Astronomy Briefly

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Astronomy in the newspapers, on television, and via the Internet is a series of mysteries about the greatest of size, the astonishingly distant, and the fantastic in power.

The subjects range from the more close at hand, suitable for most of us to be readily involved with our eyes, binoculars, and telescopes; and the more distant, for which years of study are required.

Close in space and time to us are the lunar domes and the lunar transient events, the possibility of comets watering the earth, meteor showers, collisions that ruined the dinosaurs and sparked evolution, Martian water, space weather and solar activity. Most everyday people can extend their own senses in involvement with such subjects.

Specialists in astronomy go where Everyman cannot. The professionals venture far beyond our immediate senses by using special devices to knowledgeably study stellar giants, tiny but mighty energy sources, gamma and x-ray bursts, explosions of stars, and great intergalactic masses occupying immense distances within the universe.

Nowadays the amateur can still be a part of a long tradition of assistance to the professional astronomer. This assistance is rendered by the use of robotics for telescopes for constant observation of inconstant objects though the amateur has for a long time assisted or dominated in the study of variable stars. The hunt for comets has amateurs in the majority. The resourceful amateur today uses CCD,"go to" equipped telescopes, electronic time signals, and various positioning, math, and database software. It is fun and lots of it.

The professional's activities are burdened by a governance of physics, esoteric mathematics, enormous mounds of data analysis, and competition for use of the more glamorous scientific instruments. It is work and lots of it.

Both amateur and professional seek a beauty in whatever aspect of the Cosmos occupies their time. The professional's work involves the fundamental and the exceptional in the abstract. The amateur's fun is without need of theoretical intervention and places the amateur as an immediate constituent during the astronomical session.

The Space Guy- Astronomy Briefly is intended for the general public. The site attempts to inform visitors to its URL about the knowledge both amateur astronomers and professional astronomers have acquired or are acquiring.









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by Duane Dunkerson

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