"Astronomy Essays"

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Meteorite Offers 2-Billion-Year-Old Glimpse of Essay

Words: 1395 Length: 4 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 50658315

The observing vehicle was the Cassini spacecraft that was sent to look at Saturn and its moons. Specifically, these findings relate to Saturn's moon Titan, the only known body (including planets and moons) known to have standing liquid on its surface. Instead of water, Titan's bodies of water are full of hydrocarbons rich with methane and ethane. The study focused on substances apparently floating on the surface of the bodies of liquid on Titan and the study tried to ascertain what those substances were and what caused them to appear or disappear at any given time. The study used a combination of observations from the Cassini craft and some theorization was thrown in based on the telemetry and other results from the Cassini craft. Prior theories had stated that the bodies did not have floating ice. The Cassini crew has an extended chance to view the phenomena given the rather long amount of time that the Cassini craft will be/was in the proper vicinity to assess the bodies of liquid. Any results found will be used to prepare accordingly if any landing is ever made on Titan (JPL).

The Cassini craft found that blocks of hydrocarbon ice might be floating on the surface of Titan. The study stated that this may explain some of the mixed readings that have found during prior passes over the moon Titan. Jonathan Lunine, a person who was part of the Cassini project at the time, noted that the finding is indicative of the origin of terrestrial life. The study found that if indeed the formations are hydrocarbon ice, they are prolific in the northern hemisphere and more sparse in the southern hemisphere. The findings, if accurate, make Titan even more unique and more of a marker of early terrestrial life than it was before. The study also notes that there will be ample opportunity to figure out if the theories about the bodies of liquid…… [Read More]

Bhanoo, Sindya. "Meteorite Offers 2-Billion-Year-Old Glimpse of Mars - NYTimes.com." The New York Times - Breaking News, World News & Multimedia. N.p., 3 Jan. 2013. Web. 30 Jan. 2013. .

JPL. "Icing on a Lake." Astrobiology Magazine -- the Origin and Evolution of Life in the Universe . N.p., 10 Jan. 2013. Web. 30 Jan. 2013. .
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Sun Moon and Stars Data Essay

Words: 1988 Length: 7 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 756126

M. Calculated number of visible stars 20

Location of observation (2): Washington Grove, MD Date November 1, 2012 time 10 p.m. Calculated number of visible stars 18

Location of observation (3): Montgomery Village, MD Date November 2, 2012 time 10:12 P.M. Calculated number of visible stars 24

In which of your three locations were you able to see the most stars? Montgomery Village Explain (in some detail) why you were able to see the most stars there

I believe that the amount of light pollution impacted the number of stars that I could see in the sky more than any other factor, although I think that weather conditions could also impact the stars that I could see. There are about 5 very bright stars that I believe would be visible almost anywhere, but some of the stars were more difficult to discern and I had to look carefully to determine if they were stars or other forms of night sky light, like an airplane.

2. Exoplanets, or extrasolar planets, are planets that orbit stars other than the sun. Do a web search on exoplanets. How many of these planets are thought to have been detected? 843 as of November 2, 2012

How were they detected? Most were detected using high-power telescopes and the radial velocity method, which helps differentiate the light from those planets from the light of the suns that they orbit.

Do any of these planets orbit stars similar to the sun? Yes.

Are any of these planets similar to Earth in terms of size and mass? Yes, in the Kepler 20 star system

List some of the issues that make human space travel within the solar system difficult. The sheer distance between astronomical bodies makes human space travel within the solar system difficult; the time required to cover the space is so extensive that it is difficult, if not impossible, to equip a vehicle with enough resources to provide for human passengers for the duration of a flight of that length is also a challenge. Furthermore, the human body deteriorates during space travel and a space traveler would lose muscle tone if in space long enough to travel to distant astronomical bodies.

