A Journey through the Universe: Gresham Lectures on by Ian Morison

By Ian Morison

Delivering an in-depth knowing either for common readers and astronomy fanatics, this hugely entire publication presents an updated survey of our wisdom of the Universe past Earth. The ebook explores our sun method, its planets and different our bodies; examines the sunlight and the way it and different stars evolve via their lifetimes; discusses the hunt for planets past our sun approach and the way we'd realize lifestyles on them; and highlights fascinating items came upon inside of our galaxy, the Milky manner. It additionally seems to be at our present realizing of the starting place and evolution of the Universe, in addition to many different fascinating subject matters, corresponding to time, black holes and Einstein's theories, darkish subject, darkish power and the Cosmic Microwave heritage. The e-book is uniquely supported through video lectures given through the writer, to be had on-line. it is also the very most recent astronomical observations, corresponding to these made via the Planck and Kepler spacecraft.

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Extra resources for A Journey through the Universe: Gresham Lectures on Astronomy

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1. Mercury looks very like the highland regions of the Moon. In 1991, Mercury was observed by radar using the 70-metre Goldstone antenna with a half-million-watt transmitter. The radar reflections were received by the Very Large Array in New Mexico to provide high resolution radar images. To great surprise, a very strong reflection was received from Mercury’s north polar region, which closely resembled the strong radar echoes seen from the ice-rich polar caps of Mars. At very low temperatures water ice is a very effective radar reflector.

It rises to a peak of 11 km above the plains in the Maxwell Montes. The southern ‘continent’, called Aphrodite Terra, after the Greek goddess of love, is somewhat larger, having a surface area comparable to 41 42 A Journey through the Universe South America. The surface has impact craters, mountains and valleys along with a unique type of pancake-like volcanic feature called farra, which are up to 50 km in diameter and 1 km high. The surface is thought to be ~500 million years old and, as a result, we see far more volcanoes present than on Earth, where those older than ~100 million years have been eroded.

2(b) shows the inverse situation when Mars will be seen with the largest angular diameter during opposition. The Earth is at aphelion, furthest from the Sun, on 4 July each year, so the very closest approaches of Mars will occur in the summer months. The closest approach for nearly 60,000 years occurred on 27 August 2003, when Mars was 55,758,006 km from Earth and had an angular diameter of just over 25 arcseconds. 2(b), then the angular size is just less than 14 arcseconds – a very significant difference!

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