Secrets of the Deep Sky

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On being an astronomer

Once upon a time in graduate school we had an astronomy department retreat for the faculty, postdocs, and students. It rained. Almost by definition, we ended up in a deep philosophical discussion concerning careers, and what made a successful scientist. We decided in the end that an individual's success in the game could be predicted by their characteristics in a seven-vector space. Each vector measured a critical personal characteristic or set of characteristics such as intelligence, taste and luck, and the ability to tell one's story (public relations). The vectors and their ''unit'' vectors, the people against which one was measured in astronomy in those days, were Each unit vector represented someone who was without equal at the time (1974 or so), for example Chandrasekhar was the smartest person in astronomy any of us had come across, and similarly, Allan Sandage represented the unit vector of knowledge (which is not the same as intelligence, although he is a damn smart cookie )....

George Biddell Airy Astronomer Royal

A complete daily record of his activities aid thoughts. His financial accounts were personal kept by double entry throughout his life, and hi regarded their keeping as one of his greatest joji' He never destroyed a document and preserved his old checkbook stubs, bills, and receipts free merchants in chronological order. A colleague i Cambridge quipped, if Airy wiped his pen oui piece of blotting-paper, he would duly endorse tlx blotting-paper with the date and particularsofil use, and file it away amongst his papers.1 1 As a fellow of TVinity College in 1824, he sethis sights on the position of astronomer royal ami refused to accept an assistantship at the Roys Observatory because assistants had not previously been promoted to the post. Instead he fought hi way upward through professorships at CambrMji campaigning successfully for higher pay. In 183 because of his clear, enthusiastic, and engaging way of explain-the Pu was popular with astronomers because he liked to iden- George...

The astronomers sought but did not find

A gas giant Jupiter-the king of the eight planets of the solar system. The diameter of Jupiter is only ten times less than that of the Sun, and its thick hydrogen-helium atmosphere surrounds an icy core about ten times the mass of the Earth. Jupiter now has more than sixty recorded satellites - the most famous being the four Galileans - lo, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto - named after the Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei, who was the first to observe them with a telescope. A gas giant Jupiter-the king of the eight planets of the solar system. The diameter of Jupiter is only ten times less than that of the Sun, and its thick hydrogen-helium atmosphere surrounds an icy core about ten times the mass of the Earth. Jupiter now has more than sixty recorded satellites - the most famous being the four Galileans - lo, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto - named after the Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei, who was the first to observe them with a telescope. Armed with this knowledge to guide them...

John R Shakeshaft Early CMBR observations at the Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory

At the time of publication of the Penzias and Wilson (1965a) paper, I was a member of staff in the Radio Astronomy Group of the Cavendish Laboratory, the physics department of the University of Cambridge, having been an undergraduate and graduate student at Cambridge, the latter under the inspiring supervision of Martin Ryle. I had had an interest in cosmology and measurements of cosmic radio radiation for over ten years. Indeed my first published scientific paper, in 1954, had the title The Isotropic Component of Cosmic Radio-Frequency Radiation, although I advise readers not to bother to search it out. At that date, low-noise receivers for the microwave range had not yet been developed, so interest was concentrated at lower frequencies. Westerhout and Oort (1951) had shown that the survey of galactic radiation at 100 MHz (or Mc sec as we called it) by Bolton and Westfold (1951) could be explained by assuming that most of the radiation came from radio stars distributed through the...

The Development of Planetary Astronomy

Huygens's Kosmotheoros was influenced by the models of the universe proposed by Copernicus and Descartes. However, eleven years before the appearance of Huygens's book, Sir Isaac Newton published his Principia (1687). The Newtonian universe, as outlined in his Principia, eventually displaced older models and stimulated the modern study of physics and astronomy, especially the investigation of planetary motion. Newton's successful use of universal gravitation to explain the complex motions and orbital paths ofthe planets encouraged the development ofplanetary astronomy. Along with Newton's explanation for the mechanics of planetary motion, the planets themselves caught the attention of astronomers. The red planet Mars soon emerged as a favorite for telescopic observation and scientific speculation. A number of European astronomers continued Huygens's groundbreaking observations of Mars. The noted English astronomer Sir William Herschel (1738 1822) contributed to the next major...

The Common Frontier of Astronomy and Astrobiology

Both astronomy and astrobiology share a common frontier. Vertiginous progress in instrumentation such as novel microanalytical tools to study extraterrestrial materials, including those collected in space return missions, and availability of long ice cores and other fossil archives providing detailed records of the past terrestrial environment, can give deeper insights into the origin and history of life on Earth. The early stage of the Sun and other space-palaeoclimate conditions are relevant to the emergence of life on Earth.

Bernard F Burke Radio astronomy from first contacts to the CMBR

Let me start out with some personal background. When I was a graduate student at MIT, 1950-1953, working in Woody Strandberg's microwave spectroscopy laboratory, I was exposed to radio astronomy through three routes. Woody had known Martin Ryle when he was posted to TRE Malvern (Telecommunications Research Establishment) during the war, as the Radlab representative. He worked with Martin on countermeasures - he said that the tension had been tremendous, and the radar people at TRE were burnt out. He had heard about the use of Michelson interferometry by Martin, and of the Lloyd's mirror interferometer at CSIRO Radiophysics, and thought they were an excellent example of using cleverness instead of brute force to do radio astronomy. Woody had known Taffy Bowen he also had known Hanbury Brown and Richard Twiss. The director of MIT's RLE, where I was working, invited Taffy to come to MIT to give three lectures on radio astronomy one was about the Sun, one about the Moon, and the third...

Infrared Astronomy

Infrared (IR) astronomy is the branch of modern astronomy that studies and analyzes infrared (IR) radiation from celestial objects. Most celestial objects emit some quantity of infrared radiation. However, when a star is not quite hot enough to shine in the visible portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, it emits the bulk of its energy in the infrared. IR astronomy, consequently, involves the study of relatively cool celestial objects, such as interstellar clouds of dust and gas (typically about -280 F 100 kelvins ) and stars with surface temperatures below temperatures below about 10,340 F (6,000 kelvins). Many interstellar dust and gas molecules emit characteristic infrared signatures that astronomers use to study chemical processes occurring in interstellar space. This same interstellar dust also prevents astronomers from viewing visible light coming from the center of our Milky Way galaxy. However, IR radiation from the galactic nucleus is absorbed not as severely as radiation in...

Astronomy societies

UK Society for Popular Astronomy (SPA). This society, with over 3,000 members, promotes astronomy as a hobby, with a particular focus on beginners, but catering also up to the highest levels. http baa British Astronomical Association (BAA). It has about 3000 members and promotes astronomy as a hobby with a focus at rather higher levels than the SPA. Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP). This caters for amateur astronomers at all levels. http

Radio Astronomy

Radio astronomy is the branch of astronomy that collects and evaluates radio signals from extraterrestrial sources. Radio astronomy is a relatively young scientific field, which started in the 1930s when the American radio engineer Karl Guthe Jansky (1905-50) detected the first extraterrestrial radio signals. Until Jansky's important discovery, astronomers had used only the visible portion of the electromagnetic spectrum to view the universe. The detailed observation of cosmic radio sources is difficult, however, because these sources shed so little energy on Earth. But starting in the mid-1940s, with the pioneering work of the British astronomer Sir Alfred Charles Bernard Lovell (1913- ) at the United Kingdom's Nuffield Radio Astronomy Laboratories at Jodrell Bank, the radio telescope has been used to discover some extraterrestrial radio sources so unusual that their very existence had not even been imagined or predicted by astrophysicists.

Positional Astronomy

A well-defined co-ordinate system is an essential requirement if individual objects are to be identified in a unique manner. In astronomy, objects are observed on the celestial sphere with positions defined in spherical co-ordinate systems, measured in angular units (degrees, radians). These are directly analogous to the system of longitude and latitude used to determine positions on the surface of the Earth indeed, the primary celestial system is a direct projection of the geographic system.

