Seeing and Navigating the Sky

Seeing and Navigating the Sky
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Our Night Sky Series
For thousands of years, the star-filled sky has been a source of wonder, discovery, and entertainment. All you need to feel at home in its limitless expanse is Our Night Sky, a richly illustrated 12-episode course that gives you an unrivaled tour around the sky--all while teaching you about the…
The Northern Sky and the North Celestial Pole
Episode 7 of Our Night Sky Series
Embarking on the second half of the course in which you systematically tour the entire sky, study two constellations that are continuously in view from the Northern Hemisphere: Ursa Major and Cassiopeia. Also explore the slowly shifting position of true north in the sky.
The Fall Sky
Episode 8 of Our Night Sky Series
Navigate your way around the autumn sky from the Northern Hemisphere, discovering how the classical myth of Andromeda ties together the stories of the nearby constellations of Cassiopeia, Perseus, Cepheus, Pegasus, and Cetus. The sights include the Andromeda galaxy, the nearest large galaxy to our own.
The Winter Sky
Episode 9 of Our Night Sky Series
Continuing your focus on the constellations of the Northern Hemisphere, survey the magnificent winter sky, dominated by Orion. Star hop around the region, which includes a wealth of interesting stars, globular clusters, nebulae, and other features, especially the Orion Nebula: the finest nebula in the northern sky: and the Pleiades…
The Spring Sky
Episode 10 of Our Night Sky Series
The spring sky opens the view into intergalactic space perpendicular to the plane of the Milky Way. Among the objects visible are the immensely rich galaxy clusters in Virgo and Coma Berenices, which are many millions of light-years distant and can be seen with small and moderate telescopes.
The Summer Sky
Episode 11 of Our Night Sky Series
Arching high overhead in the summer sky is the Milky Way, which is the plane of our galaxy seen from the inside. Tour this densely packed region of stars of all types, from dusty regions of star birth to the exquisite shells of dying stars. Here, a useful orienting feature…
The Southern Sky and the Milky Way
Episode 12 of Our Night Sky Series
In this final episode, travel to the Southern Hemisphere for sky views inaccessible from northern latitudes. Discover the famous Southern Cross, the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, and a spectacular panorama of the Milky Way: along with new myths and stories that add a human dimension to our marvelous night…
Night Sky - Navigating the Constellations
This program describes the specific patterns of stars in the night sky. In compelling, easy to understand animations, students will be able to decode the constellations and other important celestial bodies. Ancient astronomers described how constellations might appear in different seasons in various parts of the World. This program also…
The Search for Exoplanets: What Astronomers Know
As recently as 1990, it seemed plausible that the solar system was a unique phenomenon in our galaxy. Thanks to advances in technology and clever new uses of existing data, now we know that planetary systems and possibly even a new Earth can be found throughout galaxies near and far.…
Why Study Exoplanets?
Learn about the exciting mission of exoplanetary science--the study of planets orbiting stars beyond the Sun. Review the eight planets in our solar system, which provide a baseline for understanding the more than 1,000 worlds recently discovered in our region of the Milky Way galaxy.
How to Find an Exoplanet
Given the extreme faintness of a planet relative to the star it orbits, how can astronomers possibly find it? Learn about direct and indirect methods of detection. As an example of the indirect method, discover why a planet causes a star's position to change, providing a strategy for locating exoplanets…
Doppler and Transit Planet-Finding Methods
Explore two other indirect approaches for finding exoplanets: first, by measuring the Doppler shift in the color of a star due to the pull of an unseen orbiting planet; and second, by measuring the tiny drop in the brightness of a star as a planet transits in front of it.