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Bring the Universe to Your Classroom!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

An Introduction to Astronomy and Stargazing

By Jim Oneil

Mankind has always been fascinated with the heavens since time immemorial. Stargazing was not just a pastime on lovely nights. People navigated the seas and crossed continents with stars as their guide. They even thought the constellations charted their fates. But that was before the giant leap from astrology to astronomy. 

Stargazer
Stargazer

Astronomy literally means 'law of the stars,' from the Greek words 'astron' (star) and 'nomos' (law), but astronomers would rather accurately define it as the 'scientific study of celestial objects (such as stars, planets, comets, and galaxies) and phenomena that originate outside the Earth's atmosphere (such as the cosmic background radiation), and is concerned with the evolution, physics, chemistry, meteorology, and motion of celestial objects, as well as the formation and development of the universe.'

However, long-winded Wikipedia's definition seems, don't let it tick you off. There's more to astronomy than theories, calculations, and tedious observations. One thing's certain, though: astronomy is not for jocks.

However, don't get the impression that you need a Ph.D. in astrophysics to get suitably curious with the fascinating display of stars on a clear moonless night. Amateur astronomers have made many important astronomical discoveries. In fact, astronomical societies encourage the involvement of amateur observers, the sky being too wide for just professional astronomers to cover.

Article Source:  An Introduction to Astronomy and Stargazing
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Monday, May 26, 2014

Astronomy for Beginners

By Kum Martin

Many people are interested in what lies beyond the Earth and the moon. Humans by nature are curious and, therefore, it is only natural that people want to learn and understand more and more about stars, planets, comets, and galaxies. Also, popular sci-fi television serials and movies have further fueled the yearning to look beyond the Earth.

However, if you are a beginner of astronomy, there is more to this subject than just identifying the stars lighting up the night sky. It also involves understanding how different celestial bodies move and how they influence other celestial bodies. Recently, it has been concluded that astronomy is very similar to astrophysics.


Stargazer's gathered at a Star Party
Stargazer's gathered at a Star Party

Astronomy consists of two branches, namely observational astronomy and theoretical astronomy. Observational astronomy deals with gathering and analyzing data, while theoretical astronomy deals with making models that help to explain the different astronomical objects and astronomical phenomena. Then results from both branches are used in order to explain all the observations made and to confirm the results of the theories.

Many amateur astronomers have left their mark on this field of science. They have been instrumental in making amazing discoveries. In fact, astronomy is one of the fields of science where amateurs and beginners are allowed to play active roles. So, if you want to cultivate this hobby, you are not alone. There are many clubs for amateur astronomers and the members of these clubs are very serious about observing the positions of various celestial objects.

As a beginner in astronomy, you will need a telescope to help you identify the different celestial bodies in the night sky. Conduct a research on the different types of telescopes and buy one that suits your needs and budget. You can also check out various online forums for amateurs and beginners where you can get useful tips on making the right selection on a telescope. Also, invest money in a good book that will help you identify the different stars and celestial objects.

Start out slowly and once you gain confidence and knowledge, you can graduate to mapping the movements of the different celestial objects. Also, during the course of your observations, you will see many nebulae and star clusters that are not only beautiful to observe, but also amazing. The sheer size of the universe is mind-boggling.

The world of astronomy can open the doorway to the universe. You can learn about the different planets, stars, galaxies, comets, black holes, nebulae and more as you dig deeper into this subject.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Kum_Martin
http://EzineArticles.com/?Astronomy-For-Beginners&id=4882720
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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Astronomy For Kids Training Tips

By John Beam

Nearly every child has an interest in exploring the stars. Being able to learn astronomy online is something special that a mere ten years ago was not even offered. Let's take a look at the many benefits of having the ability to learn astronomy on the web and at some astronomy for kids instructing suggestions.

Every child desires to stay up late and astronomy is the ideal justification. Let's be realistic, they want to be outdoors plus they desire to remain up until the early hrs of the morning. Why not utilize that to your great advantage and teach them something that they are keen to learn?

Students studying Astronomy Online.
Students studying Astronomy Online.

Kids are clean slates with regards to astronomy. They are hungry to learn and do so with great passion since it is a topic they delight in. It is extremely important to pick appropriate instructional resources which are also interesting to the child if you wish to learn astronomy online. Astronomy for kids is amongst the most enjoyable subjects you can attempt to teach. Teaching about space by simply reading through a textbook is not nearly as exciting as going outside or observing the stars through a computer program.

When buying astronomy software, the very first thing to check is if the program can run on your computer. Be sure that the software not only runs on your variety of computer (PC or Mac) but additionally that your computer is powerful enough to render the 3-dimensional images. The system specs for software programs are commonly boldly shown on their website.

The excellent astronomical software allows you to learn astronomy online by observing the sky not merely from your local position, but often from out in space itself. One huge advantage of astronomy software packages is that your youngster can easily do a search for precisely what they wish to view and instantly observe it. Finding objects in the night sky is a difficult activity and many brand new astronomers become discouraged by their lack of ability to find objects like Venus or Mars.

One more enormous benefit of having the capacity to learn astronomy online is that it does not demand clear skies or pleasant weather conditions to enjoy. Nothing can spoil a well-planned astronomy trip quicker than clouds or rain. Teaching astronomy for kids can be done just about anywhere that you can carry a laptop.

As you gain experience instructing astronomy for kids you will see that there are several important features to look for in astronomy software: The ability to view events in past times (or future), simple to use interface, and most of all guarantee that the info is provided by a dependable source such as NASA. Make sure that you are providing information is that correct.

Astronomy for kids is as gratifying a topic for the educator or parent as it is the little one.

Father, hubby, article author, and recreational astronomer in that order. JohnnyB assists with Learn Astronomy Online and spends as much of his time with his family as possible.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=John_Beam
http://ezinearticles.com/?id=6491045&Astronomy-For-Kids-Training-Tips=
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