Astronomy Reference Libraries

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Sagan Carl
2004-10-19 04:45:44

Carl Edward Sagan (November 9, 1934 - December 20, 1996) was an American astronomer who pioneered exobiology and promoted the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) and science in general. He is less well known for his skepticism. Born in Brooklyn, New York, Sagan attended the University of Chicago, where he received a bachelor's degree (1955) and a master's degree (1956) in...

Triangulum Australe Constellation
2004-10-19 04:45:44

Triangulum Australe Constellation -- Triangulum Australe, the Southern Triangle, is completely visible in latitudes south of 20 degrees north from April through June. Its three brightest stars have been called the "Three Patriarchs", Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. It can easily be recognized by its shape, or asterism. This is one of the 12 southern constellations named by Johann Bayer in the...

Scorpius Constellation
2004-10-19 04:45:44

Scorpius Constellation -- Scorpius (the scorpion) is one of the constellations of the zodiac. In western astrology it is known as "Scorpio." It lies between Libra to the west and Sagittarius to the east. It is a large constellation located in the southern hemisphere near the center of the Milky Way. Notable features Scorpius contains many bright stars, including Antares (α Sco),...

Puppis Constellation
2004-10-19 04:45:44

Puppis Constellation -- Containing the brightest star visible on earth, the constellation of Canis Major is one of the few constellations in the heavens which resembles what it is supposed to be: a large dog. Its neighbor, Puppis, on the other hand, boasts no bright stars, and is difficult at best for even seasoned observers to identify. Stellar beacons notwithstanding, both of these...

Phoenix Constellation
2004-10-19 04:45:44

Phoenix Constellation -- Phoenix is a minor southern constellation, introduced by Dutch navigators Pieter Dirkszoon Keyser and Frederick de Houtman, and popularized by Johann Bayer's Uranometria in 1603. Its primary star is Ankaa, also known as Alpha Phoenicis, is a mere magnitude 2.39. There are only eleven stars in the whole constellation which clear magnitude 5.0. The constellation...

Lyra Constellation
2004-10-19 04:45:44

Lyra Constellation -- Lyra (the lyre) is a prominent, although fairly small, northern constellation. It was one of Ptolemy's 48 constellations, and also counts among the modern 88 constellations. Its brightest star is Vega (Alpha Lyrae), which together with Altair (Alpha Aquilae) and Deneb (Alpha Cygni) forms the large asterism known as the Summer Triangle. Beta Lyr is a half separated...

Ursa Minor little dipper Constellation
2004-10-19 04:45:44

Ursa Minor (little dipper) Constellation -- Ursa Minor is a constellation in the northern sky, whose name means the "Lesser Bear" in Latin. It is one of the 88 modern constellations, and was also one of the 48 listed by Ptolemy. It is notable as the location of the north celestial pole, although this will change after some centuries due to the effects of precession. Notable features...

Libra the scales Constellation
2004-10-19 04:45:44

Libra (the scales) Constellation -- Libra (the scales) is a constellation of the zodiac. It is a fairly inconspicuous constellation and has no star of first magnitude, lying between Virgo to the west and Scorpius to the east. As the names of the brighter stars testify, it was at one point part of Scorpius' claws. Notable features The brightest stars in Libra form a rectangle:...

Virgo the maiden Constellation
2004-10-19 04:45:44

Virgo (the maiden) Constellation -- Location: Zodiac constellation, visible in both Hemispheres; Coordinates: Right Ascension: 13h; Declination: 0; Source: Associated with almost every major female deity in world-wide early civilizations The constellations that are included in the Zodiac - the 12 constellations recognized by Babylonian astronomers through which our Sun, moon, and planets...

Vela the sail  Constellation
2004-10-19 04:45:44

Vela (the sail) Constellation -- Location: Mostly Southern Hemisphere, low on the horizon in the Northern Hemisphere; Coordinates: Right Ascension: 09h; Declination: -50; Source: Modern constellation by astronomer Abbe Nicholas de Lacaille The story behind the name: Vela, the Sails, was originally part of Argo Navis, the ship of Jason and his Argonauts. When the International...

Word of the Day
  • Having no light.
  • Of or relating to the region of a body of water that is not reached by sunlight and in which photosynthesis is unable to occur.
The word 'aphotic' comes from Greek roots meaning 'without' and 'light'.