The Practical Astronomer

The Practical Astronomer

Language: English

Pages: 256

ISBN: 0756662109

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

For anyone who's ever looked at the night sky and wanted to know more about the galaxy around them, The Practical Astronomer shows readers how to discover and understand the mysteries of the solar system and beyond.

Illustrated throughout with detailed photographs and illustrations, and using clear, easy-to-follow text, The Practical Astronomer takes you on a step-by-step journey from the basics of what can be seen with the naked eye, to how you can view more distant objects such as the planets of the solar system, and even galaxies far, far away-all in your own backyard.

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(unlike sound waves, which always require a medium). Visible light covers the range of electromagnetic wavelengths that are visible to the naked eye—they appear to us as the different pure colors of the rainbow, or color spectrum. The different wavelengths in a beam of white light can be separated by passing it through a prism, which splits the wavelengths to reveal their colors. Red light has a longer wavelength than blue light. Visible light, though, is only a small part of the total.

Telescope, the view of Omega Centauri becomes more and more impressive, as larger numbers of its estimated one million stars are revealed. It is the largest globular cluster of the Milky Way, up to 10 times as massive as other globular clusters. It is also one of the closest to us at only around 17,000 light-years from the Solar System—so Omega Centauri is also the brightest globular cluster in the night sky. Studies of the cluster have shown that Omega Centauri is one of the oldest objects in.

Less busy, but it contains the intensely bright leading star, Canopus (Alpha Carinae). CANOPUS What Carina lacks in a recognizable pattern, it certainly makes up for with a wonderful variety of deep-sky objects—including Canopus, the second-brightest star in the sky. The deep-sky objects cannot be seen with the naked eye, but are easily revealed with binoculars. Once the French astronomer Nicolas de Lacaille broke up the ancient Greek constellation Argo Navis (the Ship of the Argonauts), in the.

Entire night sky—Sirius— a brilliant white star with a magnitude of -1.4. SIRIUS 2 The Milky Way band flows through this prominent constellation, but as the view in this direction is almost straight out of the plane of our galaxy, it does not offer a spectacularly dense starfield. Nonetheless, Canis Major is a prominent and well-known constellation, representing the larger of the two hunting dogs belonging to Orion, the Hunter. As the Earth rotates, the two dogs seem to follow the Hunter across.

And nebulae that appear to shine due to this reflected light are therefore called “reflection nebulae.” Because the dust inside these nebulae is more effective at scattering the shorter-wavelength blue light, these nebulae usually appear pale blue in color. The stunning wispy streaks around the bright star Merope, in the Pleiades star cluster (pictured), show the characteristic blue color. While Merope is easy to see through a small telescope, the nebula around the cluster is much harder to.

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