Deep Sky Objects And MUCH MORE

Here are some of the many People that helped contribute to expanding our knowledge of our universe.

Albert Einstein

Born: March 14, 1879, Ulm, Germany

Died: April 18, 1955, Princeton, NJ

Juicy fact: He could not speak till the age of Four

His Contribution: Albert Einstein (1879-1955, German) was probably the greatest mind of the twentieth century. His Special Theory of Relativity, proposed in 1905, extended Newtonian Mechanics to very large speeds close to the speed of light. It describes the changes in measurements of physical phenomena when viewed by observers who are in motion relative to the phenomena. In 1915, Einstein extended this further in the General Theory of Relativity, which includes the effects of gravitation. According to this theory, mass and energy determine the geometry of spacetime, and curvatures of spacetime manifest themselves in gravitational forces.


Born: February 15, 1564, Pisa, Italy

Died: January 8, 1642, Arcetri, Italy

Juicy Fact: Galileo enrolled to do a medical degree at the University of Pisa but never finished, instead choosing to study mathematics.

His Contribution: Galileo Galilei (1564-1642, Italian) is the father of observational astronomy. In 1609, he heard about the Dutch invention of the telescope, and built one for himself. Even though his telescope was not very powerful compared to the amateur equipment available today, he was able to make a number of stunning discoveries which changed the face of astronomy. He saw the craters, mountains, and valleys of the Moon, noticed the huge number of stars making up the Milky Way, kept precise records of sunspot activity and the phases of Venus, and discovered four moons orbiting Jupiter. These moons are still called the Galilean Moons today, in honor of the earth-shattering scientific effects of the discovery. During a time when the Earth was still considered to be at the center of the universe, he publicized the fact that other astronomical bodies, such as Jupiter's moons, were clearly revolving around something other than the Earth. Galileo's support of the Copernican model of the universe frightened the Church, which put Galileo on trial in 1633. He was forced to renounce his Copernican views and was held under house arrest for the rest of his life.

Urbain Le Verrier

Born: 11 March 1811 Saint-Lô, France

Died: 23 September 1877 (aged 66) Paris, France

Juicy Fact: In 1837 Le Verrier married the daughter of his former mathematics professor

His Contribution: Le Verrier was already interested in astronomy; his first publication (1832) had dealt with shooting stars and had led to his first contact with the astronomer royal, George Airy. Henceforth, Le Verrier devoted himself exclusively to astronomy. In 1837 he began to study the most general problem of celestial mechanics, the stability of the solar system. The perturbations of major axes of the orbits had been treated, but Laplace had failed to obtain significant results for the eccentricities and inclinations. Extending Laplace’s calculations by carrying the approximations much further and by making a more complete analytical study, Le Verrier derived in 1839 and 1840 precise limits for the eccentricities and inclinations of the seven planets, given the masses accepted at the time. For Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus he demonstrated that stability is acquired without restriction.

William HerschEl

Born: November 15, 1738, Hanover, Germany

Died: August 25, 1822, Slough, United Kingdom

Juicy Fact: He composed 24 symphonies and many concertos.

His Contribution: Sir William Herschel was a German-born British astronomer and composer, who is widely credited as the founder of sidereal astronomy for observing the heavenly bodies. He found the planet Uranus and its two moons, and formulated a theory of stellar evolution.

Clyde Tombaugh

Born: February 4, 1906, Streator, IL

Died: January 17, 1997, Las Cruces, NM

Juicy Fact: A tiny portion of his ashes were placed aboard the New Horizons spacecraft. The container is inscribed to say: "Interned herein are remains of American Clyde W. Tombaugh, discoverer of Pluto and the solar system's 'third zone'. Adelle and Muron's boy, Patricia's husband, Annette and Alden's father, astronomer, teacher, punster, and friend: Clyde W. Tombaugh (1906-1997)".

His Contribution: Clyde Tombaugh (1906-1997, American) was the discoverer of the final planet in our solar system, Pluto. He found it photographically in 1930, using the telescope at the Lowell Observatory in Arizona.

Percival Lowell

Born March 13, 1855 Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.

Died November 12, 1916 (aged 61)Flagstaff, Arizona, U.S.

Juicy Fact: He thought he was the first person to discover the canals on Venus but because of a faulty adjustment to his telescope he was in fact looking at the blood vessels in his eyes.