Nakedeye Astronomers

From his home on the island of Rhodes in the Aegean, Hipparchus, the greatest of the ancient Greek astronomers, drew up a catalogue of the positions and motions of the objects in the sky. He interpreted the observations as meaning that the Earth was at the centre of everything, and that the planets revolved around the Earth in circles. Claudius Ptolemaeus (more usually called simply Ptolemy), a Greek living in Alexandria in Egypt, observed that the planets did not precisely follow their predicted paths. However, since the circle was regarded as 'perfect' he proposed an 'epicycle' scheme in which each planet pursued a smaller circle about its mean position as it progressed around its orbit. Having studied mathematics at the University of Cracow, the Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus realised in 1507 that the complexity of Ptolemy's scheme could be banished if it was assumed that the planets revolved around the Sun, with only the Moon going around the Earth. Although Copernicus...

Bishop Wilkinss Voyage to the Moon

The telescopic observations and writings of Galileo and Kepler inspired several seventeenth-century scientists to present astronomy to an educated popular audience. Bishop John Wilkins of England (1614 1672) was the first of these scientist popularizers. In his book The Discovery of a World in the Moone (1638), he defended the Copernican system, the idea of the plurality of worlds, and the probability of finding life on the Moon.

Box The measurement of angles

It is very common in astronomy to express distances in terms of angles. For example, if you look to the horizon and then tilt your head so that you are looking upwards, you will have moved your gaze through ninety degrees of arc across the sky, written 90 . If you hold out your hand at arm's length, palm upwards, with the fingers bent toward you, the angle across the base of your fingers is about 7 . When you look up into the sky at a full Moon the angle across the Moon's diameter will be about 0.5 . This is the Moon's angular diameter. Lunar craters have yet smaller angular sizes. Many angles in astronomy are extremely small, so the degree of arc is subdivided into 60 minutes of arc (arcmin), and an arcmin is divided into 60 seconds of arc (arcsec).

Solution Planetary Systems Are Rare

Christopher Wren, Inaugural Lecture as Professor of Astronomy, Gresham College Not so long ago, astronomers were still not certain how planets formed. There were two competing scenarios. In the first, a planetary system like ours was pictured as forming in a catastrophic event. In the second, planetary systems were thought to condense out of nebulae.184 24 days, while its polar regions rotate once in about 30 days. This observation led many astronomers to prefer models of planetary formation based on catastrophic events. The most popular model had a star almost colliding with the Sun tidal effects pulled a gaseous filament from the Sun, and the filament later broke up and condensed to form the planets.185 If planets really did form in stellar collisions, then the outlook for finding ETCs would be bleak. The density of stars in space is quite low, so collisions would be infrequent one early estimate put the number of planetary systems formed in this way at just ten per galaxy In a...

Possible Electromagnetic Effects

The presence of an extended disk of dust well beyond the visible ring system was discussed in Section 8.3. The plasma wave and planetary radio astronomy investigations also detected dust particles at all latitudes, albeit at levels that were several orders of magnitude smaller than observed near the equator. Neptune's magnetic equator is highly tilted (by 47 ) with respect to Neptune's rotation equator, so if tiny dust particles in the extended dust disk become electrically charged, they can perhaps be rapidly moved out of the equatorial plane near Lorentz resonance positions, as

Photoelectric Photometry

Photoelectric photometry until the last decade or so has been and arguably still is the most precise and accurate means of obtaining flux measurements in optical astronomy. There are a number of reasons for this situation. Under most circumstances, the best possible precision for a source of given brightness is obtained when shot noise, the Poisson statistical variation in the photon count, is the dominant source2 of uncertainty. Under such circumstances, the precision is said to be photon limited 1 Some astronomers prefer the term bandpass. J. Kallrath, E.F. Milone, Eclipsing Binary Stars Modeling and Analysis, Astronomy 37 and the error is proportional to f N when variation in the background dominates, the observation is said to be background limited (for further discussion of sources of noise in astronomical photometry and their effects on light curve analysis, see Section Photoelectric photometers have been capable of higher precision than imaging devices, basically...

The search for very massive black holes

Ask an astronomer to name a theorist who observes, or vice versa, and Doug Richstone's name is sure to come up. Doug's first flirtations with astronomy resulted from a childhood fascination with the colors of stars in Orion. Despite a bicoastal education at Caltech and Princeton, he flourishes in the midwest as Professor of Astronomy at the University of Michigan. Doug is fond of saying that a busy research and teaching schedule, and too many committee trips, leave him little time for reading, hiking, and recreational travel. Despite this, he has accomplished something wonderful for this book a fascinating essay describing the slow but nevertheless dramatic revolution in thinking about massive black holes and their role in the evolution of galaxies. In this essay Doug combines two of his career-long fascinations the dynamics of stars and the nature of quasars with his enjoyment of team play, to explore the black holes that lie at the center of so many galaxies. sat unopened in my...

Hunting the elusive invisible galaxy

Greg Bothun is a northwesterner, educated in Washington State, briefly a professor at the University of Michigan, and now a long-time professor of astronomy at the University of Oregon. Greg, nicknamed ''Dr. Dark Matter'' by his friends, is interested (when not raising his two sons, hiking, playing softball, or golfing) in galaxy evolution and studies of large-scale structure in the Universe. In what follows Greg takes us on a very special journey that he traveled, to find the dim, lurking giants of galactica, the so-called low surface brightness galaxies.

The Doppler effect to the rescue

Let us return to the exoplanets which interest us most those orbiting stars in the vicinity of the Sun. The negative conclusion of the work on Barnard's Star dashed the hopes of classical astronomy that sufficiently accurate measurement of tiny oscillations in central stars might be possible. However, in the 1990s another method came into its own velocimetry. Light from approaching astronomical sources is shifted towards the blue end of the spectrum, and light from receding sources is shifted towards the red. in observing that all distant galaxies seem to be moving away from us, astronomers use this as evidence of the expansion of the Universe. Here on Earth it is easy to experience the Doppler effect by listening to the sound emitted by a passing vehicle such as a motorcycle or ambulance. The sound appears to be higher in piLch as the vehicle approaches, and lower as it recedes. The frequency of the sound waves is therefore lower as the vehicle recedes, implying that the wavelength...

The Dynamics of Comets

Comets are usually classified in categories according to their orbital period (Fig. 12). Comets with orbital period P > 200 years are called long-period comets (LPCs) those with shorter period are called short-period comets (SPCs). The threshold of 200 years is arbitrary and has been chosen mostly for historical reasons modern instrumental astronomy is about two centuries old, so that the LPCs that we see now are unlikely to have been observed in the past.

Amateur Organizations

Today in this hobby and science of astronomy, and especially in planetary observing, we are blessed with a number of very good, accessible amateur organizations that cultivate amateurs and provide a place for them to learn and share their observations. Many organizations have web sites with practice aids, discussion groups, and leaders available to help the beginner launch an observational career, whether the career is intended to be casual or serious. Information regarding various organizations will be provided in Chap. 9 of this book. You should not fail to explore these organizations. There are also many astronomy societies and clubs and you may be fortunate to find one in your locale. Joining a club and visiting with its members provides an excellent opportunity to learn more about all aspects of astronomy. I have always found club members more than willing to share their special knowledge with the beginner.

Section Science and mathematics

Chinese contributions to astronomy were equally meager. The Chinese were quite diligent in keeping astronomical records, but they never created a theoretical structure. The ancient Chinese never deduced that the Earth was round, and their failure to do so made any significant progress in astronomy difficult. In 1600 ad, Chinese astronomy was at least 2000 years behind the West.

The Religious Response to On the Origin of Species

Christians who reject evolution tend to reject it for one or both of two reasons. Common descent conflicts with biblical special creation. The Bible in one literal reading tells of the universe's creation in six days, yet data from physics, astronomy, geology, and biology support a picture of the universe unfolding over billions of years. First there was the Big Bang, then gas clouds, then stars, and only about 4.5 billion years ago did planet Earth form. Life did not appear for another billion years or so, and then not all at once (see chapter 2). The Bible read literally also suggests that this creation event occurred a relatively short time ago, geologically speaking a span measured over thousands rather than billions of years. Yet data from physics and geology firmly support the inference that Earth is ancient. A literal reading of Genesis has animal kinds appearing in their present form, and varying only within the kind, whereas biology, genetics, and geology strongly support the...

