By Michael A. Seeds, Dana Backman
With their best-selling astronomy textbook, HORIZONS, authors Mike Seeds and Dana Backman assist you comprehend your house within the universe--not simply your situation in area yet your position within the unfolding background of the actual universe. to accomplish this target, they makes a speciality of crucial questions: "What Are We?" which highlights your house as a planet dweller in an evolving universe, guiding you to raised comprehend the place we got here from and the way we shaped; and "How will we Know?" which supplies insights into how the method of technological know-how can train us extra approximately what we're.
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Additional resources for Horizons: Exploring the Universe (12th Edition)
The angular distance between two objects is the angle between two lines extending from your eye to the two objects. Astronomers measure angles in degrees, arc minutes, 1/60th of a degree, and arc seconds, 1/60th of an arc minute. Using the term “arc” avoids confusion with minutes and seconds of time. The angular diameter of an object is the angular distance from one edge to the other. The sun and moon are each about half a degree in diameter, and the bowl of the Big Dipper is about 10° wide. S Latitude 60° N E Zenith What you see in the sky depends on your latitude as shown at right.
The universe began about 14 billion years ago in an event called the big bang, which filled the universe with hot gas. ▶ The hot gas cooled, the first galaxies began to form, and stars began to shine only about 400 million years after the big bang. 6 billion years ago. ▶ Life began in Earth’s oceans soon after Earth formed but did not emerge onto land until only 400 million years ago. Dinosaurs evolved not long ago and went extinct only 65 million years ago. ▶ Humanlike creatures developed on Earth only about 4 million years ago, and human civilizations developed only about 10,000 years ago.
You will find the Greek alphabet in Appendix A. For many constellations, the letters follow the order of brightness, but some constellations, by tradition, mistake, or the personal preferences of early chart makers, are exceptions (■ Figure 2-4). To identify a star by its Greek-letter designation, you would give the Greek letter followed by the possessive (genitive) form of the constellation name; for example, the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major is alpha Canis Majoris, which can also be written α Canis Majoris.