New PDF release: 101 Fun Facts on Astronomy

By Kevin Manning

Astronomy is the main intriguing and enjoyable subject within the universe. after all, i'm a piece biased, yet don't you settle? utilizing a telescope to determine the invisible and glance a ways again in time, exploring the universe to profit approximately meteors, the Moon, comets, asteroids, superstar clusters, nebulae and galaxies, and attempting to comprehend the function of black holes, darkish topic, and darkish power, are all coated during this stress-free textual content.

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Extra resources for 101 Fun Facts on Astronomy

Sample text

Porridge is made primarily of carbohydrate, with a smattering of other carbon-rich compounds, such as proteins. The principle elements are carbon, hydrogen and oxygen in the ratio 1:2:1 – simple stuff. Take an Earth-mass of porridge and let gravity do its stuff and some interesting things happen. The hydrogen and oxygen are heated out of the carbohydrate as the planet coalesces. These naturally form water. The carbon core of each molecule will then compress until it first forms graphite, then diamond.

Unfortunately, as the planet appears to be visible as a result of accretion of surrounding gas and dust, it is not directly visible after all. Consequently it has lost its title as the first directly observable planet. You win some, you lose some. Nearly simultaneous with the initial discovery of Formalhaut b came the announcement of four giant planets orbiting the more Sun-like star HR 8799. These planets are thoroughly secure. 5 times the Sun’s mass and just under five times its luminosity. Direct imaging of each planet was accomplished by blocking the light from the central star coronagraph.

Although these effects may take a bit more time to disentangle from others, Kepler is ideally suited to identify planets this way, as the number of stars in its field of vision is great. While Kepler has been looking for dips, the international collaboration PLANET (Probing Lensing Anomalies NETwork) has been scrutinizing thousands of stars across the hub of the galaxy and examining lensing of these by foreground stars. PLANET is a unique network of collaborating, small (1–2 m) optical telescopes operating from bases in Australia, Chile, Denmark, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States.

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101 Fun Facts on Astronomy by Kevin Manning

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