Education And Public Outreach For Nasas Deep Impact Mission

ROUNTREE-BROWN1, E. M. WARNER1, S. A. MCLAUGHLIN1, J. M. BEHNE2, J. D. RISTVEY2, S. BAIRD-WILKERSON3, D. K. DUNCAN4, S. D. GILLAM5, G. H. WALKER6 and K. J. MEECH7 1 Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20742, U.S.A. 2McREL, Aurora, Colorado 80014, U.S.A. 3Magnolia Consulting, Louisa, Virginia 23093, U.S.A. 4Fiske Planetarium, Department ofAstronomy, University of Colorado 5Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Caltech, Pasadena, California, U.S.A. 6American Museum ofNatural History, New York, New York, U.S.A. 7Institute for Astronomy, University ofHawaii (* Author for correspondence E-mail mcfadden

Herculesstream stars and the metalrich thick disk

19001, Santiago 19, Chile 2 Department of Astronomy, University of Michigan, 830 Dennison Building, 500 Church Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1042, USA 3Lund Observatory, Box 43, SE-221 00 Lund, Sweden 4 Department of Astronomy and Space Physics, University of Uppsala, Box 515, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden

Jupiter and How to Observe It

Welcome to a wonderful pastime Observing the planets and learning something about them is an activity that anyone can do. I often liken amateur astronomy to the game of golf. Anyone can take up the sport. You can spend lots of money for equipment or you can be more frugal. You can participate at any level you wish and you can start when you are young and continue until you are old, all of your life at any age However, amateur astronomers have one great advantage we don't have to complain about our golf scores My interest in astronomy began in the 1960s, not in science class but in reading class. We read a story in the eighth grade about the Hale 200-in. telescope on Mount Palomar, and how George Hale raised the money so it could be built. I am not sure what happened, but something in me just clicked and I knew that somehow I had to get into astronomy. My parents were poor, so my first telescope was inexpensive, small and hopelessly inadequate yet, I remember going out with it every...

New Ways of Seeing Old Ways of Thinking

The ancient astronomers and Copernicus made their great contributions to science before the invention of the telescope. They based their conceptions of the universe on astronomical data gathered by naked-eye observers. These observers used sighting and angle-measuring instruments that did not include magnifying lenses of any sort. The classic refracting telescope, consisting of a tube with an eyepiece at one end and a larger objective lens at the other, first appeared around 1609, more than sixty years after Copernicus's death. Copernican system. A viewer cannot see either a heliocentric or geocentric universe through the eyepiece of a telescope. Observations made with the help of a telescope are like any other sets of observations. Astronomers gather their data and then interpret it within the framework of existing scientific theory and practice. This complex process ends with a majority accepting a given view of the workings of the universe. Historians divide observational astronomy...

The Database and Methods of Data Acquisition

The intention here is to summarize aspects of observational astronomy relevant to light curve acquisition and modeling. Thus, we discuss passband1 profiles of observational data because some codes no longer consider the observations to be monochromatic fluxes. Passbands are fixed finite wavelength-width stretches of the electromagnetic spectrum. Sources of errors in the observational data are discussed because light curve analysis codes can have weighting which is light-level dependent. Such errors depend to a large extent on observational techniques, so these too need to be described. The incorporation of Doppler profile analysis techniques in light curve codes requires high-resolution spectrophotometric data with excellent signal-to-noise ratios to extract profile information. The same can be said for mag-netometry. Polarization data require another dimension of information in the form of a series of position angle measurements.

Doppler Exoplanet Surveys From Single Object to Multiple Objects

Doppler planet surveys are the major tool for discovering new exoplanets. Of 200-plus known exoplanets discovered to date, about 90 were discovered by single object Doppler techniques. This chapter summarizes the results of Doppler planet surveys in the past decade, and new progress and early results in the development of new Doppler techniques, especially multiple object techniques. It also presents the scientific motivation for the next generation large-scale multi-object Doppler planet surveys and possible new science to be addressed. In the history of astronomy, the ability to move from single-object to multi-object observations has enabled large-scale astronomical surveys (e.g., the Sloan Digital Sky Survey) and consistently led to dramatic new discoveries. We anticipate similar advances will also occur with multi-object Doppler planet surveys in the next decade.

P Kenneth Seidelmann Abstract

The search for extrasolar planets and planet-forming regions is the focus of a number of programs, including the NASA Navigator Program. The ultimate goal of these programs is finding earth-like planets to determine if they are habitable, and search for signs of life. This effort includes both ground and space-based missions, and techniques of astrometry, interferometry, photometry, nulling, and coronographic imaging in both visual and infrared wavelengths to detect transits, periodic motions, and direct images. The space missions include Kepler, SIM PlanetQuest, Terrestrial Planet Finder - Corono-graph and Infrared, Spitzer Space Telescope, James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), and Microvariability and Oscillations of Stars (MOST). Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) is a high-flying airplane, and ground-based observations are made by the Keck Interferometer, the Large Binocular Telescope Interferometer (LBTI), Palomar Observatory Instruments, Pan-STARRS, and...

Spacebased Telescopes

Space-based visible IR telescopes offer considerable advantages over ground-based and airborne telescopes in that the effects of the terrestrial atmosphere are almost completely eliminated (although even the HST at an altitude of 600 km experiences some sensitivity to terrestrial UV airglow). Hence, the complete, unobscured spectra of the giant planets may be observed and angular resolution is, if the telescope and detection system are correctly constructed, diffraction-limited. Of course the angular diameters of the planets are unchanged and so very fine resolution, highly sensitive instruments are still required to image the farthest giant planet, Neptune. Although a number of space observatories have now been launched, only five have been used for planetary observations the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), the Infrared Space Observatory (ISO), the Submillimeter Wave Astronomy Satellite (SWAS), the Spitzer Telescope, and the AKARI space telescope, which will now be described.

The Use of Photography to Study Jupiter

Every serious observer of Jupiter will eventually be drawn to the fascination of photography and a desire to record the appearance of the planet in a more objective manner. When I was a boy, I imagined the day when I would possess that special 35 mm camera with which I would be able capture the stars and the planets on film. Since then I have done just that, and what I have learned has been somewhat frustrating. I know this must sound surprising and disappointing to those of you who have reached that same, magical stage in your astronomy life, but it is true.

Organizations of Interest

Its mission is to promote and safeguard the science of astronomy in all its aspects through international cooperation. Its individual members are professional astronomers all over the world, at the Ph.D. level or beyond and active in professional research and education in astronomy. However, the IAU maintains friendly relations with organizations that include amateur astronomers in their membership. National members are generally those with a significant level of professional astronomy. With more than 9,100 individual members and 65 national members worldwide, the IAU plays a pivotal role in promoting and coordinating worldwide cooperation in astronomy. The IAU also serves as the internationally recognized authority for assigning designations to celestial bodies and any surface features on them.

Section Predictions concerning future achievements

A) Very few, if any, of the major advances that will be made during the 21st century in the fields of mathematics, computer science, physics, chemistry, astronomy, geology, biology, engineering, or medicine will be made by African Negroes and disproportionately few will be made persons of predominantly Negro ancestry living on other continents, or by Australian or New Guinean aborigines.

Decade Of Extrasolar Planets Around Normal Stars

These proceedings from the Space Telescope Science Institute Symposium on extrasolar planets explore one of the hottest topics in astronomy today. Discussions include the Kepler mission, observational constraints on dust disk lifetimes and the implications for planet formation, and gravitational instabilities in protoplanetary disks. With review papers written by world experts in their fields, this is an important resource on extrasolar planets.

The Coma Of Comet Ptempel l

1 Planetary Exploration Group, Space Department, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, 11100 Johns Hopkins Road, Laurel, MD 20723, U.S.A. 2Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, U.S.A. 3 Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii, 2680 Woodlawn Drive, Honolulu, HI 96822, U.S.A. 4 Department of Planetary Sciences, University of Arizona, LPL, Tucson, AZ 85721, U.S.A. 5Lowell Observatory, 1400 West Mars Hill Road, Flagstaff, AZ 86001, U.S.A. (* Author for correspondence E-mails carey.lisse, lisse

Gammaray burststhe most spectacular fireworks

Bohdan Paczynski was raised and educated in Poland. He came to Princeton University's Astronomy Department in United States in 1982, where he holds the Lyman Spitzer professorship. Bohdan has held visiting positions in major astronomical institutions around the world, including Caltech, Cambridge, Harvard, Paris, and Moscow. This distinguished thinker and theoretician has been awarded numerous prizes for his contributions to astronomy, including the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society in London, the Henry Draper Medal of the US National Academy of Sciences, and the Eddington Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society. For over a decade now, he has concentrated much of his research in the study of one of the Universe's most challenging and enigmatic astrophysical phenomena the bright, high-energy gamma-ray flashes known astro-colloquially as gamma-ray bursts.

