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Astronomy Essay Topics & Paper Examples

Answers to Questions in Astronomy

1. How do astronomers measure the distances to galaxies and how does that allow the sizes, luminosities and masses of galaxies to be determined? A distance indicator is an object within a galaxy that functions as a marker to that galaxy. It may be a Cepheid star, globular cluster, H II region, planetary nebula or supernova. The distance to a galaxy, especially if it is very far away, is approximated by employing the Hubble Law which is expressed as Recession Velocity (Vr) = Hubble’s Constant (H) x distance (d). After obtaining the distance, it is possible to determine diameter through the small angle formula and luminosity from distance and apparent magnitude where both formulas are derived equations (Garber). Meanwhile mass…

Introduction to Astronomy

The life cycle of a star is a process that is not only beautiful but, fascinating to those fortunate ones who have the chance to study the subject. To the uneducated soul, gazing upon the night sky wondering what is out there is not a common thing. But being able to learn about what is really out there and how it became, that my friends, is truly an amazing task. One has to wonder just how we know what type of star we are looking at or at what point in the star’s life cycle the star dwells. Since the dawn of man, we have studied the stars, and until the last century, astronomers have found ways to measure four…

Cosmology in Milton’s Paradise Lost

The Oxford English Dictionary defines “cosmos” as “the world or universe as an ordered and harmonious system,” from the Greek, “kosmos,” referring to an ordered and/or ornamental thing. When God created the world he had this in mind. To have a harmonious system in the universe where everything can live in peace and free of all worry. God was on top and everything was peaceful. Until the angles in Milton’s Paradise Lost had a fight. After the fight God banished these bad angels and had the last part of his universe created, hell. This completed a very complex picture of Milton’s vision of the universe in the beginning. The encyclopedic writers of the early Middle Ages communicated a modest assortment…

Current Research in Astronomy

For many astronomers, Adaptive Optics is something like a dream coming true. Since 1609 and the first observations of celestial bodies performed with the help of an optical telescope, astronomers have always fought to improve the resolving power of their instruments. For a long time, engineers have trimmed the optical quality of the telescopes, until they finally reached the barrier set by the atmospheric turbulence. At that point, the intrinsic quality of the site became a major issue to establish new observatories with modern telescopes, and astronomers started to desert the urban skies and to migrate toward mountains and deserts (Alloin and Mariotti 2004 9). The recent emergence Adaptive optics aims at providing diffraction limited long exposure images at large…

Current event in Astronomy

The best of the fire-works which lit up the sky, cannot match this spectacular show. The beauty of these fire-works is not even comparable to the beauty of this show. The fire-works travel from earth to space while the objects of this show fall from space to earth. The host of fire works which adorn the sky is man, whereas the host of this show which will adorn the sky on the night of 12 August 07 is mother nature. Comet Swift-Tuttle is very far away from the Earth, but the tail of this comet is very near to Earth’s orbit, every year in the month of August. The tail, which is traveling at a very high speed, of about…

What were the roots of the Scientific Revolution?

The scientific revolution was a period of time, during the 16th and 17th centuries in which historical changes in intellectual thoughts and beliefs took place The changes occurred in two different areas, astronomy (the solar system) and biology (anatomy and physiology).This revolution was such a major milestone for man because it changed the way people looked at the world of nature and man. The emergence of the scientific revolution was brought about by several intellectuals; Copernicus, Galilei, Kepler, Brahe and Newton. First we have Nicholas Copernicus. He studied both math and astronomy. After studying Ptolemy’s works, he challenged the Ptolemaic Conception of the universe. This stated that the earth was the center of the universe. Copernicus formulated a helio centric…

Is Scientific Progress Inevitable?

I read the article “Is Scientific Progress Inevitable?” which was written by Andrew Irvine on 2006. It was published in the book In the Agora: The Public Face of Canadian Philosophy. The main idea of the article is scientific progress is not inevitable. At the first part of the passage, the author used his own his experience that he took his daughter to see a medicine wheel; he used what he saw to let us know these structures have been there for thousands of years and human beings are fragile. Furthermore, he used some facts that ancient people may use their unique ways to record summer solstice rather than today’s high astronomical knowledge. As he said “scientific knowledge is not…

Life and work

Brahmagupta is believed to have been born in 598 AD in Bhinmal city in the state of Rajasthan of Northwest India. In ancient times Bhillamala was the seat of power of the Gurjars. His father was Jisnugupta.[2] He likely lived most of his life in Bhillamala (modern Bhinmal in Rajasthan) during the reign (and possibly under the patronage) of King Vyaghramukha.[3] As a result, Brahmagupta is often referred to as Bhillamalacharya, that is, the teacher from Bhillamala. He was the head of the astronomical observatory at Ujjain, and during his tenure there wrote four texts on mathematics and astronomy: the Cadamekela in 624, the Brahmasphutasiddhanta in 628, the Khandakhadyaka in 665, and the Durkeamynarda in 672. The Brahmasphutasiddhanta (Corrected Treatise…