The Universe

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The universe is defined as everything that physically exists: the entirety of space and time, all forms of matter, energy and momentum, and the physical laws and constants that govern them. However, typically the term universe is used to denote such concepts such as the cosmos, the world or Nature.

August and September Skies [Aug-Sep 1944]: Mercury will be in the evening sky until it comes into inferior conjunction with the sun on September 6, when it passes to the morning sky. The planet will be then farther away from the sun – 27 ½ degrees – than at any time during the year, but its path cuts the horizon at such a small angle at this time that Mercury will be only 9 degrees above the horizon at sunset and difficult to observe in the haze of the evening twilight.

Constellation Boundaries [Oct 1948]: Naming most of the constellations dates back to the remote ages, and their boundaries were either non-existent or ill-defined. Many early maps showed mythological figures, giants and warriors, a host of zoological creatures, and many inanimate objects or geometrical figures, all in haphazard arrangement. Bright stars were frequently located in heart, head or foot of some mythical creature.

Does Life Exist on Mars? [Feb 1948]: The additional discovery that no other gases with strong absorption in the infra-red were present, such as the poisonous gases methane and ammonia found in such abundance in the atmosphere of the outer planets, further strengthens the belief in the possibility of life on Mars.

The Great Comet of 1947 [Mar 1948]: Following the practice of naming comets alphabetically in the order of discovery in the current year, the new comet soon received the name of 1947n. It was, as its name indicated, the fourteenth, and, as it turned out, the last comet to be discovered in 1947. This sets a record, it is believed, for number of comets discovered in anyone year.

How to Know the Planets [Mar 1949]: There are various ways of distinguishing the planets from the stars that lie far beyond them. Planets shine with a much steadier light than the stars, a light that is reflected light of the sun. Planets do not twinkle or scintillate appreciably. This is particularly true of the giant planet of the solar system, Jupiter, which shines with It remarkably calm and steadfast light.

The Hyades and Pleiades in Taurus [Dec 1947]: The Hyades, in the form of a V, outline the forehead of The Bull. The group is easily recognized by this distinctive appearance, and because the brilliant, red, first magnitude star, Aldebaran, tops one branch of the V. It is supposed to represent the fiery red eye of Taurus.

June and July Heavens [Jun-Jul 1948]: The four previously known satellites of Uranus are Ariel and Umbriel, discovered by Lassell in 1851, and Titania and Oberon, discovered by Sir William Herschel in 1787. They are among the faintest and most difficult to observe of all satellites, to be classed in this respect with the six faintest satellites of Jupiter, all discovered since the beginning of this century, and all less than 100 miles in diameter.

March and Its Stellar Performers [Mar 1932]: The springtime, during which the, ecliptic rises most sharply from the horizon, is the best period of the year for searching out the planet Mercury and also for seeing the Zodiacal Light, that faint nebulous glow which is about equal to the Milky Way in brightness and which stretches upward from the horizon at the point where the sun has set.

The Nebular Hypothesis [Jun 1929]: Briefly stated in its most essential form, the nebular hypothesis; assumes that the solar system originally consisted of a nebulous mass of highly heated gases extending beyond the orbit of the outermost planet, Neptune, and rotating like a rigid body, in the direction in which the planets now revolve around the sun and in which the sun turns on its axis.

The Rings and Satellites of Saturn [Feb 1949]: At that time the southern side of the rings of Saturn was tipped toward the earth at an angle of 27 degrees, which is close to the maximum amount of elevation of the earth above the plane of the rings of Saturn. The exceptional brilliancy of Saturn at that time arose from the fact that the rings were then at their widest extent as seen from the earth and were very considerably brighter than the surface of Saturn.

Some Facts About the Moon [Nov 1948]: Among all the satellites of the solar system our moon is unique because of its great size relative to that of the earth around which it revolves. The two largest satellites of Jupiter have diameters only about one-twentieth that of Jupiter, but the diameter of the moon is about one-fourth that of the earth.

What's Happened to the Martian Atmosphere? [Sep 1937]: It was on May 20 and 21 of this year, when the ruddy planet Mars was just past opposition with the sun, and about a week before its closest approach to the earth for this return, about 47,200,000 miles, that a most remarkable change in the atmosphere of the planet was observed.