His Contribution: Although Lowell was better known for his observations of Mars, he also drew maps of the planet Venus. He began observing Venus in detail in mid-1896 soon after the 61-centimetre (24-inch) Alvan Clark & Sons refracting telescope was installed at his new Flagstaff, Arizona observatory. Lowell observed the planet high in the daytime sky with the telescope's lens stopped down to 3 inches in diameter to reduce the effect of the turbulent daytime atmosphere. Lowell observed spoke-like surface features including a central dark spot, contrary to what was suspected then (and known now): that Venus has no surface features visible from Earth, being covered in an atmosphere that is opaque. It has been noted in a 2003 Journal for the History of Astronomy paper and in an article published in Sky and Telescope in July 2003 that Lowell's stopping down of the telescope created such a small exit pupil at the eyepiece, it may have become a giant ophthalmoscope giving Lowell an image of the shadows of blood vessels cast on the retina of his eye.

Issac Newton

Born: January 4, 1643, Woolsthorpe-by-Colsterworth, United Kingdom

Died: March 20, 1727, Kensington, London, United Kingdom

Juicy Facts: Newton was an avid list maker and one of his preserved lists included all of the sins he felt he had committed up until the age of 19 (his age at the time). One of them included, "Threatening my father and mother Smith to burne them and the house over them." You can't hardly blame the guy, though. When Smith proposed to Isaac's mother, Isaac wasn't part of the deal. The three-year-old Isaac was sent to live with his grandmother.

His Contribution: Isaac Newton (1643-1727, British) was a mathematician who developed extensive mathematics to describe the astronomical models of Copernicus and Kepler. His Theory of Universal Gravitation was the foundation of Kepler's laws of planetary motion, but it also went further: Newton showed that the laws governing astronomical bodies were the same laws governing motion on the surface of the Earth. Newton's scientific ideas are so complete that they still offer an accurate description of physics today, except for certain cases in which 20th century physics must be used.

Vera Rubin

Born: July 23, 1928, Philadelphia, PA

Died: December 25, 2016, Princeton, NJ

Juicy Fact: At age 10, she was already fascinated by the stars. From her home in Washington, D.C., she searched the skies and watched the constellations until late at night. Despite warnings from her mother not to overdo her star gazing, Rubin continued to pursue her passion in the night skies. At age 14 she built her first telescope with the help of her father. Her early fascination for astronomy followed her into adulthood; now she scans the stars with some of the world's largest and most powerful telescopes.

Her Contribution: Vera Cooper Rubin was an American astronomer who pioneered work on galaxy rotation rates. She uncovered the discrepancy between the predicted angular motion of galaxies and the observed motion, by studying galactic rotation curves.

Edwin Hubble

Born: November 20, 1889, Marshfield, MO

Died: September 28, 1953, San Marino, CA

Juicy Fact: He was a gifted athlete who played baseball, football, basketball and ran track in both high school and college and led The University of Chicago to its first basketball conference title in 1907.

His Contribution: Edwin Hubble (1889-1953, American) made an incredible contribution to astronomy and cosmology when he discovered that faraway galaxies are moving away from us. Known as Hubble's Law, the theory states that galaxies recede from each other at a rate proportional to their distance from each other. This concept is a cornerstone of the Big Bang model of the universe.

Nova: A star showing a sudden large increase in brightness and then slowly returning to its original state over a few months.
Supernova: A supernova is an astronomical occurs during the last stellar evolutionary stages of a massive stars life, whose dramatic and catastrophic destruction on is marked by one final titanic explosion
Open Cluster: An open clusters is a group of up to a few thousand stars that were formed the same giant molecular cloud and have roughly the same age
Globular Cluster: A globular Cluster is a spherical collection of stars that orbits a galactic core as satellite
Nebula: A Cloud of gas and dust in outer space, visible in the night sky either as an indistinct bright path or as a dark silhouettes against other luminous matter.
Galaxy: A system of millions or billions of stars, together with gas and dust, held together by gravitational attraction.
Quasar: A massive and extremely remote celestial objects, emitting exceptionally large amounts of energy, and typically having a starlike image in a telescope.
Black Hole: A black Hole is a place in space where gravity pulls so much that even light can not get out. The gravity is so storing because matter has been squeezed into a tiny space. This can happen when a star is dying
Pulsar: A pulsar is a highly magnetized, rotating neutron star or white dwarf, that emits a beam of electromagnetic radiation.
Black Dwarf: A black dwarf is a theoretical stellar remnant, specifically a white dwarf that has cooled sufficiently that it no longer emits significant heat or light.
White Dwarf: A white dwarf is what stars like the sun become after they have exhausted their unclear fuel. Near the end of its nuclear burning stage, this type of star expels most of its outer material, creating a planetary nebula. Only the hot core of the star remains.