Is the Universe dense Clusters say no

I had just completed my analysis of the MS0451-03 data. The cluster had proved to be rather hot Keck observations of its galaxies by Isabella Gioia showed that the velocity dispersion (the distribution of galaxy redshifts around the average cluster redshift) was high too. I was also pregnant with my first child. I was feeling a little uncertain about my future in astronomy, but for the first time I was feeling like I was beginning to make a major contribution. Richard Mushotzky, a high-energy, bearded MIT graduate, a pundit in spectral X-ray astronomy, encouraged me to go for the more faint, distant clusters in the EMSS with ASCA. So I did so that summer and, later that fall, I wrote a proposal to NASA for a five-year project that would support my salary while I pursued these high-redshift clusters. That winter, Mark and I began applying for more permanent ''tenure-track'' positions. Tenure-track positions can last longer than typical 2-3 year postdoctoral...

Dust Environment And Possible Magnetic Field Interactions

Voyager 2 crossed the Uranus equatorial plane near a distance of 115,400 km from the center of the planet. That is about 14,400 km inside the orbit of Miranda and well exterior to any of the rings of Uranus. Two instruments aboard Voyager 2 (plasma wave and planetary radio astronomy instrumentation) were capable of detecting dust impacting the spacecraft. These instruments detected a maximum of 30 to 50 impacts per second very near the Uranus equator and extending more than 1,000 km above and below the equatorial plane 14 . From the measurements, estimated to be due to particles in the size range of a few micrometers or so, a maximum spatial density of about 1 dust particle per 1,000 cubic meters was calculated, dropping by a factor of 2 for every 100 to 150 km from the Uranus equator. 1 The data in Table 7.1 are taken from tables 11.1 and 11.2 in Miner, E. D., 1997, Uranus The Planet, Rings and Satellites, Wiley-Praxis Series in Astronomy and Astrophysics, Chichester, England the...

Malcolm S Longair Moscow

Malcolm Longair carried out his postgraduate studies at the Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory of the Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge, from 1963 to 1967. He spent the academic year 1968-1969 as Royal Society Exchange Fellow to Moscow. Subsequently, he was Astronomer Royal for Scotland and Director of the Royal Observatory Edinburgh from 1980 to 1991. He returned to Cambridge in 1991 as Jacksonian Professor of Natural Philosophy and from 1997 to 2005 was Head of the Cavendish Laboratory. I was fortunate enough to be in Moscow during the period September 1968 to July 1969 under the Royal Society - USSR Academy of Science Exchange Fellowship scheme when the Moscow Group led by Zel'dovich made many of their fundamental contributions to cosmology. For me, this was an incredible period of study when I came into daily contact with physicists and astronomers who had been brought up in a rather different scientific and political tradition from that of Western scientists. I have...

Expectations For Infrared Spectroscopy Of Ptempel From Deep Impact

1 Science Applications International Corporation, Chantilly, VA, U.S.A. 2 Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, U.S.A. 3Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute ofTechnology, Pasadena, CA, U.S.A. 4Department of Geological Sciences, Brown University, Providence, RI, U.S.A. (* Author for correspondence E-mail sunshinej

Deep Impact A Largescale Active Experiment On A Cometary Nucleus

BLUME4 1 Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742-2421, U.S.A. 2Belton Space Exploration Initiatives, LLC, Tucson, AZ, U.S.A. 3Delamere Support Services, Boulder, CO, U.S.A. 4 Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, U.S.A. (*Authorfor correspondence e-mail ma

Organization Of The Book

This book is aimed at final-year physics astronomy undergraduates and first-year postgraduate students of planetary physics. Knowledge of basic physics is assumed, but no previous atmospheric physics knowledge is needed. Formulas are derived where possible or referred if not.

The Long Fall To Earth

It would be a mistake to think that nothing happened on the way home, although duties were certainly much lighter. There was no lunar module to take up the surface crew's time and some of the housekeeping duties around the command module could be shared among all three crewmembers. Some flights were lucky enough to witness interesting astronomical events during their return others had various small science and technology experiments that made use of the very rare and expensive time that NASA had people in space. The J-missions, in particular, had a heavier workload during their coast home because they had a bay full of science instruments in the service module, and while there was no Moon nearby for them to sense and sniff, they could be used for a little pathfinding astronomy.

Judith L Pipher Being a young graduate student in interesting times Ignoring the forest for the trees

Judith Pipher has been a member of the University of Rochester faculty since 1971, and is now Professor Emeritus of Physics and Astronomy. Among recent recognitions of her work is the University of Rochester's Susan B. Anthony Lifetime Achievement Award. In the late 1960s, I was Martin Harwit's first graduate student working on a cryogenic rocket telescope experiment, and Tom Soifer was Jim Houck's first graduate student working on the same experiment. Jim had recently become a faculty member in the Cornell Astronomy Department, and he played a key role in directing graduate student activities. Tom and I were working on parallel developments - namely definition and construction of single-element detectors to work on the specific regions of the spectrum that were our mandate. Tom concentrated on the Ge Cu photoconductors (sensitive from 5 to 23 nm) and I built a Ge Ga detector for A < 120 m, a GaAs detector for A 150-200 m, and an InSb Rollin detector (hot-electron bolometer) for...

NASAs Origins Program

After only the blink of an eye in cosmic time, humans are beginning to answer some of these questions within the framework of science. Space probes and space-based and ground-based astronomical observatories have played a central role in this process of discovery. NASA's Origins Program involves a series of space missions (present and future) that are intended to help scientists answer these age-old astronomical questions. NASA's Origins-themed missions include the Spitzer Space Telescope (SST), the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) (previously called the Next Generation Space Telescope), the Kepler spacecraft, the Space Interferometry Mission (SIM), Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF), the Single Aperture Far-Infrared Observatory (SAFIR), the Life Finder and the Planet Imager. Earth-based observations, using the Keck Telescopes on Mauna Kea, Hawaii, and the Large Binocular Telescope Interferometer (LBTI) on Mount Graham, Arizona, are also part of the current program. Taken collectively,...

What to do after graduate school

Although it had been known from Edwin Hubble's work in the late 1920s that there is a very good linear relation between the apparent radial velocity or redshift of a galaxy and its distance away from us (another long story for a different book ), measuring redshifts for large numbers of faint galaxies was quite a chore in the early 1970s. In fact, in 1972, after more than 60 years of observing galaxy spectra by the likes of Vesto Slipher, Milton Humason, and Gerard deVaucouleurs, there were only a little over 1,000 galaxy redshifts known, and many of these were for galaxies in clusters of galaxies. The largest complete, brightness-limited redshift catalog contained less than 300 galaxies. Even though the method for creating a 3-D map of the galaxy distribution existed, the tools to apply this method were too primitive. Astronomers were just beginning to move away from photographic plates, which actually detect less than 1 of the light that falls on them, to much more efficient...

Freeflying Solar Observatory

One of Columbia's payloads was an important research satellite with a name even NASA's best acronym-makers could be proud of 'SPARTAN', or the 'Shuttle-Pointed Autonomous Research Tool for Astronomy'. Weighing 1,350 kg, it was a cube-shaped box loaded with two instruments and a set of adjunct experiments and was supposed to fly freely for two days. In effect, it was a carrier - a 'tool', as its name implied - for a variety of payloads, only a few of which had anything to do with astronomy. It had been used in January 1996, for example, to carry advanced technology experiments and on another mission in May to demonstrate an inflatable communications antenna. For Kregel's mission, it was designated 'Spartan-201' and would carry a White Light Coronagraph (WLC) and an Ultraviolet Coronal Spectrometer (UCS) to explore the outermost layers of the Sun's atmosphere (its 'corona'). The two instruments had flown before on board Spartan, on no fewer than three occasions.

System of Basic Terminology and Nomenclature

Like most sciences, planetary astronomy comprises a language of special terms and nomenclature. Understanding those associated with Jupiter will facilitate our discussions and explanations, since this scientific shorthand can actually help to keep our discussions simple and unambiguous. Years ago, A.L.P.O. Jupiter Section Coordinator Phil Budine suggested a simple, straightforward system that we can still use today. There are abbreviations for the terms and nomenclature of dark and bright features, and for the belts and zones so, some of the more common terms and abbreviations are shown in Tables 2.2 and 2.3. Various dark and bright features can be seen in the belts and zones at any given time. Some of the features most often seen are illustrated in Table 2.4. These illustrations are modeled after illustrations used by past A.L.P.O. Jupiter Recorder Phillip Budine.

