Illustrated Dictionary of Practical Astronomy


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Black holes. Core List of Astronomy Journals Harvard. Background and Reference Information The NUS Libraries have significant print and online reference resources related to astronomy and astrophysics. Star Atlases online. Encyclopediae online and print. Dictionaries online. Handbooks online.

Technical ebook collections. Star atlases The Cambridge photographic star atlas.

Other Titles by C. R. Kitchin

They are seen in the spectra of the majority of stars. Atoms create these dark lines by absorbing radiation. Each chemical element creates a unique pattern of lines. By measuring the strengths of absorption lines it is possible to deduce the abundance of the various elements, though the lines are also affected by temperature, density and other factors. Absorption nebulae contain both dust and gas, and the temperatures in them are low enough for simple molecules to form. Much of what is known about these nebulae comes from observing their infrared and radio radiation, which, unlike visible light, can pass through them.

Astronomers estimate that the expansion of the universe began to accelerate about 5 billion [1] accretion disk An absorption nebula.

Practical Astronomy - Comet Special

Lanes of absorbing cold dust obscure the light of stars in the Milky Way in this infrared image. Discovered by Max Wolf in , its diameter is about km 72 miles. Acrux Alpha Crucis The brightest star in the constellation Crux. To the naked eye it looks like a single white star of magnitude 0. The spectrum of the brighter one shows it has a very close companion so there are at least three stars in this system, which is light years away. Active galaxies are categorized by their appearance and the nature of the radiation they emit.

AGNs have high-speed jets of material shooting out from them. The black hole is surrounded by a ring of dust and gas at right angles to the jets. The differences between the various categories of AGN can be accounted for by the level of their power output and the angle from which they are viewed. In radio galaxies, the ring is edge-on, hiding the light from the disk of hot material swirling into the black hole. In quasars and Seyfert galaxies, the ring is oriented so we can see the light emitted by the hot, glowing disk.


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Blazars are thought to have jets pointing directly at Earth. A computer continually monitors the quality of the image and feeds the information back to a motorized support system under the mirror.

ASTRONOMY DICTIONARIES, ENCYCLOPEDIAS AND ATLASES

Using active optics means that mirrors can be thinner and more light-weight. Active regions develop where strong magnetic fields break through from below. The radiation given off is normally enhanced across the whole of the electromagnetic spectrum, from X-rays to radio waves, except in sunspots [3] Adams, John Couch —92 The active galaxy Centaurus A.

This X-ray image shows a jet being fired from the center. Active optics. The computer-controlled supports under the 3. There is a large variation in the size and duration of active regions: they may last from several hours up to a few months. Adams, John Couch —92 John Couch Adams is chiefly remembered for predicting the existence and position of the planet Neptune in by [4] aeronomy analyzing the way Uranus had departed from its expected orbit since it was discovered in A brilliant mathematician, he worked on the motion of the Moon and planets. He became a professor at the University of Cambridge in and director of the University Observatory in Unknown to them, Urbain J.

A small, very thin, flexible mirror placed a short distance in front of the focus of the telescope corrects for the distortion. An image sensor detects the amount of distortion and feeds the information to a microprocessor, which controls actuators to bend the corrector mirror. The system has to respond to changes in less than a hundredth of a second.

After that it was lost until when it was recovered following a recomputation of its orbit.


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  • Adrastea A small inner moon of Jupiter discovered by David Jewitt in Though built principally for military purposes, it is also used for astronomical research. From space, it appears as a ring of greenish light around the Earth. The brightest airglow comes from a layer approximately 10—20 km about 10 miles thick at a height of around km 60 miles. Glowing oxygen and sodium atoms are major contributors. The nucleus that has been hit emits a number of fast-moving particles. They in turn strike other nuclei, which eject yet more particles. Airy, Sir George Biddell —92 Airy was one of the most prominent figures in British astronomy during the nineteenth century.

    He began his career at Cambridge University, where he became a professor of mathematics in , then professor of astronomy and Director of the Observatory two years later. He was both a very able mathematician and a practical scientist who tackled many varied problems relating to astronomy and geophysics. He also had exceptional organizing ability. As Astronomer Royal, he re-equipped the Royal Observatory at Greenwich and improved the range and efficiency of its work.

    Airy published hundreds of papers but he is now remembered most for his work in optics, his detailed analysis of the orbits of Earth and Venus and estimating the mean density of Earth in an experiment involving pendulums at the top and bottom of a mineshaft. Aitne A small outer moon of Jupiter discovered in Its diameter is about 3 km 2 miles.

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    Illustrated Dictionary of Practical Astronomy | NHBS Academic & Professional Books

    Albedo is given either as a decimal between 0 perfectly absorbing and 1 perfectly reflecting or as an equivalent percentage. For a planet or asteroid, the ratio between the total amount of reflected light and the incident light is called the Bond albedo. The reflecting qualities of planetary bodies are also measured by their geometric albedo. Geometric albedo is formally defined as the ratio between the brightness of the body as viewed from the direction of the Sun and the brightness of a hypothetical white sphere of the same size and at the same distance that is diffusely reflecting sunlight.

    It was subsequently lost for almost 80 years, but recovered by chance in May It is only about 2—4 km 2 miles across but makes relatively close approaches to Earth of between 30 and 46 million km 19 and 29 million miles every 30 years.

    Albiorix A small outer moon of Saturn in a very elliptical orbit. It was discovered in and its diameter is estimated to be 26 km 16 miles.

    Reference Reviews

    Albireo Beta Cygni The second brightest star in the constellation Cygnus. Visual observers regard it as one of the most beautiful double stars. The two stars are separated by 34 arc seconds and are lights years away. The two stars are separated by Though they look like a double star, their distances are not known accurately enough to say whether they form a real binary system or not.

    Alcor is about 81 light years away. Aldebaran Alpha Tauri The brightest star in the constellation Taurus. Although it appears in the sky to be part of the Hyades star cluster, it is not in fact a cluster member, lying only half as far away at a distance of 65 light years. Alderamin Alpha Cephei The brightest star in the constellation Cepheus. Algieba Gamma Leonis A second-magnitude star, which is the third brightest in the constellation Leo.

    Their individual magnitudes are 2. Algieba is light years away. Algol varies between magnitudes 2. As the G star cuts off light from its more brilliant companion, their combined brightness declines over 4 hours, reaching a minimum that lasts only 20 minutes. The eclipse of the dimmer star by its partner causes a dip in brightness of only 0. Regular variations in the spectrum of Algol over a period of 1. Observations that Algol is a radio star erratically flaring up to 20 times its normal radio brightness support the idea that mass transfer is taking place.

    Alioth Epsilon Ursae Majoris. The brightest star in the constellation Ursa Major, the Greek letters in this case being allotted in order of position rather than of brightness.

    Illustrated Dictionary of Practical Astronomy Illustrated Dictionary of Practical Astronomy
    Illustrated Dictionary of Practical Astronomy Illustrated Dictionary of Practical Astronomy
    Illustrated Dictionary of Practical Astronomy Illustrated Dictionary of Practical Astronomy
    Illustrated Dictionary of Practical Astronomy Illustrated Dictionary of Practical Astronomy
    Illustrated Dictionary of Practical Astronomy Illustrated Dictionary of Practical Astronomy
    Illustrated Dictionary of Practical Astronomy Illustrated Dictionary of Practical Astronomy

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