• Celestial Navigation Stars Ship

    What is Celestial Navigation?

    We've been dreaming of the stars for longer than we can remember, staring up at the twinkling lights that fill the night sky and wondering what they are. We've even written songs about them. Centuries ago, before the advent of GPS, explorers and adventurers relied on celestial navigation to help them map a path to their destination. What is celestial navigation, how does it work and when was it relied upon?

  • Draco Constellation Map IAU
    Astronomy,  News

    Monthly Stargazing Calendar for October 2015

    On October 8 we will witness the Draconids meteor shower. It is a minor meteor shower producing only about 10 meteors per hour originating from dust grains left behind by comet 21P Giacobini-Zinner, which was first discovered in 1900. The Draconids is an unusual shower in that the best viewing is in the early evening instead of early morning like most other showers.

  • Astronomy

    Apus Constellation

    Apus is a faint constellation in the southern sky. Its name means “no feet” in Greek and it represents a bird-of-paradise, which were once believed to have no feet. It was one of the twelve constellations created by Petrus Plancius in the late 16th century. The first known depiction of the constellation in a celestial atlas was in Johann Bayer’s Uranometria of 1603. Bird-of-Paradise after which the Apus constellation was named. Credit & Copyright: Roderick Eime. For more constellations see the Constellations Guide.

  • Astronomy

    Introduction to Astronomy – Apparent magnitude

    Yesterday I have used the term “apparent magnitude” in my article about the Antlia Constellation. Since some of you may be new to astronomy, I decided to start a new series of articles to introduce you to the topic. Each article of the series will focus on one scientific term used in astronomy. The series will not be a regular one: I will only write an article after using a complicated astronomy term that some of you would need me to explain. Definition The apparent magnitude (noted as m) of a celestial body is a measure of its brightness as seen by an observer on Earth. Since the apparent brightness…

  • Astronomy

    Antlia Constellation

    Antlia is a constellation in the southern sky and therefore has been unknown to the ancient Greeks and Romans. Its name means “pump” and it specifically represents an air pump. It was created by the French astronomer Abbé Nicolas Louis de Lacaille, who created fourteen constellations for the southern sky to fill some of the faint regions. He originally named it Antlia pneumatica to commemorate the air pump invented by the French physicist Denis Papin. It was later adopted by the International Astronomical Union as one of the 88 modern constellations under the shortened name of Antlia. Main Stars and Deep Sky Objects The Antlia constellation has no bright stars.…