He even includes a section on astrophotography if you're interested in taking pictures, including options with unspecialized equipment. Since the text of the book is written at a junior high level, your teenage kids likely will enjoy the book as well. Whether you're an amateur astronomer, casual stargazer or anything in between, " Things to See in the Night Sky" is your one-stop shop for information on where, when and how to spot some of the brightest and most easily recognizable sights in the sky.
Written by Dean Regas, an astronomer and public outreach educator at the Cincinnati Observatory in Ohio, the book breaks down everything you need to know to stargaze like a pro. Beginners can use this book as an introduction to stargazing, while more experienced readers will find the book to be a useful field guide that can serve as a reference for locating and identifying stars, constellations, meteor showers, eclipses and even satellites.
The book focuses on "naked-eye" objects, so you don't need telescopes, binoculars or any other equipment to utilize this handy skywatching guide. Read an interview with the author here. In "The Zoomable Universe," astrophysicst Caleb Scharf takes readers from the size of the observable universe step-by-step down to the shortest theoretical measurable length. Along the way, Scharf and the book's illustrator, Ron Miller, explore the formation of the universe, our galaxy and Earth, the makeup of life and quantum physics, and the complexity that develops when you look beyond the surface at any scale.
The large, colorful book has a lot of ground to cover, but it delves into enough detail to spark readers' curiosity, and additional graphics by 5W Infographics pack more information into less space. As it speeds through orders of magnitude, from the largest to the smallest, it stops in lots of fascinating corners of the universe along the way.
Fifty years ago, only a handful of scientists were hunting for signals from other civilizations as part of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence SETI. But Tarter continued to fight, helping to found a private agency that would survive government changes, hunting for private donors to look beyond this world and helping move the search for intelligent life from the fringes into mainstream science.
Author Lucas Ellerbroek highlights the passion of exoplanet researchers as they learn about the countless planets circling other stars.
Goals of astrophysics
Throughout history, solar eclipses have transformed from terrifying omens to the subject of scientific study. In "Sun Moon Earth: The History of Solar Eclipses from Omens of Doom to Einstein and Exoplanets," astronomer-artist Tyler Nordgren traces the natural history of eclipses and how they have inspired eclipse chasers to travel the world and witness the natural phenomenon. Nordgren's narrative also details how observations of total solar eclipses have contributed to scientific discoveries about the sun, moon and Earth's place in the universe throughout history.
Read an interview with the book's author here. The search for planets beyond Earth's solar system has revealed countless surprises, including the existence of strange and unexpected worlds that astronomers would have never imagined existed only a few decades ago. A new book titled "Exoplanets: Diamond Worlds, Super Earths, Pulsar Planets and the New Search for Life Beyond Our Solar System" Smithsonian Books, explores the history of exoplanet research, illustrates the many different types of planets that have been discovered to date and discusses how astronomers plan to further study these newfound alien worlds.
The solar system is a wild place, and even Earth's immediate neighborhood is much more chaotic than maps would suggest — researchers discover more than near-Earth asteroids every month.
A new book by Carrie Nugent, an asteroid researcher from Caltech, goes through how we find asteroids and near-Earth objects and what we would do if one was heading toward us. Over the past century, humankind's influence over our environment has increased dramatically. In "Earth in Human Hands," Grinspoon explores the ways that, for good or bad, humans have seized control of the planet. The choice is whether we do so mindlessly, or whether we act in a responsible, considerate manner.
Such a dilemma may be common to all life, and the most successful, long-lasting civilizations in the galaxy may live on planets they have engineered to be stable over extensive periods of time, making them more difficult to identify than rapidly-expanding societies. You can read an interview with Grinspoon and watch video clips of him discussing the book with Space.
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It has been the top-selling stargazing guide for over 20 years. Now in its revised fourth edition, the book contains everything you need to know about what's up in the sky through the year The bookre chapter is dedicated to stargazing technology, like binoculars and telescopes. An entiked with information that even the most experienced stargazers will find comes in handy.
At that time, astronomers relied on grounded telescopes to record nightly observations of the stars.
Women computers at the Harvard College Ovesrvatory were then tasked with interpreting those observations, captured on photographic glass plates. Author Dava Sobel follows the stories of several women, which she collected from old diaries, letters and published observatory log books.
For any space fan looking to learn crazy, fun facts about the universe, "Facts From Space!
Dean Regas, an astronomer and public outreach educator for the Cincinnati Observatory, has gathered together all the cool, quirky and mind-blowing facts you probably never knew you'd want to know about the universe. Regas chronicles everything from the sometimes silly adventures of space travelers in Earth's orbit and on the moon to black holes, galaxies and nebulas far away in deep space, listing all the best facts about the universe in a way that is fun and easy to read.
Readers of all ages can understand and appreciate the contents of this book. No attention span is necessary to enjoy it — flip to any page and you'll find a handful of short facts and cartoons that make learning about space a simple and entertaining experience. Space and time are weird. All very straightforward, and good for scientific investigation. But the problem is, there are hints that nature doesn't actually work that way. This new book by science writer George Musser delves into the different ways that scientists are grappling with this concept of "nonlocality" — what Albert Einstein famously called "spooky action at a distance" in the quantum mechanics world.
