Astronomy Space Science

Astronomy: Understanding the Universe by Sherman Hollar

By Sherman Hollar

Fathoming the boundlessness of area and the universe, we're instantly packed with interest approximately our personal origins and sweetness in regards to the gadgets, existence varieties, and subject that populate the cosmos. in the course of the observations and paintings of astronomers over the years, we have now slowly been in a position to lessen the variety of unknowns and increase motives or theories for the various celestial gadgets and phenomena we see. This space-traveling survey recounts the various significant discovery milestones within the box of astronomy and examines the instruments and methods at the moment utilized by astronomers to check the universe.

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The continent-sized region Xanadu Regio shows as the large bright near − 400 °F (− 240 °C). patch on the right, while bright methane Also of great interest clouds appear near Titan’s south pole. are Saturn’s moons, espe- NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute cially Titan and Enceladus. Titan, its largest moon, has a thick, cold, hazy atmosphere of nitrogen and methane. On its surface, drainage channels—apparently carved by showers of methane rain—cut through a crust of water ice and empty 43 Astronomy: Understanding the Universe into flat areas, which may be dune fields, methane mudflats, or perhaps even liquid methane lakes.

The English scientist Isaac Newton calculated that in order for Kepler’s laws to have the form they do, this force must grow weaker with increasing distance from the Sun, in a particular way called an inverse square law. He also realized that the Moon’s curved path around Earth was a type of weak acceleration toward Earth. He calculated this acceleration to be much less than that of an apple falling from a tree. In comparing these accelerations, he found their difference to be described by the same inverse square law that described the force the Sun exerted on the planets.

At an age of a few hundred thousand years, the temperature would have been thousands of degrees Fahrenheit or Celsius, thus stripping atoms of their electrons. If one could have witnessed this state, there would have been a brilliant glow coming from all directions. Calculations 56 The Universe According to the evolutionary, or big bang, theory of the universe, the universe is expanding while the total energy and matter it contains remain constant. Therefore, as the universe expands, the density of its energy and matter must become progressively thinner.

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