Summoned to the mountains

X-ray astronomy at that time had rather bottomed out. There were no new NASA X-ray missions planned for at least the next five years. The By 1988, Mark and I had married. By doing so we had made pursuing careers in astronomy even more difficult. How to find two astronomy jobs in the same place, the infamous ''two-body'' problem in science. I decided that two theorists were less likely to find jobs together than would a theorist and an observer so I happily embarked on a separate thesis project with another advisor, Dr. John Stocke. John, a recent Colorado hire from Arizona, as new-age relaxed as Mike was intense, was just completing one of the major projects of his early career the identification of all of the extragalactic X-ray sources observed by the Einstein Observatory. X-ray astronomy was coming back into my life. John and his multi-national group of collaborators had re-analyzed all of the archived image data acquired by the ''IPC'' (Imaging Proportional Counter) detector on...

Dark matter and the discovery of galactic halos

Jeremiah Ostriker received his doctorate in astrophysical sciences from the University of Chicago, under the tutelage of the legendary astrophysicist and Nobel laureate, S. Chandrasekhar. After receiving his doctorate, Jerry held a postdoctoral position at Cambridge University. He then went to Princeton University, where he became the Chair of the Department of Astrophysical Sciences and the Director of Princeton University Observatory. Since 1995 he has served as the Provost of Princeton University, while maintaining his position as a professor in the Department of Astrophysical Sciences. Jerry Ostriker's contributions to astrophysics have earned him the recognition of his colleagues in awards as diverse as the Helen B. Warner Prize and the Henry Norris Russell Prize of the American Astronomical Society, the Vainu Bappu Memorial Award of the Indian National Science Academy, and the Karl Schwarzschild Medal of the Astronomische Gesellschaft of Germany. Jerry's research spans much of...

Cables Drums and Seashells

Let us consider contact using radio astronomy. Radio astronomy on Earth is a by-product of the Second World War, when there were strong military pressures for the development of radar. Serious radio astronomy emerged only in the 1950s, major radio telescopes only in the 1960s. If we define an advanced civilization as one able to engage in long-distance radio communication using large radio telescopes, there has been an advanced civilization on our planet for only about ten years. Therefore, any civilization ten years less advanced than we cannot talk to us at all.

So weve lost the mission The Big Bang and the Cosmic Background Explorer

John Mather is a Senior Astrophysicist in the Infrared Astrophysics Branch at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. His research centers on infrared astronomy and cosmology. He is the recipient of many awards, including the National Air and Space Museum Trophy, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Space Science Award, the Aviation Week and Space Technology laurels, the Heineman Prize of the American Astronomical Society, the John Scott Award from the city of Philadelphia, the Rumford Prize of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Physics from the Franklin Institute. In his spare time, John likes to read, listen to music, travel, and go to the ballet with his wife, Jane, a ballet teacher. John is presently working on several advanced space astronomy mission concepts, including the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope. Here he tells us of how he came to be one of the key players in NASA's COBE (pronounced, CO-BEE) mission to...

Introduction to first edition

Although some in situ measurements have been made, planetary investigations have largely been restricted to remote sensing of emitted and reflected radiation. Planets emit most of their thermal radiation in the middle and far infrared while reflected sunlight dominates their visible and near infrared spectra. Planetary spectra, recorded from orbiting or fly-by spacecraft, make it possible to simultaneously obtain good horizontal and vertical resolutions of both atmospheric composition and thermal structure. These quantities and their gradients lead to a description of energetic and dynamical processes characteristic of each atmosphere. High resolution images at visible and infrared wavelengths display cloud patterns, which manifest this dynamical activity and provide highly complementary information to the spectral data. Ground-based astronomy has contributed additional information, with the significant advantage of providing observations over relatively long time spans. The SI unit...

Evolution Broad And Narrow

Think of evolution as a statement about history. If we were able to go back in time, we would find different galaxies and planets, and different forms of life on Earth. Galaxies, planets, and living things have changed through time. There is astronomical evolution, geological evolution, and biological evolution. Evolution, far from the mere man evolved from monkeys, is thus integral to astronomy, geology, and biology. As we will see, it is relevant to physics and chemistry as well.

The Institut de Radio Astronomie Millimtrique IRAM

IRAM is an international institute for research in millimeter astronomy founded in 1979 by the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), France, and the Max Planck Gesellschaft (MPG), Germany. The organization was joined by the Instituto Geografico Nacional (IGN), Spain, in September 1990. IRAM operates

Very Large Telescope Interferometer VLTI

The ESO VLT in Chile was described in Section 7.4.1. In addition to the main 8.2m utility telescopes, the last of which is almost complete, the site also includes the Italian VLT 2.6 m Survey Telescope (VLST) and the British 4 m Visible and Infrared Telescope for Astronomy (VISTA), which were both installed in 2007 2008. One of the most exciting developments at the VLT, however, is the construction of the VLT Interferometer (VLTI). The VLTI will, for the first time, provide a long-baseline interferometric capability to the visible infrared, routinely used in microwave observations, and thus greatly increase the angular resolution of ground-based observations at these wavelengths. Among other things, the VLTI provides an important precursor to possible future terrestrial planet-finding missions such as NASA's TPF and ESA's Darwin (Section 8.7). The VLTI system will be able to combine light from any of the four main unit telescopes (UTs), together with light gathered by any of three 1.8...

Solution Cloudy Skies Are Common

The astronomers on Lagash would find it difficult to develop what we call astronomy. Since light from their six suns drowns out light from any other astronomical body, they could not know of the existence of planets or stars. Historically, on Earth, the development of physical science depended critically upon having planets whose orbits scientists tried to explain. Without a clear view of the skies, how could Lagash astronomers possibly develop an understanding of the physical Universe or of their place in it They could be our superiors in terms of intelligence, they might develop a technology beyond our own, but they would not attempt to contact us because they would not know of or even suspect our existence. Although the situation in Nightfall is unlikely, one can think of many cases where the physical environment of an ETC would prevent them ever developing the notion that beings exist on other worlds. What if, as one philosopher asked, cloudy skies are common No matter how...

Observation and Estimates of Color

It is my practice to record the color of Jupiter's belts, zones, and other individual features on the Jupiter observing form. I generally make this determination while I am making intensity estimates. I find that estimates of color, as with intensity estimates, are best performed at lower powers of magnification in integrated light that is, without the use of color filters. With a Celestron C8 I usually do this at a magnification not exceeding 175x. With a 12-in. instrument I would use a higher power. Excessive magnification causes the image to be dimmer, and the color to be more diffused or diluted. The intensity of the color needs to be strong enough that your eye can make a reasonable estimate of its tint and intensity. I also like to record this information in the descriptive notes of my observing log, a log that I keep for all of my astronomy observations, including the non-planetary ones. As subjective as it is, we never know when our record of color will turn out to be the most...

Uncle Carl And The Little Green

One who was never afraid to keep pushing exobiology as a reason for planetary exploration was Carl Sagan. By the late 1960s he was gaining prominence as both a scientist and a popularizer, spreading his vision of modern astronomy infused with cosmic philosophy (stripped of its explicit spirituality). Carl promoted planetary exploration and the search for life with the passion of a true believer. In 1971, Time magazine called him exobiology's most energetic and articulate spokesman.

Losing my religion and heeding a call

Up to then my work experience had consisted of minimum-wage farm and janitorial work, clerical odd jobs, and a brief unsuccessful stint selling dress shoes. The concept of working for a physicist blew me away, but a few weeks later, I took him up on it, and he set up a work-for-credit position with Drs. Tom Markert and Claude Canizares, in the X-ray astronomy group at MIT. X-ray astronomers study astronomical objects that emit X-rays. Such objects emit X-rays for usually one of two reasons either they are very hot, as in the case of the supersonically shocked shells of interstellar gas left behind after a supernova, or they are composed of charged particles moving at speeds close to the speed of light relativistic particles. Such particles exist near supermassive black holes, which can accelerate atomic particles to high speeds. X-ray astronomers must use telescopes that soar above the Earth's atmosphere, because the atmosphere absorbs the X-rays from the cosmos, luckily for us. X-ray...

