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CINDERRELIC's Photo CINDERRELIC Posts: 7,830
6/8/11 11:28 P

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Bailey's beads - The broken beads of light that appear near the beginning and end of total solar eclipse are called 'Baily's Beads' after the British astronomer Francis Baily who discovered them. They occur because the edge of the Moon is not smooth but is jagged with mountains. When just one bead is visible, the effect is often likened to a diamond ring.

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BADGERDANCE's Photo BADGERDANCE Posts: 583
6/2/11 2:20 A

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Ceres: the first discovered dwarf planet. errr... asteroid. No wait, dwarf planet.

Discovered January 01, 1801. The world rejoiced with the announcement- a new planet! She occupied an unusual spot between Mars and Jupiter, and people thought nothing of it till the next year when Pallas was discovered, also between Mars and Jupiter. Then Juno, and Vesta, and Astraea...

That made 12 planets, and Neptune hadn't been discovered yet!

So Ceres was demoted, down to an asteroid. For a good long time she had to deal with being the largest asteroid, as more and more were discovered onerightaftertheother, until the big bru-ha-ha blew up between Pluto and Eris. So now, many people claim Pluto is the "first" dwarf planet. But really, Ceres has 100 years on Pluto. She just doesn't have the same publicity

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KSGROTHE's Photo KSGROTHE Posts: 4,596
6/1/11 11:46 P

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Doppler Effect - The apparent change in wavelength of sound or light emitted by an object in relation to an observer's position. An object approaching the observer will have a shorter wavelength (blue) while an object moving away will have a longer (red) wavelength. The Doppler effect can be used to estimate an object's speed and direction.

- Karen

"Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself." -- George Bernard Shaw



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CINDERRELIC's Photo CINDERRELIC Posts: 7,830
6/1/11 10:45 P

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Europa is the sixth closest moon of the planet Jupiter, and the smallest of its four Galilean satellites. From the images and data collected by the Galileo spacecraft, scientists believe that a subsurface ocean existed in relative recent history and may still be present beneath the icy surface. Europa's water should have frozen long ago, but warming could be occurring due to the tidal tug of war with Jupiter and neighboring moons.

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KSGROTHE's Photo KSGROTHE Posts: 4,596
5/23/11 7:07 P

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Flares - The Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has detected massive gamma-ray flares in the Crab Nebula recently. There's a story and video here:
www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/GLAST/new
s/
crab-flare.html


- Karen

"Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself." -- George Bernard Shaw



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BADGERDANCE's Photo BADGERDANCE Posts: 583
5/20/11 11:45 P

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Gravity

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CINDERRELIC's Photo CINDERRELIC Posts: 7,830
5/20/11 11:31 P

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Hercules--Hercules contains the globular clusters: M13, the brightest globular cluster in the northern hemisphere (containing 300,000 stars), and M92. It also contains the nearly spherical planetary nebula Abell 39. M13 lies between the stars ç Her and æ Her; it is dim, but may be detected by the non-aided eye on a very clear night. Eleven stars in Hercules are known to be orbited by extrasolar planets. These planets were discovered one in 1996, two in 2005, two in 2006, four in 2007, one in 2009, and one in 2010

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BADGERDANCE's Photo BADGERDANCE Posts: 583
5/15/11 1:37 P

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Io- to go with Jupiter. For awhile this Jovian moon was the most volcanically active object (that we know of) in the Solar System. Right now, Earth is, but if we ever find the volcanoes on Venus are still active, then she will pass both Earth and Io easily- with volcanoes to spare!

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KSGROTHE's Photo KSGROTHE Posts: 4,596
5/14/11 9:10 P

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Jupiter is the fifth planet from the Sun and the largest planet within the Solar System. It is a gas giant with a mass slightly less than one-thousandth of the Sun but is two and a half times the mass of all the other planets in our Solar System combined.

The planet was known by astronomers of ancient times and was associated with the mythology and religious beliefs of many cultures. The Romans named the planet after the Roman god Jupiter. When viewed from Earth, Jupiter can reach an apparent magnitude of −2.94, making it on average the third-brightest object in the night sky after the Moon and Venus.

