myths have been conjured up with the constellations. From the great hunter, to the story of the scorpion, looking at the constellations teaches us much more than simply knowing the layout of space!

Many early astronomers started with no tools at all, apart from using what they had – their own kind of telescope, their eyes! And still managed to invest a lifetime into astronomy.

A telescope still does help, and once you do have a telescope, you likely will prefer the telescope than simply looking up at constellations. However, there is always that fascination with constellations.

A group of astronomers all put in their life research into space to find those constellations which many today take for granted. These constellations have helped countless navigators at sea, be able to do their voyages.

Now you can partake in the same essence, by learning about the constellations. There is a lot to learn about the constellations. Such information that can be learned from constellations and backyard astronomy is the shape, the size, the amount of stars or objects that make up the constellation.

You could also look at when these objects appear in the sky, and when they are no longer there. It is easy to look up this information in a book, but when you start doing proper backyard astronomy, and find out these truths for yourself. Suddenly you have a strong sense of satisfaction, as you now know that you are really taking part in science.

A good idea is to keep a notebook. Draw pictures, write down your findings. Over time this can be a great way to see your progress in backyard astronomy.