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When an Astrophysicist Needs a Star Map

23 May 2011, 03:42 UTC
When an Astrophysicist Needs a Star Map
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

Imagine the scene: I’m having a romantic walk on a clear night with my wife along the beach. We see a brief flash of light and Deb says, “Hey, a meteor!” I then proceed to tell her that most meteors are actually no bigger than a grain of sand and they originate from comets, even [...]

Stars of the Northern Hemisphere, Ashland Astronomy Studio
Imagine the scene: I’m having a romantic walk on a clear night with my wife along the beach. We see a brief flash of light and Deb says, “Hey, a meteor!” I then proceed to tell her that most meteors are actually no bigger than a grain of sand and they originate from comets, even though she already knew that. Feeling quite chuffed with myself that I was able to describe a nugget of atmospheric dynamics in 2 minutes, Deb then points up again and says, “There’s Orion. What constellation is that one?”
“Um. I have no idea,” I reply, feeling less smug. “I know how those things work, but I don’t know what they look like.”
I don’t own a telescope (yet) and I only took one course in university on practical astronomy, everything ...

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