Jupiter is primarily composed of hydrogen with a quarter of its mass being helium; it may also have a rocky core of heavier elements. Because of its rapid rotation, Jupiter's shape is that of an oblate spheroid (it possesses a slight but noticeable bulge around the equator). The outer atmosphere is visibly segregated into several bands at different latitudes, resulting in turbulence and storms along their interacting boundaries. A prominent result is the Great Red Spot, a giant storm that is known to have existed since at least the 17th century when it was first seen by telescope. Surrounding the planet is a faint planetary ring system and a powerful magnetosphere. There are also at least 63 moons, including the four large moons called the Galilean moons that were first discovered by Galileo Galilei in 1610.

Edited by: KSGROTHE at: 5/14/2011 (21:11)
- Karen

"Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself." -- George Bernard Shaw



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CINDERRELIC's Photo CINDERRELIC Posts: 7,830
5/13/11 7:59 P

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Kinetic Energy, form of energy that an object or a particle has by reason of its motion. If work, which transfers energy, is done on an object by applying a net force, the object speeds up and thereby gains kinetic energy. Kinetic energy is a property of a moving object or particle and depends not only on its motion but also on its mass. The kind of motion may be translation (or motion along a path from one place to another), rotation about an axis, vibration, or any combination of motions.

Interesting fact: The minimum velocity with which a meteoroid can enter the atmosphere is equal to Earth’s escape velocity of 11.2 km per second. Even at this velocity, the kinetic energy for a meteoroid of a given mass is about 15 times that produced by an equal mass of chemical explosives such as TNT.

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KSGROTHE's Photo KSGROTHE Posts: 4,596
5/6/11 6:38 P

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Leonid - one of a shower of meteorites, associated with the comet Tempel-Tuttle, which fall from the area of sky around the constellation Leo in November.

Earth moves through the meteoroid stream of particles left from the passages of a comet. The stream comprises solid particles, known as meteoroids, ejected by the comet as its frozen gases evaporate under the heat of the Sun when it is close enough – typically closer than Jupiter's orbit. The Leonids are a fast moving stream which come close to or cross the path of the Earth and impact the Earth at 72 km/s. Leonids in particular are well known for having bright meteors or fireballs which may be 9 mm across and have 85 g of mass and punch into the atmosphere with the kinetic energy of a car hitting at 60 mph. An annual Leonid shower may deposit 12 or 13 tons of particles across the entire planet. Sometimes these trails of meteoroids cause meteor showers and sometimes meteor storms.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonids

- Karen

"Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself." -- George Bernard Shaw



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BADGERDANCE's Photo BADGERDANCE Posts: 583
5/6/11 4:42 P

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Mintaka, aka Delta Orionis

The belt star closest to the celestial equator, and an important guide star for celestial navigation.

I'm feeling lazy today- the blurb is here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delta_Orionis

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CINDERRELIC's Photo CINDERRELIC Posts: 7,830
5/6/11 2:00 P

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Nebulae- I love viewing nebulae with my telescopes. I think we all know that these cosmic clouds of gas and dust floating in space can be very beautiful. They contain the elements from which stars and solar systems are built and so are considered the basic building blocks of the universe. Light from stars within a nebula can cause the contents it to glow with brilliant colors There are five classifications of nebulae:emission nebulae, reflection nebulae, dark nebulae, planetary nebulae, and supernova remnants.

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KSGROTHE's Photo KSGROTHE Posts: 4,596
4/29/11 5:36 P

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Oort Cloud - a hypothesized spherical cloud of comets which may lie roughly 50,000 AU, or nearly a light-year, from the Sun. The Oort cloud is thought to comprise two separate regions: a spherical outer Oort cloud and a disc-shaped inner Oort cloud, or Hills cloud. Objects in the Oort cloud are largely composed of ices, such as water, ammonia, and methane. Astronomers believe that the matter composing the Oort cloud formed closer to the Sun and was scattered far out into space by the gravitational effects of the giant planets early in the Solar System's evolution.