Spacelab A Freeforall Mission

For Spacelab-1 - the first 'dedicated' flight - a long module and single pallet would be flown together in the payload bay. However, this mission did not require an igloo because all of the subsystems needed to run the pallet-mounted experiments were housed inside the pressurised module. Also, the payload was not dedicated to one scientific discipline, but was a 'free-for-all' covering virtually all possible areas of research for which the system had been designed. The module and pallet would play host to more than 70 life sciences, technology, astronomy, solar physics, Earth-observation, plasma physics and materials science investigations.

Supermetallicity and stellar evolution

The helium-burning stars are generally confined to the red clump, with a blue horizontal-branch extension seen only in old, metal-poor populations - at least in the classical view of stellar populations. However, blue EHB populations are observed in NGC 6388 and 6441. These are not super-metal-rich clusters, but are metal-rich enough that such blue HBs should not exist (Rich et al. 1997). Blue HB stars are also found in NGC 6791 (Peterson & Green 1998). In red elliptical galaxies with no sign of star formation, a hot component (now known as the UVX) has been detected since the early days of satellite astronomy (Code 1969) and remains unexplained (O'Connell 1999). Burstein et al. (1988) in an influential paper found that ellipticals and bulges exhibit a correlation between the UVX and the metallicity-sensitive Mg2 index this has not been confirmed in a larger sample of GALEX-selected quiescent early-type galaxies from the SDSS (Rich et al. 2005) and there remains only a weak...

Introduction derivation of stellar physical parameters

It is generally of importance in observational stellar astronomy to precisely establish the parameters of stars (e.g. atmospheric parameters such as Teff, log g, vt, Fe H for constructing model atmospheres or fundamental stellar parameters such as M or age that are closely related to the current status of a star), the typical derivation processes of which are schematically depicted in Figure 32.1.

Section Technological achievements in preColumbian America

Only the Mayas had any achievements in these fields. They independently invented positional notation and a sign for zero at about the same time as the Asian Indians did (and therefore well before these were known in Europe or China). The Mayas learned how to predict solar eclipses by following historical cycles, but they had no knowledge of astronomical theory.

Observations From Earth

Telescopic observers, including Gian Domenico Cassini of France and William Herschel of England, have reported a variety of faint markings on its disk. Some of these markings may have corresponded to the cloud features observed in modern times in ultraviolet light, while others may have been illusory. Important early telescopic observations of Venus were conducted in the 1700s during the planet's solar transits. In a solar transit an object passes directly between the Sun and Earth and is silhouetted briefly against the Sun's disk. Transits of Venus are rare events, occurring in pairs eight years apart with more than a century between pairs. They were extremely important events to 18th-century astronomy, since they provided the most accurate method known at that time for determining the distance between Earth and the Sun. (This distance, known as the astronomical unit, is one of the fundamental units of astronomy.) Observations of the 1761 transit were only partially successful but...

Io On Teaching the First Grade

A friend in the first grade asked me to come to talk to his class, which, he assured me, knew nothing about astronomy but was eager to learn. With the approval of his teacher, I arrived at his school in Mill Valley, California, armed with twenty or thirty color slides of astronomical objects - the Earth from space, the Moon, the planets, exploding stars, gaseous nebulae, galaxies, and the like - which I thought would amaze and intrigue and, perhaps to a certain extent, even educate. It was a very sobered lecturer who went on to describe the findings of modern astronomy. These children were not the offspring of professional astronomers or college teachers or physicians or the like. They were apparently ordinary firstgrade children. I very much hope - if they can survive twelve to twenty years of regimenting education - that they will hurry and grow up and start running things. Astronomy is not taught in the public schools, at least in America. With a few notable exceptions, a student...

Young Earth Creationism

Few proponents of young-Earth creationism interpret the flat Earth and geocentric passages of the Bible literally. They accept heliocentrism but reject the conclusions of modern physics, astronomy, chemistry, and geology concerning the age of Earth, and they deny biological descent with modification. Earth, in their view, is between 6,000 and 10,000 years old. They reject the Big Bang theory and postulate catastrophic mechanisms as the cause of most of the world's geological features. The Flood of Noah, for example, is allegedly responsible for carving the Grand Canyon and other geological features.

Comparative Planetology

Comparative Planetology is currently rapidly acquiring the status of a new sub-discipline of Astronomy and Astrophysics. Although originating from within this subject, it is now becoming truly cross-disciplinary incorporating elements of biology (astrobiology), geophysics, chemistry, meteorology, etc., and thus also attracts interest from researchers in all these disciplines. Many of these individual scientists are of course attracted by the possibility that, through comparison, we will make advances in areas of research relating to our own planet and its existence that have been impossible or are very difficult to carry out here on Earth. An important example would be the origin of life itself on our planet. We do not know, either when, how or where this occurred on our planet. The evolving state of the planet's crust has obliterated direct evidence and, consequently, we do not know if life arose spontaneously and easily (as would be indicated by an early occurrence), or under very...

The Impact of Space Climate and Weather on Living Systems

During the early stages of the study of the origin of life (Oparin, 1953 Ponnamperuma and Chela-Flores, 1995) not enough attention was paid to the correlation between chemical evolution of Earth materials and variability of the early Sun (Messerotti, 2004) or remote events taking place in our galactic neighbourhood. Today, a meaningful study of the factors that may have led to an early onset of life on Earth begins to be possible due to the advent of a significant fleet of space missions and the possibility of performing experiments in the International Space Station (ISS). Our review lies within the scope of astrobiology (the study of the origin, evolution, distribution and destiny of life in the universe) and astronomy. Both disciplines should search analogous objectives, as we shall endeavour to illustrate with a few examples in this short review. Preliminary modelling of the Sun does not allow useful extrapolations into the distant past in order to study in detail the influence of...

The International Space Station

Spacecraft, such as observatories and interplanetary probes. The argument goes that the return in terms of science of unmanned exploration would be much greater, and it is easy to have sympathy for this point of view. The main science research goals of the ISS include astronomy and Earth observation, but we can see (from Chapter 2) that the ISS orbit is not ideal for either of these activities. Other research areas focus on experiments that require one or more of the unusual conditions, mostly related to microgravity, present on the station. These include the continued study of the effects of weightlessness on people, and studies in physics and chemistry, such as materials science. The argument between the two camps has been quite acrimonious at times. One outspoken opponent of manned space exploration is Bob Park, a professor of physics and formally the chair of the Department of Physics at the University of Maryland. His view is rather extreme, but nevertheless sums up the strength...

A martini the size of the pacific a martini the size of the pacific

Among the many surprises of radio astronomy has been the detection in the huge interstellar molecular clouds of various spectra that are evidently compatible with the presence of a significant number of organic molecules.5 Outer space being what it is, the quantities available are truly gigantic. The chemist Robert Shapiro6 remarks that there is enough alcohol to make any number of dry martinis, each the size of the Pacific Ocean. But what is the real significance of this interstellar material The first problem, of course, is that many organic compounds may escape detection either because their spectra are masked by the stronger vibrations of other molecules or because they occur in very low concentrations and are difficult to recognize. It would not be at all surprising, for example, if amino acids were to be detected (and the presence of amino acids in carbonaceous meteorites is clear enough evidence for their extraterrestrial formation), but so far not even the simplest amino acid,...

Theres a flying saucer in my backyard

If we are not alone, then how many intelligent civilisations might exist among the stars In 1961 the American radio astronomer Frank Drake came up with an ingenious approach - now known as the Drake Equation - to answer this question. At that time he was working at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in West Virginia. In the early 1960s many scientists If we know the values of these factors, we can calculate N. As astronomers do not agree on the exact values, estimates of N vary from one (we are home alone) to many millions (yes, a flying saucer could land in your backyard). These estimates are for our galaxy alone, and there are 125 billion (and still counting) galaxies in the presently observable universe. Mind boggling, indeed

Preface to the second edition

Recently, the frantic pace of discovery has fallen off to some extent - most of the easy questions have been answered. We have taken advantage of this comparative lull in activity to revise and update this textbook, incorporating as many as possible of the new results. Not surprisingly, the most extensive changes centre on the brown dwarf and extrasolar planet chapters, which have been essentially rewritten. We have also re-ordered the chapters, to take account of the fact that brown dwarfs are now very much in the main stream of astronomy, rather than a radical new discovery. There are substantial modifications to the chapters on the empirical characteristics of cool dwarfs (Chapter 2), magnetic activity (Chapter 5), the luminosity function (Chapter 8) and the mass function (Chapter 9) in addition, we have updated our brief survey of the Galactic structure (Chapter 7) to take into account recent results in that area. Throughout, we have corrected errors and inaccuracies in the first

Earthorbiting Telescopic Observations

The Hubble Space Telescope orbits Earth at an altitude of 600 km. A newer infrared telescope, the Spitzer Space Telescope (Figure 12.2 6 ), is actually in orbit around the Sun rather than around the Earth. It follows the Earth in its orbit, at a distance that increases about 15,000,000 km each year. While its main goals are associated with astronomy beyond the solar system, it also studies the giant planets circling our own star, the Sun, and could provide temperatures, images, and other data on planetary ring systems.