Particles that are entangled affect each other instantaneously even when separated; paradoxical black holes can be explained if the stuff sucked in exists inside their gravitational pull and on the surface at the same time. Musser explores the history of humans grappling with nonlocality and what these strange effects are teaching quantum mechanics researchers, astronomers, cosmologists and more about how the universe works — and while doing so, showing the messy, nonlinear and fascinating way researchers push forward to understand the physical world.
Theoretical astrophysicist Kip Thorne has spent his career exploring topics that once seemed relegated to science fiction, such as whether time travel is possible, and how humans could potentially travel from galaxy to galaxy via wormholes. In "Black Holes and Time Warps," Thorne provides an introduction to these and other mind-bending topics, at a level appropriate for nonscientists. The book is not a light read — it goes deeper into the science than many pop physics books — but Thorne is the perfect person to take readers on this journey: He's a patient and entertaining teacher, and he never loses the thread of the story.
Astrophysics is a branch of space science that applies the laws of physics and chemistry to explain the birth, life and death of stars, planets, galaxies, nebulae and other objects in the universe. It has two sibling sciences, astronomy and cosmology, and the lines between them blur.
In practice, the three professions form a tight-knit family. Ask for the position of a nebula or what kind of light it emits, and the astronomer might answer first. Ask what the nebula is made of and how it formed and the astrophysicist will pipe up. Ask how the data fit with the formation of the universe, and the cosmologist would probably jump in.
But watch out — for any of these questions, two or three may start talking at once! Astrophysicists seek to understand the universe and our place in it. At NASA, the goals of astrophysics are "to discover how the universe works, explore how it began and evolved, and search for life on planets around other stars," according NASA's website.
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While astronomy is one of the oldest sciences, theoretical astrophysics began with Isaac Newton. Prior to Newton, astronomers described the motions of heavenly bodies using complex mathematical models without a physical basis. Newton showed that a single theory simultaneously explains the orbits of moons and planets in space and the trajectory of a cannonball on Earth. This added to the body of evidence for the then startling conclusion that the heavens and Earth are subject to the same physical laws. Perhaps what most completely separated Newton's model from previous ones is that it is predictive as well as descriptive.
Based on aberrations in the orbit of Uranus , astronomers predicted the position of a new planet, which was then observed and named Neptune. Being predictive as well as descriptive is the sign of a mature science, and astrophysics is in this category. Because the only way we interact with distant objects is by observing the radiation they emit, much of astrophysics has to do with deducing theories that explain the mechanisms that produce this radiation, and provide ideas for how to extract the most information from it.
The first ideas about the nature of stars emerged in the midth century from the blossoming science of spectral analysis, which means observing the specific frequencies of light that particular substances absorb and emit when heated. Spectral analysis remains essential to the triumvirate of space sciences, both guiding and testing new theories. Early spectroscopy provided the first evidence that stars contain substances also present on Earth. Spectroscopy revealed that some nebulae are purely gaseous, while some contain stars. This later helped cement the idea that some nebulae were not nebulae at all — they were other galaxies!
In the early s, Cecilia Payne discovered, using spectroscopy, that stars are predominantly hydrogen at least until their old age. The spectra of stars also allowed astrophysicists to determine the speed at which they move toward or away from Earth. Just like the sound a vehicle emits is different moving toward us or away from us, because of the Doppler shift, the spectra of stars will change in the same way.
In the s, by combining the Doppler shift and Einstein's theory of general relativity , Edwin Hubble provided solid evidence that the universe is expanding. This is also predicted by Einstein's theory, and together form the basis of the Big Bang Theory.
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Also in the midth century, the physicists Lord Kelvin William Thomson and Gustav Von Helmholtz speculated that gravitational collapse could power the sun, but eventually realized that energy produced this way would only last , years. As nuclear physics, quantum mechanics and particle physics grew in the first half of the 20th century, it became possible to formulate theories for how nuclear fusion could power stars. These theories describe how stars form, live and die, and successfully explain the observed distribution of types of stars, their spectra, luminosities, ages and other features.
Astrophysics is the physics of stars and other distant bodies in the universe, but it also hits close to home.
Cosmology, Astronomy, & Astrophysics
According to the Big Bang Theory, the first stars were almost entirely hydrogen. The nuclear fusion process that energizes them smashes together hydrogen atoms to form the heavier element helium. In , the husband-and-wife astronomer team of Geoffrey and Margaret Burbidge, along with physicists William Alfred Fowler and Fred Hoyle, showed how, as stars age, they produce heavier and heavier elements, which they pass on to later generations of stars in ever-greater quantities.
It is only in the final stages of the lives of more recent stars that the elements making up the Earth, such as iron Another of these elements is carbon, which together with oxygen, make up the bulk of the mass of all living things, including us. Thus, astrophysics tells us that, while we are not all stars, we are all stardust.