Space, the final frontier, the night sky that has captured our imagination for eons, otherwise known as the natural science of Astronomy. For anyone curious or interested to learn more about Astronomy, here are 10 facts or aspects to get started with.
- 1. The history of Astronomy goes back to prehistoric times, such as the Goseck circle in Germany around 5000 BC, Stonehenge in 3000 BC, the Sumerians and Babylonians from 3000 to 1000 BC, the Egyptians from at least 3000 BC, China has records going back to 600 BC, and so on.
- 2. The oldest recordings of stars and constellations are from the Babylonians around 1200 BC, which was later adapted by the Greeks in around 300 BC.
- 3. The name Astronomy comes from the Greek words of astron and nomy, meaning respectively “star” and “law or culture”, translating to the law or culture of the stars.
- 4. Constellations are a group of stars that are close together forming a constant pattern, such as Orion, the Big Dipper, etc.
- 5. In modern times, there are many different types of astronomy, besides observational, these include radio astronomy, infrared astronomy, optical astronomy, ultraviolet astronomy, x-ray astronomy, gamma ray astronomy, and other theoretical models or ideas.
- 6. Besides the Sun, the closest star is Alpha Centauri, about 4.2 light years away.
- 7. Some of the problems that professional astronomers are dealing with range from is there other life in the Universe, what caused it to form in the first place, what is the nature of dark matter and dark energy, learning more about black holes, or aspects about the stellar mass spectrum.
- 8. The Very Large Array, or VLA, in New Mexico is a well known radio astronomy observatory, featured in movies such as 2010, Contact, and Terminator Salvation.
- 9. The largest telescope in the world is the Gran Telescopio in Spain, with an aperture of 10.4 metres or 409 inches, followed by Keck 1 and 2 in Hawaii, the Southern African Large Telescope in South Africa, the Hobby Eberly Telescope in Texas, the Large Binocular Telescope in Arizona, Subaru in Hawaii, and at the Paranal Observatory in Chile.
- 10. Amateur astronomy can be done with a portable telescope or binoculars. Things to check out include the Moon, planets, comets, meteor showers, as well as deep sky objects such as star clusters, galaxies, and nebulae.
Organize your Astronomy research on your own network
If looking to get into it more seriously, you can use one of your Odysen networks to help organize things. Some examples include:
- Create a folder just for Astronomy, keep it to yourself or share with others if appropriate. Within the Astronomy folder, you can add content to different applications, helpful to have centralized in place for easy reference.
- Add useful Astronomy websites, add a short description to quickly go back whenever needed.
- Add appropriate Astronomy blogs to the news reader, helpful to stay informed from others of changes, new things to see in the sky.
- Add a list of constellations or other reference points that you’d like to check out in a note.
- Schedule events for appropriate viewing times, nights when different stars or other activities are expected to be more visible.
Matt | Posted on | December 21, 2013 | Comments Off