Astronomy

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Extra resources for BBC Focus – January 2011

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The whole visible universe is as large as a few billion light years and it is expanding. If an extraterrestrial intelligent friend at the furthest corner of the universe would like to send you a letter through an imaginary postal mail, according to the hierarchy in the universe, it should be addressed as: To Your name 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. City or town District State Country Continent (optional) Earth (the 3rd planet) The solar system The Milky Way Galaxy (Orion spiral arm) The Local Group of galaxies The Local Cluster of galaxies The Virgo Supercluster The first four items are due to political hierarchy, the fifth item is due to geographical hierarchy, and the remaining five items are due to celestial hierarchy.

So, either the atmosphere had evaporated completely or was not even formed. The surface of Mercury is similar to that of our Moon, but the interior of the planet is very similar to the Earth. Mercury has a large number of craters and basins. In the absence of volcanic activities or plate tectonics or atmospheric effect, the craters and basins that were created at the early age of the planet by the bombardments of asteroids remain the same. Unlike the Earth’s rotation axis, Mercury’s rotation axis is not tilted and it is perpendicular to the orbital plane.

18 AU from the Sun, very closed to the predicted distance. Historically, this object was observed first by John Flamsteed in 1690 but he could not realize that it was a planet. Bode suggested the name of the planet as Uranus. So the number of planets was back to seven, as it was before the sixteenth century. By the beginning of the nineteenth century, astronomers had two powerful theoretical tools, one was the Titius–Bode empirical formula that gives the distance of the solar planets and another was the Kepler’s law which gives the orbital motion of a planet.

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BBC Focus – January 2011 by BBC


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