What are the factors that make human…… [Read More]

Works Cited:
Cain, F. (2012, March 11). Characteristics of the sun. Retrieved November 5,

2012 from Universe Today website: http://www.universetoday.com/94252/characteristics-of-the-sun/
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Harlow Shapley Provided Some Useful Information in Essay

Words: 941 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 45391341

Harlow Shapley provided some useful information in determining some of the greatest mysterious about the cosmos. Shapley essentially believed that sun was not the center point of the galactic frontier. In the first decade of the 29th century not much was known about the Milky Way but Shapley soon hypothesized some useful arguments that suggested that our universe is much larger and diverse than we can possibly imagine.

To support his argument about a non-heliocentric theory of the galactic composition, he used the powerful technology available to measure a type of celestial object known as Cepheid stars. Shapley used the behavior of these stars to determine that sun was not the center of the galaxy. By assuming that these stars were the nearly the same size he figured he could measure the luminosity of these stars and therefore figure out a linear distance to the stars. Using these distances, and some rather absurd assumptions about the limitations of the cosmos, he guessed that the our solar system was not at the center of the Milky Way.

Question 2

The idea of a cluster is simple: a grouping of objects. In astronomy groups forms for what we assume for real and important purposes. Two kinds of sidereal clustering appears in our observations of space. Globular clusters are one of these forms that helps give some clues about the nature of the universe. Globular clusters are groups of stars that appear to orbit around galaxies. Galactic clusters, another type of formation, are much larger objects and are groupings of galaxies. Essentially they are the same types of pattern but materialized on much different relative scales.

Globular clusters may contain millions of stars. Such qualities of any clustering of stars including richness, intensity, luminosity, pattern and frequency are of great importance in finding the undermining purpose and effects of these patterns. When contemplating the idea of galactic clusters it is quiet awe inspiring and difficult to really understand the sheer sizes and distances…… [Read More]

Astronomy Magazine web page (nd). Viewed 22 Nov 2013. Retrieved from http://www.astronomy.com/
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Discovery Characteristics and Orbit of Neptune Essay

Words: 1762 Length: 4 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 51725089


An Overview of Neptune

Discovery of Neptune

First Discovery



Additional Sightings

Second and Official Discovery


Adams, Le Verrier, & Galle

The Planet

Atmospheric Conditions


Neptune's Orbit

Comparison to Earth

Neptune is the eighth, and furthest, planet from the sun. This blue gas giant has been named in the tradition of other planets, with a name taken from mythology; Neptune is the Roman god of the sea. The planet has an interesting history, and characteristics which clearly differentiate it from other planetary bodies. The aim of this paper is to examine the planet, looking at its discovery as well as its' characteristics and the way it compares to earth.


Discovery of Neptune

The official discovery of Neptune occurred in 1846, but the history of discovery can be traced back much further, with the apparent identification of the planet more than two centuries before it official recognition. Hindsight indicates that the planet had been recorded by a number of observers beginning more than two centuries before.


First Discovery



The first discovery only occurred after the development of Tesco's. Although five planets of the solar system may be observed easily with the naked eye, and Uranus has the potential to be seen unaided is observed from a perfectly dark place, Neptune does not have sufficient brightness to be observed without a telescope. This with a brightness magnitude between +7.7, and +8, the planet will never be visible to be seen unaided (Williams, 2014; Grosser, 1962). Not only does the planet have low magnitude brightness, the planets own moons are able to outshine it (Williams, 2014). Therefore, the initial observation of Neptune occurs only after the telescope comes into use.



The first observations of Neptune appear to have taken place in 1613, when Galileo Galilei recorded the observation of an object in a drawing on 28 December (Grosser, 1962). Galileo made a similar observation on 27 January 1613, recording an object that appeared to be very close to Jupiter (Grosser, 1962). Traditionally, it is believed that Galileo believed that the planet, which would later be named Neptune, was a fixed star as it appeared to be…… [Read More]

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Astrophysical Object Pluto's Demotion From Essay

Words: 2104 Length: 6 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 92220572

"Once every 248 Earth years, Pluto swings inside the orbit of Neptune. It stays there for twenty years. During those twenty years, Pluto is closer to the Sun than Neptune. During this period of time, like the other eight planets, Pluto's atmosphere undergoes a fundamental change in character, briefly developing an atmosphere. As methane and nitrogen frozen at the poles thaw. As it moves toward its farthest point from the Sun, Pluto's atmosphere freezes and falls back to the ground" (Dejoie & Truelove 2008).

