Learn the basics of astronomy with historical background and an introduction to the basic astronomy concepts, details about planets, satellites, asteroids, comets and meteors. Also learn the history of Astronomy from its origins in the religious, mythological, and astrological practices of prehistory through to modern astronomy.
When astronomy was closely linked to astrology, astronomical symbols were used to represent various celestial objects, theoretical constructs and observational events in astronomy.
Spinning space stations are a staple of Sci-Fi, from Babylon 5 to Space Station 1 in the film 2001: A Space Odyssey. Inhabitants live in simulated artificial gravity, but it is not the same as that experienced on Earth. Can spinning spacecraft provide artificial gravity?
The Messier Objects are a set of astronomical objects catalogued by Charles Messier in his catalogue of Nebulae and Star Clusters first published in 1774. The original motivation behind the catalogue was that Messier was a comet hunter, and was frustrated by objects which resembled but were not comets. He, therefore, compiled a list of these objects.
Sir Patrick Caldwell-Moore has made a catalogue of beautiful and interesting objects you should observe, whereas Charles Messier made a catalogue of faint fuzzy objects to be avoided when searching for comets.
The Kuiper belt is an area of the solar system extending from the orbit of Neptune (at 30 AU) to 50 AU from the Sun. The objects within the Kuiper Belt together with the members of the scattered disk extending beyond are collectively referred to as trans-Neptunian objects.
Use this Astronomical Terms Glossary to look up the many technical terms and definitions that you may be unfamiliar with in astronomy.
Lagrange Points are five special points where an object can orbit at a fixed distance from two larger mass such that the gravitational pull precisely equals the centripetal force.
Scientists believe that at the centre of the Milky Way there lies an unknown compact entity believed to be a supermassive black hole.