Astronomy - Fundamentals and Frontiers by Robert Jastrow

By Robert Jastrow

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Extra resources for Astronomy - Fundamentals and Frontiers

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As a start, orient yourself with respect to north and south, using the North Star, a compass, or your memory as to where the sun rises and sets. Face south and tilt your head back as far as you can, so that you are looking at the zenith, which is the point in the sky directly above your head. 30). It nearly halfway to the is a huge triangle, extending from the zenith southern horizon, and it is impossible to miss. The triangle is "upside down," that is, its base is at the top, near the zenith, and the vertex is pointed downward toward the southern horizon.

33 Changes in the position of the Big Dipper during 24 hours. 34 Star tracks over the southern horizon. February. m. 36. south, look for a point in the region of the sky approximately between the horizon and your tion known Orion is as Orion, or the the most prominent feature of the winter and spring skies, replac- summer ing the zenith. Three close triangle of the stars in the southeast to northwest. September sky in this respect. center of Orion form a straight line running from The stars are not exceptionally bright, but the The three stars are the belt below the belt lies the sword of the Hunter, and in the middle of the sword is the spectacular Orion Nebula shown in color on the cover.

They are visible at any place on the earth at which the moon is also visible, in contrast to the solar eclipse, which Lunar eclipses occur in a straight line K usually is visible only in a 100 miles across. narrow band on the earth's surface, less than During a total lunar eclipse the moon receives no light except that which tion in is bent around the edges of the earth by refracthe earth's atmosphere, which acts like a lens, focusing sunlight to the moon. The blue component in this refracted light is reduced by scattering in intensity is illuminated by sunlight depleted in the atmosphere of the earth, and the in the blue wavelength, moon making it appear a dull coppery-red color.

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