An Adventure Into Astronomy

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An adventure into Astronomy

Late at night I like to go into my backyard with a telescope and look at the stars that far away in the night sky. The view of thousands of stars feeds me with wonder and amazement about both the stars origins, and what treasures they may hold floating around them. All life needs a host star to form around, and all life comes from the ashes of these once glorious masses of gas. Astronomy offers us a great view of the universe around us, you can join me and others, in taking up this hobby with the use of Optical, Inferred, or Radio telescopes and become a time traveler of knowledge.

When we look up at stars in the night sky through any telescope we are seeing light that came from such a far distance away that we measure this distance in years. Since light, the fastest known thing in the universe moving at 299,792,458 m/s, travels this distance in one year it is called a 'light year'. When we view the light given off from any star we are really seeing into the past because the light left the star years ago to start its journey to us. Since the distance between stars is so great, it takes 4.2 years for the photons given off from the nearest star outside our solar system to reach Earth. Humanity has been viewing space for hundreds of years; however, both professional and amateur astronomers are still finding new and amazing things every day.

There are many things in the night sky that can be seen with a strong pair of binoculars or an optical telescope. Most backyard astronomers prefer to use lower cost, large diameter consumer telescopes for their sky viewing needs. These consumer telescopes use a series of 2 or more lenses and mirrors to focus light into a viewing piece. Astronomers can use the viewing piece to see distant objects either with their eye or a camera. Since a light source is required for a telescope to make an object visible to the human eye, astronomers have created special cameras that can see in to the...