Although no confirmed direct observations of the Oort cloud have been made, astronomers believe that it is the source of all long-period and Halley-type comets entering the inner Solar System and many of the Centaurs and Jupiter-family comets as well. The outer Oort cloud is only loosely bound to the Solar System, and thus is easily affected by the gravitational pull both of passing stars and of the Milky Way Galaxy itself. These forces occasionally dislodge comets from their orbits within the cloud and send them towards the inner Solar System. Based on their orbits, most of the short-period comets may come from the scattered disc, but some may still have originated from the Oort cloud. Although the Kuiper belt and the farther scattered disc have been observed and mapped, only four currently known trans-Neptunian objects—90377 Sedna, 2000 CR105, 2006 SQ372, and 2008 KV42—are considered possible members of the inner Oort cloud.

(From Wikipedia)


- Karen

"Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself." -- George Bernard Shaw



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BADGERDANCE's Photo BADGERDANCE Posts: 583
4/29/11 2:50 A

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Plutoid: Also called Trans Neptunian Objects or Keyper Belt Objects or- Heaven help us, Cubewanos; those icy distant Pluto-like bodies that may or may not be dwarf planets. Eris, Quaour, Haumea, Varuna and Makemake are all Plutoids [For some reason Ixion is listed as a Plutino- which I suppose might be a small Plutoid, but really, I have no idea]

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KSGROTHE's Photo KSGROTHE Posts: 4,596
4/28/11 6:34 P

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Quasar - A quasi-stellar radio source ("quasar") is a very energetic and distant active galactic nucleus. Quasars are among the most luminous objects in the universe. Quasars were first identified as being high redshift sources of electromagnetic energy, including radio waves and visible light, that were point-like, similar to stars, rather than extended sources similar to galaxies.

History of observation - The first quasars were discovered with radio telescopes in the late 1950s. Many were recorded as radio sources with no corresponding visible object. Using small telescopes and the Lovell Telescope as an interferometer, they were shown to have a very small angular size. Hundreds of these objects were recorded by 1960 and published in the Third Cambridge Catalogue as astronomers scanned the skies for the optical counterparts. In 1960, radio source 3C 48 was finally tied to an optical object. Astronomers detected what appeared to be a faint blue star at the location of the radio source and obtained its spectrum. Containing many unknown broad emission lines, the anomalous spectrum defied interpretation—a claim by John Bolton of a large redshift was not generally accepted.

In 1962 a breakthrough was achieved. Another radio source, 3C 273, was predicted to undergo five occultations by the moon. Measurements taken by Cyril Hazard and John Bolton during one of the occultations using the Parkes Radio Telescope allowed Maarten Schmidt to optically identify the object and obtain an optical spectrum using the 200-inch Hale Telescope on Mount Palomar. This spectrum revealed the same strange emission lines. Schmidt realized that these were actually spectral lines of hydrogen redshifted at the rate of 15.8 percent. This discovery showed that 3C 273 was receding at a rate of 47,000 km/s.[14] This discovery revolutionized quasar observation and allowed other astronomers to find redshifts from the emission lines from other radio sources. As predicted earlier by Bolton, 3C 48 was found to have a redshift of 37% the speed of light.

(From Wikipedia article on Quasars. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quasar )

Personal note: I had the privilege of taking Dr. Maarten Schmidt's Astrophysics class at Caltech in 1990! It was cool to me to take a class from an astronomer who had such a breakthrough discovery!

Edited by: KSGROTHE at: 4/28/2011 (18:37)
- Karen

"Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself." -- George Bernard Shaw



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CINDERRELIC's Photo CINDERRELIC Posts: 7,830
4/28/11 12:51 P

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Radio telescopes are used to study naturally occurring radio emission from stars, galaxies, quasars, and other astronomical objects between wavelengths of about 10 meters (30 megahertz [MHz]) and 1 millimeter (300 gigahertz [GHz]). Many astronomical objects are not only observable in visible light but also emit radiation at radio wavelengths. Besides observing energetic objects such as pulsars and quasars, radio telescopes are able to "image" most astronomical objects such as galaxies, nebulae, and even radio emissions from planets.