Space is not that far away

The astronauts were placed in quarantine after returning from the moon.

You can cry in space but your tears don’t fall

The word astronaut comes from the Greek word “Astron” which means star and “nautes” which means sailor. The Russian cosmonaut has a similar meaning from ‘kosmos’ meaning universe and again “nautes” sailor.

Nebulae come in all shapes and sizes


Mercury is the smallest planet in our solar system. It’s just a little bigger than Earth’s moon. It is the closest planet to the sun, but it’s actually not the hottest. Venus is hotter.


Even though Venus isn't the closest planet to the sun, it is still the hottest. It has a thick atmosphere full of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide and clouds made of sulfuric acid. The gas traps heat and keeps Venus toasty warm. In fact, it's so hot on Venus, metals like lead would be puddles of melted liquid.


Mars is a cold desert world. It is half the size of Earth. Mars is sometimes called the Red Planet. It's red because of rusty iron in the ground.


Jupiter is the biggest planet in our solar system. It's similar to a star, but it never got big enough to start burning. It is covered in swirling cloud stripes. It has big storms like the Great Red Spot, which has been going for hundreds of years. Jupiter is a gas giant and doesn't have a solid surface, but it may have a solid inner core about the size of Earth. Jupiter also has rings, but they're too faint to see very well.


Saturn isn’t the only planet to have rings, but it definitely has the most beautiful ones. The rings we see are made of groups of tiny ringlets that surround Saturn. They’re made of chunks of ice and rock. Like Jupiter, Saturn is mostly a ball of hydrogen and helium.


Uranus is made of water, methane, and ammonia fluids above a small rocky center. Its atmosphere is made of hydrogen and helium like Jupiter and Saturn, but it also has methane. The methane makes Uranus blue. Uranus also has faint rings. The inner rings are narrow and dark. The outer rings are brightly colored and easier to see. Like Venus, Uranus rotates in the opposite direction as most other planets. And unlike any other planet, Uranus rotates on its side.


Neptune is dark, cold, and very windy. It's the last of the planets in our solar system. It's more than 30 times as far from the sun as Earth is. Neptune is very similar to Uranus. It's made of a thick soup of water, ammonia, and methane over an Earth-sized solid center. Its atmosphere is made of hydrogen, helium, and methane. The methane gives Neptune the same blue color as Uranus. Neptune has six rings, but they're very hard to see.


Pluto is a dwarf planet that lies in the Kuiper Belt. It's an area full of icy bodies and other dwarf planets at the edge of our solar system. Because Pluto is the biggest object in this region, some call it "King of the Kuiper Belt."


Comets are often referred to as "dirty snowballs." They are left over from the formation of stars and planets.


The Oort Cloud is an extended shell of icy objects that exist in the outermost reaches of the solar system. It is named after astronomer Jan Oort, who first theorised its existence.


The Oort Cloud is an extended shell of icy objects that exist in the outermost reaches of the solar system. It is named after astronomer Jan Oort, who first theorised its existence.


Most of the objects come from asteroids, which are objects made of various types of rock and have existed since the origin of the solar system. A small rocky or metallic chunk of material that travels through space is called a meteoroid.


A moon is defined to be a celestial body that makes an orbit around a planet, including the eight major planets, dwarf planets, and minor planets. A moon may also be referred to as a natural satellite, although to differentiate it from other astronomical bodies orbiting another body, e.g. a planet orbiting a star, the term moon is used exclusively to make a reference to a planet’s natural satellite.


Apparent Magnitude - the magnitude of a celestial object as it is actually measured from the earth.

Absolute Magnitude - the magnitude (brightness) of a celestial object as it would be seen at a standard distance of 10 parsecs.

Eclipsing Variable Star - A variable star whose change in luminosity is caused by two or more stars in a binary or multiple system eclipsing each other rather than by any intrinsic property of the star itself. The period of variation coincides with the orbital period of the system and can range from a few minutes to several years

Variable Star - is a star whose brightness as seen from Earth (its apparent magnitude) fluctuates.

Light Year - a unit of astronomical distance equivalent to the distance that light travels in one year, which is 9.4607 × 1012 km (nearly 6 trillion miles).

Astronomical Unit - a unit of measurement equal to 149.6 million kilometers, the mean distance from the center of the earth to the center of the sun.

Event Horizon - a theoretical boundary around a black hole beyond which no light or other radiation can escape.

Electromagnetic Spectrum - the range of wavelengths or frequencies over which electromagnetic radiation extends.


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