People were engaged in agriculture in the stone age, 30 – 35 thousand years ago. This is evidenced by the notches on animal bones and rocks, cave paintings. This is, perhaps, the earliest “scientific notes”, in which the authors noted the different phases of the moon and count days and nights.
Monitored by our astronomical instruments, the universe consists by weight of about 76 percent hydrogen and 23 helium. Only slightly more than one percent accounts for all other elements of the periodic table.
It is estimated that the galaxy contains more than a hundred and twenty billion stars and to represent its enormous size, we will give one comparison: if the path from the Sun to Earth light travels in 8 minutes, the diameter of the galaxy it will for a hundred thousand years.
To show the progress made over half a century in the study of the Universe, astronomer Paul Couderc came to a startling comparison. Suppose that all known astronomy to 1900 area of the Universe displayed on the plan area of one square meter. Continue reading
They dived to the bottom of hell, under the thick neon-methane atmosphere of Pluto. Flew in the snow storms of ammonia, every second fearing a break in the dark about huge needles durable as steel, water ice. They managed to find an area where there are mountains. The mystery of Pluto has been solved at last — this planet belongs to our Solar system. She captured her during the journey of the Sun through the Galaxy.
Ivan Efremov “Andromeda”
SEARCH OF THE WANDERERS
Amateur astronomer William Herschel, discoverer of Uranus
The discovery of Pluto, which for a long time officially considered the ninth planet of the Solar system, has its own history. Before the advent of telescopes humanity were well known five celestial bodies called planets (from the Greek for “Wanderers”, “wandering”): mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn. During the four following centuries managed to open two more major planets, Uranus and Neptune. Continue reading
The dust and ion tails of comet Hale-BOPP
But, in spite of research that freedom from prejudice was very slow: for example, Louis XIV was afraid of the comet of 1680 year, because it’s considered a portent of his death. The greatest contribution to the study of the true nature of comets was made by Edmond Halley. His main discovery was the establishment of the frequency of appearance of the same comet in 1531, 1607, 1682 Passionate about astronomical research, Halley became interested in the movement of the 1682 comet and calculate its orbit. He was interested in the path of its movement, and since Newton had already conducted similar calculations, Halley turned to him. The scientist immediately gave the answer: the comet will move in an elliptical orbit. At the request of Halley Newton presented his calculations and theorems in the treatise “De Motu”, that is “On the move”. Having the assistance of a Newton, he was engaged in calculation of cometary orbits by astronomical observations. He managed to collect information about the 24 comets. Thus appeared the first catalog of cometary orbits. In its catalog Halley found that three comets are very similar in their characteristics, from which he concluded that it’s not three different comets, and the periodic appearance of the same comet. The period of its occurrence was equal to 75.5 years. She was subsequently named Halley’s comet. Continue reading