By Ian Ridpath
Astronomy is increasing virtually as speedily because the universe itself, and the proliferating medical jargon can occasionally baffle even the main devoted novice. Now, in a few 4,000 concise, updated entries, this dictionary cuts a transparent course throughout the maze of complicated technical language, delivering complete, transparent definitions drawn from all elements of astronomy. Compiled by means of Ian Ridpath, a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, and knowledgeable workforce of individuals, A Dictionary of Astronomy includes the newest entries from astrophysics and cosmology to galaxies and time.
listed below are succinct definitions for the large Bang conception, comets, eclipses, Magellanic Clouds, Mars, quasar, relativity, and variable stars. Entries on telescopes and different measuring units, observatories, area missions, and lately named sunlight procedure gadgets express how astronomers have explored the universe. The Dictionary additionally offers biographical entries on eminent astronomers from Copernicus to Edwin Hubble.
From black gap to white dwarf, and from spiral galaxies to sunlight waves, A Dictionary of Astronomy opens a window at the universe for beginner astronomers all over.
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Additional info for A Dictionary of Astronomy
ACYG. 1 mag. Multiple pulsation frequencies are superimposed, giving rise to light-curves that often appear highly irregular. The periods range from a few days to several weeks. html (2 of 2) [9/29/2007 7:47:11 PM] Document Page 13 alpha particle (a-particle) The nucleus of a helium-4 atom. It consists of two protons and two neutrons and hence is positively charged. Alpha particles are emitted by the nuclei of atoms in a process of radioactive decay known as alpha decay. 0. y. away. Alpha Scorpiid meteors A meteor shower, active from April 20 to May 19, producing rather low observed rates (maximum ZHR 10).
Annual aberration The small displacement in position of a star's image during the year due to the motion of the Earth around the Sun. Annual aberration was discovered by J. *Bradley in 1728 from observations of the changes in distance from the zenith of the star Gamma Draconis. 5. This is the maximum amount by which a star can appear to be displaced from its mean position. During the course of a year, the star appears to move around its mean position in a shape that ranges from a circle for a star at the ecliptic pole, via a progressively flattened ellipse, to a straight line for a star on the ecliptic.
Alpha Centauri The closest star to the Sun, also known as Rigil Kentaurus. It is actually a triple system, consisting of a bright binary with a period of 80 years and a faint red dwarf 2° away called *Proxima Centauri. 3. 27, the third-brightest in the sky. y. y. farther than Proxima Centauri. Alpha Crucis The brightest star in the constellation Crux, also called Acrux. 7. 8. y. distant. Alpha Cygnid meteors A meteor shower with ill-defined activity limits, emanating throughout July and August from an apparently stationary radiant at RA 21h 00m, dec.