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Cygnus, the Swan

Outline of the constellation Cygnus

the Hunter Outline of the constellation Orion Pegasus. the Winged Horse .Orion.

Outline of the constellation Pegasus Ursa Major. the Great Bear .

Outline of the constellation Ursa Major Ursa Minor. the Little Bear .

the Queen .Outline of the constellation Ursa Minor Cassiopeia.

Outline of the constellation Cassiopeia Frequently Asked Questions  Can you tell me how to buy a star? No! Please stop asking me this! (Sorry. the rest of the questions below have much more polite answers) .

 Who discovered the first constellation? The constellations were invented. multiply the RA by 15 (since 360 degrees divided by 24 hours is 15). However. RA is similar to longitude on the Earth while Dec is like latitude. RA is measured in hours minutes and seconds. not discovered. arcminutes and arcseconds. The brightnesses are measured in magnitudes.  Who named the stars? All of the stars that have names (about 2-300 of them) were named between 500 and 2000+ years ago. It is very well done and entertaining too.  How is it that we can see the Milky Way galaxy and yet we are in it? Picture the Milky Way to be like a big. which are a somewhat complex concept. for example. We are in it about half way from the middle to the edge on one side. has a history dating to before about 4000 BC. Briefly. (More detailed explanation) B and V are measures of a star's brightness through a mostly blue and mostly green filter (respectively). translucent pancake. a lower (or more negative) magnitude is brighter .  What do the numbers mean on the star pages? Right Ascension (aka RA) and Declination (Dec) are coordinates which identify a star's location in the sky.g NTTS 045251+3016 is one I've worked on) by the IAU (International Astronomical Union). so we can only see about 5-10% of the way across with visible-light telescopes (radio and infrared telescopes can see farther through the dust) so the Milky Way appears about equally bright in a band around the sky. Most of the star names in use today came from Arabic names. The big strip you see in the sky as the Milky Way is the light from many of the stars in our disk-shaped galaxy. while Dec is measured in degrees. Orion. The constellations are just distinctive and easy-to-remember patterns of stars. But because of all of the gas and dust in the galaxy. Where can I learn to spot the constellations? My favorite book for beginners is "The Stars: A New Way to See Them" by H. all stars are named for their coordinates (e.A. The Milky Way seems to wrap around the whole sky because of the pancake-shape that surrounds us. Rey (the Curious George author). To convert to degrees. These days. (see "What are Constellations?" for more info). Most of the famous ones were invented before the beginning of recorded history. it is not transparent.

stars are further classified from G0 to G1 through G9 from hottest to coolest.. An even better analogy is that looking at stars from inside our atmosphere is like birdwatching from the bottom of a swimming pool: the ripples distort the picture. M stars on the other hand are often the faintest. A. The number following the letter is the subclass. within G. The letters don't actually mean anything. here's a list of the types of courses I took as an undergrad in college: . F. That's one of the main reasons why space telescopes.. They go in the following order: O. provide such sharp pictures.  What does it take to be an astronomer? Almost always. If you need more details. when star temperatures were figured out. the atmosphere also acts like a prism when you look at stars near the horizon. it can appear like the star is changing color. M. but called "dwarf") to VI (subdwarf).and a larger magnitude is fainter. so it is somewhere in the middle. you need to graduate from college and get a PhD in Physics or Astronomy. B. Finally. etc.   Why do stars flicker or twinkle? Why do stars appear to change color? It's due to turbulence in the atmosphere. most massive and shortest lived stars. Since the star colors get split into a rainbow plus the turbulence makes the star move around. C. The Sun is a G star. high means red). they reordered them. In addition to contributing turbulence. like Hubble. B-V is an approximate measure of the color of a star (low means blue. O stars are typically the brightest. The Sun is a G2. I thought I had spotted a UFO when I saw a star do this. The last letter is a Roman numeral indicating the type of star from I (supergiant) to III (giant) to V (normal. only on a smaller scale. Just as an example. They were chosen before astronomers really understood stars. spectral type is a measure of the kind of star. this info should be in any decent high school/college level textbook. For example. reddest. B. bluest. K. least massive and longest lived. Later. When I was a kid. G. The stars were classified as A. It's just like how things look wavy when you look over a hot grill in the summer. It's on a logarithmic scale though.

as a grad student. and (3) to the faculty explaining what I'm doing for my PhD thesis. these Big Dipper stars outlining the Bear’s tail and hindquarters. I spend most of my time analyzing data from the infrequent trips I make to telescopes and some data from a variety of space telescopes.4 semesters of post-calculus math 3 semesters of intro physics 2 semesters of quantum physics 1 semester of mechanics 2 semesters of electricity and magnetism 1 semester of computational physics (i. but some physics courses too). I spent a good part of my first two years of grad school taking more classes (mostly astronomy. That's as far as I've gotten so far. I also spend a substantial fraction of my time writing proposals to (1) get time on telescopes. Papers take a lot of time to write because you have to do a lot of reading to keep up on what other people have done on similar topics.e. Besides that. . The Micmacs see the Big Dipper bowl as Celestial Bear. The Big Dipper is a clipped version of the constellation Ursa Major the Big Bear. the Big Dipper is also associated with a bear but with a different twist. (2) get money to pay for my trips. Now. so you'll have to ask someone else what the rest of the steps are like. computers to solve physics problems) 1 semester of solid state physics 1 semester of topics in astronomy 2 semesters of basic astrophysics 1 semester of astronomical techniques 1 semester of celestial mechanics (planetary physics) I also took 8 semesters of programming courses. In the star lore of the Mic macs in Canada. although none of those were actually required for my major. it takes quite a bit of time to write the papers that I hope to get published. History and Myth The Big Dipper is really an asterism – a star pattern that is NOT a constellatrion. and the 3 stars of the handle as hunters chasing the Bear..