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A BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO THE NIGHT SKY


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Author Topic: A BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO THE NIGHT SKY  (Read 111 times)
Eugene66
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« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2009, 04:10:52 am »

Hmmm out in the country side or the desert you can really see a clear sky at night.
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« on: August 07, 2009, 03:30:53 am »

Your introduction to the Heavens
STARTING OUT..

You've looked up at the night sky before - no big deal, right? After all, what's up there? A few dozen stars and, possibly, the Moon. Some of the stars look brighter than the others, and on exceptionally clear nights you have just about convinced yourself that one of them looked slightly red, but that's about all you've noticed.

Well, there is a lot more to see if you only take the time and look, believe me.

But to see the night sky in all its glory, you need to get back to nature - away from all the artificial light our modern society is so obsessed with. Travel out of town and keep going until the blue glows of living-room TV sets and the ghastly orange glare of streetlights is far behind you, and then you can begin to get to know the sky. If you can't do that, then go to your local park, or take a walk over to your nearest playing fields. Just do it.

But why do you have to get away from the lights?

Well, once you are away from them your eye will "dark adapt" and you will see literally thousands more stars. Your pupils will expand to let more light into your eyes, and chemicals will be activated which also increase their efficiency... Then, once you're in the darkness, very quickly you'll notice there are many, many more stars visible than there were from your garden, or street. After just a few minutes you will realise that the stars are many different brightnesses. Some are so faint they can only just be seen out of the corner of your eye, While others are so bright they look like finely-cut jewels, or chips of ice shining up there above you. You might think that's because some are nearer than others, but that's not the case, and to understand why it isn't, you have to understand what stars actually are...
Have you ever seen a shooting star? I'll bet you have - a brief, almost-gone-before-it's-there streak of light across the sky but did you know that shooting stars aren't stars at all? They are really tiny grains of dust burning up as they plunge through the Earth's atmosphere, after drifting around the Sun for billions of years.

On any clear night you can expect to see a shooting star every half an hour or so, but at certain times of the year you can be guaranteed to see many more, when a "shooting star shower" occurs. These happen when Earth's orbit takes it through a thick lane of dust left behind by a comet (more of which in a moment, be patient!). Then, for a short period (usually one night) you can see dozens or even hundreds of shooting stars every hour, all apparently coming from the same part of the sky. The best ones are in mid-August, mid-November, mid-December and the beginning of January.

thats only a small part of the topic page ,the link to read the other stuff.............
                               
                                   http://s217877884.websitehome.co.uk/eas_web_site/beginners_corner/a_beginners_guide_to_the_night_sky.html
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