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4/28/11 12:16 P

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Spectroscopy -- is a very important tool in astronomy. It is detailed study of the light from an object. Astronomers can learn a great deal about an object in space by studying its spectrum, such as it's composition (what its made of), temperature, density, and it's motion (both it's rotation as well as how fast it is moving towards or away from us).

Above from....
http://www.ipac.caltech.edu/outreach/Edu
/Spectra/spec.html

More with history...
http://astronomyonline.org/Science/Spect
roscopy.ahttp://astronomyonline.org/Sc
ience/Spectroscopy.asp

Cool,huh!






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KSGROTHE's Photo KSGROTHE Posts: 4,596
4/27/11 6:45 P

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Titan - the largest moon of Saturn, the only natural satellite known to have a dense atmosphere, and the only object other than Earth for which clear evidence of stable bodies of surface liquid has been found.

Titan is the sixth ellipsoidal moon from Saturn. Frequently described as a planet-like moon, Titan has a diameter roughly 50% larger than Earth's moon and is 80% more massive. It is the second-largest moon in the Solar System, after Jupiter's moon Ganymede, and it is larger by volume than the smallest planet, Mercury, although only half as massive. Titan was the first known moon of Saturn, discovered in 1655 by the Dutch astronomer Christiaan Huygens.



- Karen

"Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself." -- George Bernard Shaw



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BADGERDANCE's Photo BADGERDANCE Posts: 583
4/27/11 5:47 P

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Uranus- my favorite planet

Uranus has many unique feature that make it special. When the first close up pictures came back 20 years ago from Voyager II- the planet was completely featureless. more recent photos from Hubble reveal wonderful cloud formations and light spots similar to those on Neptune. So why was it blank in the past?

Uranus has an 97.7 degree axial tilt; when the Voyager passed by, one pole was presented directly to the Sun. In the intervening years, Uranus has moved enough that it now has day and night at the equator- (its most recent equinox was in December 2007) causing warming and cooling in its gaseous hydrogen atmosphere. This causes weather in the clouds.

Uranus is very cold. In fact, it has the coldest planetary atmosphere in the solar system. It may have an icy/ rocky core roughly he size of the Earth. It also has a magnetosphere, moons, and rings (and I'm betting, aurorae, too!)

Uranus appears in drawings by Galileo and Flamsteed, though neither realized it was a planet. It is visible in binoculars, though a telescope is better.

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KSGROTHE's Photo KSGROTHE Posts: 4,596
4/26/11 7:04 P

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Virgo - The Maiden - "The constellation of Virgo is the center of the closest large cluster of galaxies, and can easily take up several evenings of observing time. While the galaxies in Ursa Major are 10-40 million light years away, the galaxies of Virgo are about twice as distant at about 70 million light years. As such, these galaxies show a lot less detail. But what they lack in quality, they make up in quantity."
www.astro.wisc.edu/~dolan/constellat
io
ns/cotm/virgo.html


www.astro.wisc.edu/~dolan/constellat
io
ns/constellations/Virgo.html


- Karen

"Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself." -- George Bernard Shaw



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CINDERRELIC's Photo CINDERRELIC Posts: 7,830
4/26/11 6:49 P

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Whirlpool Galaxy (also known as Messier 51a, M51a, or NGC 5194), in the constellation Canes Venatici, is an interacting galaxy with its companion satellite galaxy NGC 5195. It is a grand-design spiral galaxy with well defined arms and is located at a distance of approximately 31 million light-years from the Milky Way Galaxy. It is one of the most famous galaxies in the sky easily observed by amateur astronomers and easily seen with binoculars on a dark night.