These eccentricities further suggested that Pluto was really much more "like a new group of objects found in the outer solar system," called dwarf planets and not worthy of the status of the other eight (Inman, 2008, p.2). Still, many astronomers argued in favor of a more inclusive definition that would still retain Pluto's status as a planet. In fact, one radical proposal: "would have made full-fledged planets of 50 or more additional objects" (Inman 2008, p.2). One scientist said the language of the resolution is flawed because while it requires that a planet cleared the neighborhood around its orbit." "Earth, Mars, Jupiter and Neptune all have asteroids as neighbors...It's patently clear that Earth's zone is not cleared," he said. "Jupiter has 50,000 Trojan asteroids," which orbit in lockstep with the planet (Britt 2006).

Thus, even today the definition of what is a planet is not absolute. "Owen Gingerich, historian and astronomer emeritus at Harvard who led the committee that proposed the initial definition, called the new definition 'confusing and unfortunate' and said he was 'not at all pleased' with the language about clearing the neighborhood," and called the term dwarf planet "a curious linguistic contradiction," saying "A dwarf planet is not a planet. I thought that was very awkward" (Britt 2006). The dissatisfaction over the reconfiguration of the term had political overtones as well. The IAU was criticized for being undemocratic in the way that it conducted the balloting, given that 424 astronomers were allowed to vote, out of about 10,000 professional astronomers around the globe (Inman, 2006, p.2).

The debate over Pluto's status as a planet shows how language, sentiment, and…… [Read More]

Britt, Robert Roy. "What is a planet>" Space.com. 2 Nov 2000. August 2, 2008. http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/solarsystem/planet_confusion_001101-2.html

Britt, Robert Roy. "Scientists decide Pluto's no longer a planet." MSNBC.com. August 24, 2006.
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Kepler's Supernova Keplers Supernova Before Essay

Words: 932 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 24481491

As far as the as the level of intricacies in this research is concerned one can surely acknowledge the capacity of work done but being stuck to it completely and researching on it again and again may sound an unreasoning thing to follow. Astronomers being addicted to their work styles, research requirements and updated developments or shooting of newest things in the world of sky have to be in touch with all these researches. Keplar's supernova left astronomers and related researches astonished to understand actually what was the base of this supernova explosion and this exasperated formation in the universe may gave astronomers thought of revolution in the star world and constellations whose time to time developments and formations of newest things was supposed to give a new shape to the universe. Researches stated that Keplar's supernova was far rich in energy and undoubtedly could be compared twice the energetic emissions of Sun. Therefore, these powerful emissions did not let the researches of this supernova to be restricted among astronomers only. Either those scientists who are totally betrothed in using universal energies those of radiations or of solar ones also engaged their work points in this explosion. For example if truly this supernova was as powerful then could it be used for the betterment of human beings? Because number of explosions related to defensive aspects are formed with the usage of such natural energies and emissions in the atmosphere and universe. So on that note this research of Keplar's supernova was of great interest for astronomers either research related or practical ones and for those scientists or engineers who kept themselves affianced in the works of energies (Chandra, pg. 10).

Here a point of contention shows that Supernova are very distant than as stated in earlier researches at the time when this supernova's got visibility but the updated research in the Astrophysical journal reveals a distance of more than 23000 light years as compare to the commonly used 13000 light years. Dr. Reynolds a researcher of supernova remnants analyzed the errors, which arise in the magnetic field strength when it is estimated with the use of the models, which ignore the detailed pattern of the evolution of the magnetic field and the electron spectrum behind the shock front in the remnant of supernova.

Thus, one can count here that earlier researches could be meaningful but were…… [Read More]

Chandra. "Was Kepler's supernova unusually powerful?" 12-09 2012. Astronomy. 20-09 2012 .