Cosmic Challenge: The Ultimate Observing List for Amateurs by Philip S. Harrington

By Philip S. Harrington

Directory greater than 500 sky ambitions, either close to and much, in 187 demanding situations, this watching consultant will try beginner astronomers and complicated veterans alike. Its detailed mixture of sun process and deep-sky goals may have observers attempting to find the Apollo lunar touchdown websites, trying to find satellites orbiting the outermost planets, and exploring thousands of big name clusters, nebulae, far-off galaxies, and quasars. every one objective item is observed by way of a score indicating how tough the thing is to discover, an in-depth visible description, an indication exhibiting how the article realistically appears to be like, and a close finder chart that will help you locate every one problem speedy and successfully. The advisor introduces gadgets frequently missed in different looking at publications and lines goals obvious in quite a few stipulations, from the interior urban to the darkish nation-state. demanding situations are supplied for the bare eye, via binoculars and the most important yard telescopes.

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Legend has it that once, as her husband left on a particularly dangerous campaign, Queen Berenice vowed she would sacrifice her flowing locks to the gods if her husband returned to her safely. Upon his return, she kept her promise by cutting off her hair and placed it in the temple at Zephyrium. That same night, the tresses mysteriously disappeared. Ptolemy was furious, and Berenice wept inconsolably over the loss. There is no telling what might have happened to the guardians of the temple had it not been for Berenice’s court astronomer, Conon of Samos.

Many sources of light pollution, including high-pressure sodium streetlights, shine in the yellow region of the visible spectrum, between 550 nm and 630 nm. 2 Emission nebulae, for example, glow primarily in the hydrogen-beta (486 nm) and oxygen-III (496 nm and 501 nm) regions of the spectrum. In theory, if the yellow wavelengths could somehow be suppressed while the blue-green wavelengths were allowed to pass, then the effect of light pollution would be greatly reduced. What exactly do light-pollution reduction filters do?

In the western portions of North America, especially in the southwestern corner of the United States, visibilities in excess of 100 miles (160 km) are not uncommon. Move east of the Mississippi River, however, and the numbers plummet. Further, the seasonal average varies significantly in eastern North America, from only 25–30 miles (32–48 km) during the hazy days of summer to more than 60 miles (97 km) in the winter months. These numbers only refer to visibility along the horizon. Upper-level aerosols from distant forest fires or volcanic ash may have little adverse effect on the transparency of the lower atmosphere, but still cause a milky sky.

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