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KSGROTHE's Photo KSGROTHE Posts: 4,596
4/25/11 6:02 P

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XMM - X-ray Multi-Mirror Mission

"The European Space Agency's (ESA) X-ray Multi-Mirror Mission (XMM-Newton) was launched by an Ariane 504 on December 10th 1999. XMM-Newton is ESA's second cornerstone of the Horizon 2000 Science Programme. It carries 3 high throughput X-ray telescopes with an unprecedented effective area, and an optical monitor, the first flown on a X-ray observatory. The large collecting area and ability to make long uninterrupted exposures provide highly sensitive observations.

Since Earth's atmosphere blocks out all X-rays, only a telescope in space can detect and study celestial X-ray sources. The XMM-Newton mission is helping scientists to solve a number of cosmic mysteries, ranging from the enigmatic black holes to the origins of the Universe itself. Observing time on XMM-Newton is being made available to the scientific community, applying for observational periods on a competitive basis."

xmm.esac.esa.int/

(The website has a very cool image of M82!)

- Karen

"Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself." -- George Bernard Shaw



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CINDERRELIC's Photo CINDERRELIC Posts: 7,830
4/22/11 4:22 P

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Yed Prior is the Delta star in Ophiucus. It is an orange Class M giant with a magnitude of 2.74. It is the front hand of the "healer" with Yed Posterior, the Epsilon star in Ophiucus, being the back hand.


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BADGERDANCE's Photo BADGERDANCE Posts: 583
4/22/11 11:17 A

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Z- Zuben al Shemali: The Southern claw. With its twin, Zuben al Genubi (the northern claw) these two stars make up the main body of the constellation Libra.

Libra? You may ask. It seems back in the day, Roman astrologers thought Scorpius was too big: so they chopped the claws off and named the result Libra. But the two stars kept their claw names (though some sites say the names mean "price of deficit" and "price that covers", which is entirely possible when you compare these two to stars such as Shurnak Abti Sha Shutu and Shurnak Abti Sha Iltano and the Arabic words for North and South are entirely different. Or was it Babalonian?)

No matter what the star name means, its a great summertime star to look for, not far from Scorpius and its great clusters and nebulae

Zuben al Shemali is famous for being a bright emerald green, but when viewed through a modern telescope it appears no greener than any other star, IMHO

lets see if we can get all the way around again with no repeats

Edited by: BADGERDANCE at: 4/22/2011 (11:18)
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Aldebaran, or á Tau, á Tauri, Alpha Tauri, is a bright slightly variable (of the slow irregular variable type LB and varies by about 0.2 in apparent magnitude) orange giant star located about 65 light years away in the zodiac constellation of Taurus. It is one of the easiest stars to find in the night sky. If one follows the three stars of Orion's belt from left to right (in the Northern Hemisphere) or right to left (in the Southern), the first bright star found by continuing that line is Aldebaran.

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4/22/11 1:34 A

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Betelgeuse: The "Armpit of the Holy one" or alpha Orion. One of the largest stars that we know of, Betelgeuse's surface would extend between the asteroid belt and Jupiter if it were to replace our Sun (Earth, Venus, Mercury and Mars would all be inside the star) It is asymmetrical, spouting off huge plumes of ions into space. Some believe it will go supernova soon- but soon could be within the next million years

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11/15/10 5:19 P

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Cassiopeia- one of my favorite constellations in the northern sky. It looks like a W and has two Messier objects, Messier 52 (NGC 7654) and Messier 103 (NGC 581). Both are open clusters and easy to find with binoculars.



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KSGROTHE's Photo KSGROTHE Posts: 4,596
11/15/10 2:39 P

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Draco - a constellation in the far northern sky. Its name is Latin for dragon. Draco is circumpolar (that is, never setting) for many observers in the northern hemisphere. It was one of the 48 constellations listed by the 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy, and remains one of the 88 modern constellations today.



- Karen

"Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself." -- George Bernard Shaw



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CINDERRELIC's Photo CINDERRELIC Posts: 7,830
11/15/10 11:21 A

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Ethereal--Of the celestial spheres; heavenly.

