By Ethan Siegel
A glance up on the evening sky finds a treasury of wonders. Even to the bare eye, the Moon, stars, planets, the Milky means or even a couple of superstar clusters and nebulae light up the heavens. For millennia, people struggled to make experience of what is available in the market within the Universe, from all we will see to that which lies past the bounds of even our strongest telescopes. Beyond the Galaxy strains our trip from an historical, Earth-centered Universe the entire solution to our smooth, twenty first century figuring out of the cosmos. pertaining to not just what we all know but additionally how we all know it, Ethan Siegel takes us to the very frontiers of contemporary astrophysics and cosmology, from the beginning of our Universe to its final destiny, and every little thing in between.
Readership: normal public drawn to astronomy, astrophysics and/or cosmology.
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Extra resources for Beyond the Galaxy: How Humanity Looked Beyond Our Milky Way and Discovered the Entire Universe
However, there are a number of faint, extended and fuzzy objects that were stationary in the night sky: the nebulae. If you were hunting for a new comet and saw one of these nebulae, you might incorrectly identify it for a number of nights, until its stationary nature convinced you it wasn’t a comet after all. Charles Messier was 13 when the great comet of 1744 came close to Earth, and he was both awed and inspired by it. Having spent the next 14 years studying to be an astronomer, he was looking for the soon-tobe-returning Halley’s comet in 1758.
Telescopes became large enough that a spiral structure to galaxies could be observed for the first time, and in 1887, a nebula whose structure could not be seen with the naked eye had its spiral shape revealed through photography. indd 37 11/6/2015 6:34:02 AM b2117 38 Beyond The Galaxy 9”x6” Beyond The Galaxy a minority viewpoint that they were “island Universes” far beyond our own Milky Way. Modern astronomy was well underway. *** The last predictions of a heliocentric Universe that had not yet been observed finally came to fruition in the 19th century as well.
11 Planets like Mars (shown) normally migrate eastwards, ever so slightly, from night-to-night relative to their previous position. This motion is known as prograde or direct motion. Periodically, however, that motion will slow, reverse, slow, and continue in its original direction again, with the period of reverse motion known as retrograde motion. Shown in the figure here is the retrograde motion of Mars relative to the background stars from March to May, 2014. Image credit: E. Siegel, using Stellarium.