The Rocky Road To Space

Chandra, who died in 1995 at the age of 85, was not only a Nobel Prize-winner for his contributions to astronomy, but also conducted valuable theoretical work on stellar evolution that established a basis for the existence of neutron stars and black holes - the very objects his mechanical namesake would be observing from its high orbit. ''Chandra thought black holes were the most beautiful objects in the Universe,'' said Lalitha Chandrasekhar, his 88-year-old widow, who attended Columbia's launch. ''I hear a lot of people say they are bizarre, they are exotic, but to Chandra they were just beautiful.''

Making Superman Jealous

''Hubble revealed the visible side of the Universe,'' theorist Michael Turner of the University of Chicago said, ''but most of the Universe does not emit visible light It's only visible by other means, in particular the X-rays. Chandra will give us the same clarity of vision as Hubble does, but for the 'dark side' of the Universe that we know the least about.'' Comparing astronomers' capabilities before and after Chandra, Steve Hawley - an astronomer - likened it to the difference between the small reflecting telescope he used as a child and the 5-m telescope on Mount Palomar in California. ''The observatory is a major improvement in X-ray astronomy over anything that has been done before and is to come,'' said Martin Weisskopf, Chandra's lead astronomer, before launch. ''The key features that make it so special are firstly the angular resolution it's ability to distinguish and pick out objects. The resolution of Chandra is such that you can read a newspaper at a distance of half a...

An Important Mission For Germany

The EDO pallet, which could have extended STS-55's time aloft to a fortnight, was not carried this time, although according to Nagel the Germans were offered this option. ''They had a tradeoff they could've had there. Could've put an EDO pallet in the back with more cryo genic tanks for fuel cells and flown even longer, but they chose to have experiments back there on an outside rack instead of additional days in orbit.'' That 'rack' was a Unique Support Structure (USS) - a bridge in Columbia's payload bay - which carried a set of astronomy, atmospheric physics and materials science experiments.

Atmospheric Effects And Their Reduction

The fourth deleterious effect of the Earth's atmosphere is caused by distortion of the waves reaching us from any object in space. This arises from point to point variations in the optical properties of the Earth's atmosphere, and their rapid changes with time due to winds and turbulence. This effect is measured by what is called the atmospheric seeing. In good seeing the stars shine much more steadily than in poor seeing, when they twinkle a lot - very pretty but not good for astronomy. In poor seeing, in telescopes with D less than about 100 mm the

Section The importance of ancient Egypt is usually greatly overrated

The Egyptian contribution to astronomy was also minimal. Although the dry climate in Egypt made for near-ideal viewing conditions, they appear to have had less interest in the subject than any other ancient civilization. They had noted the heliacal rising of Sirius, but they made no significant contributions to astronomical theory, nor to physics, chemistry, biology, or geology.

Gifted Young Tuscan

His father's work and his own environment inclined Galileo more towards art than to science. But in the wake of the Renaissance, the line between these two areas was not very clearly defined. Vincenzio's musical theory made use of mathematics and physics - indeed, music as a taught subject was reckoned as one of the quadrivium subjects, together with arithmetic, geometry and astronomy. (The linguistic disciplines - trivium - were grammar, rhetoric Medicine was far from being a poor career choice for a young man with ambitions. The discipline was particularly prestigious in Italy, whereas in most other European countries theology still dominated the universities. It was a comprehensive education. In those days subject boundaries were not clear cut - it is questionable if disciplines in the modern sense existed at all. Natural philosophy, logic and mathematics were medical subjects, as well as the very recently developed anatomy, with its spectacular dissections. Mathematics and...

Marvellous Combination of Circumstances

Galileo was suffering from constant ill-health, he had turned sixty in February 1624 and well knew that it was high time for him to bring together all his practical experiments and theoretical deliberations into one great, comprehensive work. Despite his growing contemporary fame, he had as yet not written anythingthat could compare with Copernicus' De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium or for that matter his competitor Kepler's The New Astronomy or his newly published World Harmony. During his previous visit to Rome in 1615-16, when Galileo had crushed his opponents in improvised discussions about Copernicus in the homes of the Roman ruling classes, he had bumped into an old acquaintance, Francesco Ingoli, who had studied law at Padua. Ingoli had chosen a career in the church, but he was interested in astronomy and had published a couple of minor works on heavenly phenomena. He was not convinced by Galileo's

The Discovery of Pluto and the Kuiper Belt

After the discovery of Neptune in 1846, astronomers soon predicted and began searching for a ninth planet based on perceived irregularities in the orbits of Neptune, Uranus, and even Saturn. The astronomers William Henry Pickering and Percival Lowell, sometimes partners and sometimes opponents, were among the most determined. They each used orbital analysis to predict the existence of a ninth planet, which Pickering called Planet O and Lowell called Planet X. Pickering's accurate prediction was made in 1919, and the search began. (This Pickering should not be confused with a second William H. Pickering, who later became a towering figure in planetary science, launching the first U.S. satellite and directing the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for years.) Lowell's first known prediction of a ninth planet was made in 1902. He began his search and orbital calculations soon after. Lowell conducted intense searches for the planet, but it was still undiscovered when he died in 1916. He was deeply...

Sun Stand Thou Still upon Gibeon

Germany possessed an able Jesuit astronomer by the name of Father Christopher Scheiner, who was also interested in sunspots. With their well developed international web of contacts, the Jesuits had got hold of good telescopes, and Scheiner was a fine observer. He now wrote a short account in which he began a discussion with Galileo about sunspots. One of his assertions was that he had seen the phenomenon before the Italian. An odd episode occurred in November 1612, which at first made Galileo furious, but which he subsequently joked about. An elderly Dominican priest in Florence, named Lorini, said during a discussion that as far as he could make out, maintaining that the Earth moved was contrary to Holy Scripture. When Galileo wrote and demanded an explanation, the Dominican replied, apparently defensively, that his remark had been made off the cuff, that he did not have the slightest knowledge of astronomy, or at least not of that Ipernicus or whatever his name is. A year later...

The Eclipsing Binaries in NGC

Difficult to convince telescope allocation committees (for telescopes of sufficient size to provide the data) that this kind of project is feasible and worthy of telescope time. The best that can be done at present is to obtain data in passbands across a large range of wavelength. This will make it easier to find the relative surface fluxes it will also permit exploration of the flux distribution of any light curve perturbations. But for the final discrimination amongoccultation andtransit models in the detached case, and critical confirmation in others, we must continue to seek radial velocity data. Hopefully, some telescope allocation committees will sufficiently appreciate the importance to astronomy of fundamental properties of stars to risk three days of telescope time.

New Star in an Unchanging

New stars appearing in the sky was not a completely unknown phenomenon. They were labelled stella nova (new star) or simply nova. The nova of 1604 was in fact what we now call a supernova, a very rare stellar catastrophe which for a short period increases the light output of the exploding star a billion times or more. It was the German astronomer Johann Kepler in Prague who first noticed the phenomenon - and so the 1604 nova is known as Kepler's nova in consequence, and is the most recent supernova registered in the Milky Way. For Galileo, perhaps the most important result of the nova was that he had to apply himself seriously to astronomy, a corner of the curriculum he had not studied in depth up to that point. But he was certainly aware that the parallax question could also be turned into a serious argument against the Copernican theory of the Sun in the centre and the Earth in orbit, presumably the best scientific argument the Church and the defenders of tradition had.