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11/1/10 4:55 P

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Fireball - Any meteor that is brighter than Venus. A sonic boom often follows a fireball and they can cast a shadow. They are caused by millimeter-sized (or bigger) meteoroids disintegrating in the atmosphere.

- Karen

"Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself." -- George Bernard Shaw



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Galaxy-- A galaxy is a system of stars, dust, and gas held together by gravity. Our solar system is in a galaxy called the Milky Way. Scientists estimate that there are more than 100 billion galaxies scattered throughout the visible universe.

Galaxies range in diameter from a few thousand to a half-million light-years. Small galaxies have fewer than a billion stars. Large galaxies have more than a trillion.

The Milky Way has a diameter of about 100,000 light-years. The solar system lies about 25,000 light-years from the center of the galaxy. There are about 100 billion stars in the Milky Way.

Only three galaxies outside the Milky Way are visible with the unaided eye. People in the Northern Hemisphere can see the Andromeda Galaxy, which is about 2 million light-years away. People in the Southern Hemisphere can see the Large Magellanic Cloud, which is about 160,000 light-years from Earth, and the Small Magellanic Cloud, which is about 180,000 light-years away.



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Halley's Comet - Probably the best known of all comets. Its orbit was computed by Edmund Halley in 1704, at which time he predicted that the bright comet of 1682 would return in 1758 (Halley died in 1742, before he could see his prediction verified). Records of Halley's comet have been traced back to 240 B.C.


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Welcome, Scotty,

Io is the innermost of the four Galilean moons of the planet Jupiter and, with a diameter of 3,642 kilometres (2,263 mi), the fourth-largest moon in the Solar System. With over 400 active volcanoes, Io is the most geologically active object in the Solar System.

Iowas discovered in 1610 by Galileo Galilei. This discovery furthered the adoption of the Copernican model of the Solar System, the development of Kepler's laws of motion, and the first measurement of the speed of light.

In 1979, the two Voyager spacecraft revealed Io to be a geologically active world, with numerous volcanic features, large mountains, and a young surface with no obvious impact craters.

The Galileo spacecraft flybys revealed the relationship between the satellite and Jupiter's magnetosphere and the existence of a belt of radiation centered on Io's orbit. Io receives about 3,600 rem of radiation per day.

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Janus - one of Saturn's smaller moons, in the same orbit as Epimetheus. Irregular, heavily cratered ball of rock about 175km diameter.



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Kuiper Belt - a region of the Solar System beyond the planets.

Since the Kuiper belt was discovered in 1992, the number of known Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) has increased to over a thousand, and more than 70,000 KBOs over 100 km (62 mi) in diameter are believed to exist. The Kuiper belt was initially believed to be the main repository for periodic comets, those with orbits lasting less than 200 years. However, studies since the mid-1990s have shown that the Kuiper belt is dynamically stable, and that it is the farther scattered disc, a dynamically active region created by the outward motion of Neptune 4.5 billion years ago, that is their true place of origin.

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Lagoon Nebula (catalogued as Messier 8 or M8, and as NGC 6523) is a giant interstellar cloud in the constellation Sagittarius. It is classified as an emission nebula and as an H II region.

The Lagoon Nebula was discovered by Guillaume Le Gentil in 1747 and is one of only two star-forming nebulae faintly visible to the naked eye from mid-northern latitudes.


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Mars: Fourth planet from the sun. Named for the Roman god of war. Other than Earth, Mars is the most explored planet in our solar system.

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Neutron Star
The neutron star is formed when the star runs out of fuel and collapses inward on itself. The protons and electrons of atoms are forced together into neutrons. Since the star still has a lot of gravity, any additional material falling into the neutron star is super-accelerated by the gravity and turned into identical neutron material.

According to astronomer and author Frank Shu, "A sugar cube of neutron-star stuff on Earth would weigh as much as all of humanity!"




