Wednesday, January 30, 2008

What is Radio Astronomy?

Astronomy is one of the most amazing things discovered by scientists. Invented long time back, astronomy is a very interesting wing of scientific studies that deals with the atmosphere in outer space, movement of planets, galaxies and stars in the solar system and giving prediction on the good or ill effect of those movements. People in medieval age used to observe the night sky with naked eyes. Slowly the invention of telescope took place astronomical observations became easier. People slowly learned about the cosmos and solar system and came to know about the planets and other celestial objects.

By looking through the lens of telescope people got an idea about the shape and look of planets. But after a long long time, scientists observed that the celestial objects in outer space emit radio waves and thus they started working on it and thus radio astronomy became an important wing of astronomical observations.

The main aim of radio astronomy is to catch the wave length of radio waves emitted by celestial objects and studying them to acquire data about the atmosphere in outer space. By using different techniques that are similar to optical astronomy, scientists discovered that not only radio waves but most of the celestial objects in outer space emit optical waves also. The telescopes used for radio astronomy are larger in size than that used in observational astronomy for observing longer wave lengths.

It was in the year 1860, that some equations by James Clerk Maxwell showed that there was a high possibility of existence of electromagnetic radiations from stellar sources with any wavelength. Some of the most renowned scientists of that time such as Oliver Lodge, Max Planck and Thomas Edison worked on radio astronomy for some time and agreed on one point that is was the sun that was emiting electromagnetic or radio waves. The first astronomical radio source was identified in the early 1930s, when an engineer named Guthe Jansky was working in Bell Telephone Laboratories. Jansky used a large directional antenna and observed that his analog pen-and-paper recording system was continuously recording some unknown signal.

What is Observational astronomy?

Among all kind of scientific discoveries and inventions made by people on this earth, astronomy is one of the greatest. Astronomy is one of the oldest sciences in this earth and dates back to the period before Jesus Christ. People started observing the night sky from trees , high grounds and tall buildings and at one point of time scientist Copernicus came to a conclusion that the sun revolve around the earth. After some time the theory of Copernicus was proved wrong by Italian scientist, Galileo and he clarified that its is not the sun that rotates around the earth, but it is the earth that rotates around the sun. In early days, people used to observe night sky by naked eyes and slowly they discovered telescope.

With the advancement of science of technology, the concept of technology has changed a lot. Different types of astronomy are now practiced by scientists, but observational astronomy is still the most important part of this wonderful scientific study.

Observational astronomy is the oldest form of astronomy and it mainly deals with regular observation of movement of celestial objects and predicting the effect of such movement. Prediction of lunar and solar eclipse is totally dependent on observational astronomy. High-powered telescopes and various astronomical apparatus are used in observational astronomy to acquire accurate data about movement of celestial objects. Astrophysics is also an important part of observational astronomy.

Data that are observed through telescopes and astronomical apparatus are recorded and plotted in graphs and studying those graphs scientists draw conclusion about things that are going to happen in the space and solar system. Italian Galileo was the first person in the earth to record data that he observed through his telescope.

Observational Astronomy

# Radio astronomy
# Infrared astronomy
# Optical astronomy
# Ultraviolet astronomy
# X-ray astronomy
# Gamma-ray astronomy

Types of Astronomy

Astronomy is one of the oldest sciences in the world and also one of the greatest scientific inventions by human being. Astronomy is a wonderful scientific study that let us know about the atmosphere in outer space and movement of planets and galaxies in the solar system. Astronomy was invented by people even before the birth of Jesus Christ and at that time people used to observe night sky with naked eyes from tall buildings, trees and high grounds. Slowly the concept of astronomy was developed and slowly people invented telescope. In its early days, observation and prediction of movement of celestial objects were the main parts of astronomy but with the advancement of science and technology, the scope of working on astronomy has been broadened significantly. Scientists around the world now practice different types of astronomy.

Apart from observation and prediction on movement of celestial objects, astronomy now focuses on various things. Telescope was the only astronomical instrument used by scientists in old days but now various instruments and technologies are used in different types of astronomy. With the use of various instruments and technologies people has gradually learned to measure the size and distance of sun and moon from the earth and has also made calculation about next solar and lunar eclipse easier for scientists. On the other hand, some special types of astronomy has made it possible for scientist to measure the quantity of ultraviolet ray and gamma ray in the troposphere of the earth.

Large number of scientists all over the world are working on different types of astronomy in the astronomical observatories because there is lot more to know about the space and cosmos. Apart from observational astronomy, people are also concentrating on subjects like radio astronomy, infrared astronomy, ultraviolet astronomy, gamma-ray astronomy, optical astronomy, celestial mechanics, astrometry and also focusing on theoretical astronomy.

Types of Astronomy

# Theoretical astronomy
# Observational astronomy

What is Astronomy?

Astronomy is a branch of science that deals with celestial objects like comets, stars, meteors, planets, and galaxies and the incidents which originate outside the atmosphere of the Earth. The study of astronomy is concerned with subjects like evolution, chemistry, physics, meteorology, and motion of celestial objects. It also deals with the formation and development of this vast universe. This will take you through all the different aspects of the science of astronomy and its relevance to human existence. It is one of the oldest sciences whereby early astronomers had carried out methodical observations of the night sky. There are several astronomical artifacts that have been found from much earlier periods but before astronomy could develop into a modern science, the invention of the telescope was required. Earlier the science of astronomy included disciplines like celestial navigation, astrometry, observational astronomy, the making of calendars, as well as astrology.

Today professional astronomy is often equated with astrophysics and since the 20th century it has been split into observational and theoretical branches. Over the years many Amateur astronomers have contributed to significant astronomical discoveries. It must be noted that modern astronomy must not be confused with astrology even though the two fields share a common origin and a part of their methods. There are many research centers and scientific organizations across the world which performs a significant portion of astronomical research. The top leading research centers for astronomical studies are Argonne National Laboratory, AXAF Science Center, Statistical Consulting Center for Astronomy, Solar Data Analysis Center at NASA/Goddard, Space Telescope-European Coordinating Facility, Center for EUV Astrophysics and more. The various branches of astronomy on which research is conducted include Astrobiology, Astrometry, Astrophysics, Cosmology, Galactic astronomy, Extragalactic astronomy, Stellar astronomy, Planetary sciences and others. The other disciplines of astronomy could also include Archaeoastronomy and Astrosociobiology.