Lecturer and Designer

The vague boundaries between subjects meant that Galileo by no means limited himself to pure mathematics. He lectured on astronomy - but did not reveal his belief in the motion of the Earth. Instead he recited the traditional, Ptolemaic counter-arguments birds would be left behind as the Earth revolved beneath them, objects dropped from a tower would land far away from the tower's foot.

Preface to the first edition

Perhaps the most common question that a child asks when he or she sees the night sky from a dark site for the first time is 'How many stars are there ' This happens to be a question which has exercised the intellectual skills of many astronomers over the course of most of the last century, including, for the last two decades, one of the authors of this text. Until recently, the most accurate answer was 'We are not certain, but there is a good chance that almost all of them are M dwarfs.' Within the last three years, results from new sky surveys - particularly the first deep surveys at near-infrared wavelengths - have provided a breakthrough in this subject, solidifying our census of the lowest mass stars and identifying large numbers of the hitherto almost mythical substellar-mass brown dwarfs. These extremely low-luminosity objects are the central subjects of this book, and the subtitle should be interpreted accordingly. The expression 'low-mass stars' carries a wide range of...

Going to work for NASA

Pat Thaddeus in New York City, at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, had just built a new telescope on the roof of the physics building at Columbia University. I wanted out of cosmology. I wanted to do something where it didn't take years to build the apparatus and then see it fail. Pat got me started observing with a radio telescope and making some computer calculations, and I even made a little progress. However, the fates had something else in mind NASA. NASA had sent around a team to Berkeley to see what their Space Sciences Laboratory there was doing, and I had told them about our balloon project. They wanted to know why we weren't doing it in space. I thought, ''Who, me, I'm just a kid '' I drew a picture and a draftsman tidied it up (this was before computers could draw). In retrospect it amazes me that so much could come from such a little booklet. Now, in today's intensely competitive environment, such a short proposal would have no...

Notes And References

M., Meyer-Vernet, N., Aubier, M. G., Zarka, P., 1991, Dust distribution around Neptune Grain impacts near the ring plane measured by the Voyager Planetary Radio Astronomy experiment'', Journal of Geophysical Research 96, 19187-19196. 17 Lindblad resonances are named for Swedish astronomer Bertil Lindblad (1895-1965). He was the first to recognize that galactic spiral structure could be attributed to the gravitational influence of a perturbing body on a disk of smaller bodies if the two orbited around a common center in periods that are related by relative small integers. For the purposes of this chapter, the three bodies involved in Lindblad resonances are the planet, a perturbing satellite of sufficient mass, and a ring. For example, if a satellite orbits a planet interior to a planetary ring and completes two orbits of the planet for every single orbit of some of the particles in the ring, and if the satellite is large enough to exert a measurable gravitational...

Chandra Ready To Open Its Xray Eyes

''Houston, we have a good deploy,'' radioed Collins. ''Chandra is ready to open the eyes of X-ray astronomy to the world.'' Added a happy Coleman ''There are five big smiles in here '' After the mission, Coleman would tell an interviewer that she was so taken aback by the beauty of the observatory disappearing into the inky blackness on its way to its highly elliptical orbit that she was ''almost too excited to video '' Shortly after the deployment, Collins and Ashby manoeuvred Columbia into a so-called 'window-protection' orientation, whereby the Shuttle's belly was pointed towards the IUS' nozzle.

Historical development

It is not until 1667 that any further significant discussion of stellar rotation was made. In that year the French astronomer Ismael Boulliaud (1605-1694) suggested that the variability in light of some stars (such as Mira Ceti) might be a direct consequence of axial rotation, with the rotating star showing alternately its bright (unspotted) and dark (spotted) hemispheres to the observer. This idea was popularized in Fontenelle's Entretiens sur la pluralite des mondes - a highly successful introduction to astronomy that went through many revised editions during the period 1686-1742. To be specific, he noted that these fixed stars which have disappeared aren't extinguished, that these are really only half-suns. In other words they have one half dark and the other lighted, and since they turn on themselves, they sometimes show us the luminous half and then we see them sometimes half dark, and then we don't see them at all. * Although this explanation for the variable stars did not...

Damped Lymanalpha systems

1 The conventional definition of a damped Lya system is one in which the column density of neutral hydrogen is above the threshold N(H i) 2 x 1020cm-2, but absorption systems with column densities one order of magnitude lowerthan this value also exhibit (obviously weaker) damping wings in the Lya line they are usually referred to as sub-DLAs or 'super-Lyman-limit systems' - another example of the confusing power of labels in astronomy

Journey to the Earths Interior

Gardner offers a diversity of evidence to support his claim, including evidence from the field of astronomy. He argues that the fact that other planets are hollow spheres lends credence to the idea that the earth is hollow as well. Examining Mars and Venus through a telescope, he claims, reveals that they are indeed hollow. What some researchers have mistaken for polar ice caps on the planet Mars are, in reality, holes leading into the interior. On certain occasions the glimmer of an interior sun has even been glimpsed.

Planets Around White Dwarfs

One particularly intriguing aspect of white dwarf astronomy is so-called DAZ white dwarfs. These are moderately cool white dwarfs with hydrogen atmospheres, which show evidence for metal absorption lines, In a few instances, there is evidence for warm dust disks around the white dwarfs, containing the equivalent of a few cubic kilometers of metals. Theoretical models suggest the metal absorption lines, and the

Astro Four Powerful Eyes On The Universe

The ASTRO observatory can trace its origins back to 1978, when NASA issued an Announcement of Opportunity for advanced astronomical instruments for carriage on future Shuttle missions. Three were ultimately chosen - the Hopkins Ultraviolet Telescope (HUT), provided by the Johns Hopkins University of Baltimore, Maryland the Wisconsin Ultraviolet Photopolarimeter Experiment (WUPPE), built in the Space Astronomy Laboratory at the University of Wisconsin at Madison and the Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (UIT), sponsored by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. The project was to be managed by the Office of Space Science. NASA hoped that the addition of BBXRT would shed some new light on a major supernova - known as 1987A - which had first been spotted by astronomers in February 1987. Stars 10 to 100 times more massive than our Sun burn a succession of chemical elements rapidly until their cores collapse and they explode as 'supernovae' these are among the most powerful events in the...

Other Error Detection Correction Methods Genetic and Neural Systems and a Nonlinear Dynamics Approach for Biological

In the rest of this paper, instead of developing more technically complicated topics related to error detection and correction, such as, for example, those related to the above-mentioned turbo codes, we develop an interesting conceptual alternative the use of nonlinear dynamics for implementing error control and related signal processing in biological systems. The theory of dynamical systems has produced the last scientific revolution in the physico-mathematical sciences (Strogatz, 1994). This new research discipline has led in a few years to important theoretical and experimental results, such as those related to chaos theory, chaos control, synchronization in all its variants, stochastic resonance, emergent behavior, spatiotemporal auto-organization (Bak, 1996), etc. These important areas related to nonlinear dynamics have found key applications in many different disciplines, such as for example, chemical dynamics, meteorology, astronomy, electronics, etc., but have also penetrated...

Data Processing Pipeline

The images and spectra will be files in the Flexible Image Transport System (FITS) format, a standard data format used in astronomy (see http fits. for details). The FITS format combines each observation with header information in a single file. The header information is flexible and expandable at a minimum, it contains a description of the observation's data. The SDC, at the direction of the Science Team, will also place mission- and observation-specific information in the header to aid in science analysis and archiving. The raw data headers will contain the information available in the raw spacecraft files such as epoch of the observation, instrument identification, state (e.g., temperatures in DN units, filters used), and parameter settings (e.g., exposure duration, gain states). The calibrated data headers will combine the header information from the raw data with external information such as ephemerides, attitude information, and calibrations to expand the headers...

That Universe Is Not Any Greater Than the Space I Occupy

The blind old man at Il Gioiello was one of the most famous men in Europe, and despite the embargo on visits, colleagues and admirers came in secret to pay their respects. One of them was John Milton. That great and thoroughly learned English poet was deeply interested in astronomy. In his principal work Paradise Lost the struggle between God, Satan and the angels is set in a carefully constructed universe, although largely built on Ptolemaic principles, mainly out of poetic considerations. Milton (who would also live to be blind and isolated in his old age) used the experiences of his meeting with Galileo in a domestic political context. He was one of Cromwell's supporters and emphasised the relative freedom of thought that

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