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Orion - A constellation located in the equatorial region of the sky. In some ways the central part of this constellation reminds one of an oblique sand-glass. In wintertime Orion is a magnificent constellation which can easily be found by the three stars forming a line building the belt of the Hunter. The belt stars point towards Sirius, the brightest star in the constellation of the Larger Dog, Canis Major, situated SE of Orion. From his belt there hangs a well defined dagger, which is known for one of the most famous nebulas in the sky: The Large Orion Nebula (M42).


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"Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself." -- George Bernard Shaw



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Planetary Nebulae-- are emissions nebulae consisting of an expanding glowing shell of ionized gas ejected during the asymptotic giant branch phase of certain types of stars late in their life.
The first planetary nebula ever seen by a human was the Dumbbell Nebula M27 in Vulpecula, which was discovered by Charles Messier on July 12, 1764.

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10/1/10 9:41 P

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Quantum Astronomy---Very Interesting Lecture
www.youtube.com/watch?v=C9P-wv8ulLY
The speaker is hillarious at times so stay with this. It is not all dull, if you get bored with a lot information being related with only charts and diagrams visible. Lots of good questions at the end, too.

Edited by: CINDERRELIC at: 10/1/2010 (22:25)
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Regulus - the brightest star in the constellation Leo

Regulus is a multiple star system composed of four stars which are organised into two pairs.

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Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky

antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap000611.h
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From the link: "Intrinsically, Sirius is over 20 times brighter than our Sun and over twice as massive. As Sirius is 8.7 light years distant, it is not the closest star system - the Alpha Centauri system holds this distinction. Sirius is called the Dog Star because of its prominence in the constellation of Canis Majoris (Big Dog). In 1862, Sirius was discovered to be a binary star system with a companion star, Sirius B, 10,000 times dimmer than the bright primary, Sirius A. Sirius B was the first white dwarf star discovered, a type of star first understood by Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar in 1930. While studying Sirius in 1718, Edmond Halley discovered that stars move with respect to each other. There is conflicting evidence that Sirius appeared more red only 2000 years ago."

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"Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself." -- George Bernard Shaw



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Tau Ceti is the most Sun-like of the 30 nearest stars to the Sun. It lies in the constellation Cetus and is easily visible without a telescope. It is similar to the Sun in mass and spectral type. At a distance of just under 12 light years from the Solar System, it is a relatively close star.


Tau Ceti has been the target of many SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) programs including the first, Project Ozma, which also looked for signals from Epsilon Eridani. It is also the first star to be found to have a disk of dust and comets around it similar in size and shape to the disk of comets and asteroids that orbits the Sun.

However, the similarity ends there because it appears that Tau Ceti has more than ten times the number of comets and asteroids that there are in our Solar System.

It has also been featured often in science fiction.


Edited by: CINDERRELIC at: 9/17/2010 (00:02)
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Ursa Major - "The Great Bear" - A constellation visible throughout the year in most of the northern hemisphere.

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Vega (Alpha Lyrae) is the brightest star in the constellation Lyra, the fifth brightest star in the night sky and the second brightest star in the northern celestial hemisphere, after Arcturus.

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W - White Dwarf: A very small, white star formed when an average sized star uses up its fuel supply and collapses. This process often produces a planetary nebula, with the white dwarf star at its center.

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X-ray Astronomy-- an observational branch of astronomy which deals with the study of X-ray emission from celestial objects.

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Y - YERKES OBSERVATORY: University of Chicago's astronomical observatory located at Williams Bay, Wisconsin, USA. It has a 40 inch (102 cm) refracting telescope; this is the largest refractor in the world. The Observatory was named for Charles Tyson Yerkes (1837-1905), a Chicago transportation tycoon who financed it. The observatory was designed by George E. Hale in 1892.

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"Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself." -- George Bernard Shaw



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Here is a fun game to see how long we can go without skipping a letter. Hope you will join me.

Z- Zeta Sagittarii). At bright third magnitude (2.63) and beautifully prominent because of its location, Ascella makes the lip of the Little Milk Dipper of Sagittarius

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