From Here To Kolob

Gravitational Waves: A New Era of Astronomy Begins

Comets - Visitors From Beyond The one thing we love the most in the world of astronomy is a good mystery. And if there was ever a mysterious and yet very powerful force of nature that we witness in the night skies, it is the coming of the mighty comet. We should never confuse comets with asteroids. Asteroids are small space rocks that come from an asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. 

When archeologists unearth ancient civilizations, even as far back as the cavemen, they invariably find art that shows mans unquenchable fascination with the stars. To this day, you can easily get an animated discussion at any gathering on the topic of Is there intelligent life on other planets? Many have tried to explain mankind s seeming obsession with outer space as a result of an ancient memory or as part of mankind s eternal nature. 

We do not want to see the two approaches to the stars and planets to become confused again. But we should do all we can do keep that distinction clear without becoming skeptical or demeaning towards those who may still hold to the teachings of astrology. It is important to remember that what is part of a person s religious life has a level of sacred belief to the one holding it. 

Not only are science fiction writers often the visionaries of what comes to be in the future but they give us the idea that space is knowable, that despite how big it is and how small we are, we can conquer this frontier like we have conquered others before us. That alone may be a reason that we must continue to support astronomy locally and the space program nationally. 

The first quarter yields the greatest detail of study. And don t be fooled but the blotting out of part of the moon when it is not in full moon stage. The phenomenon known as earthshine gives you the ability to see the darkened part of the moon with some detail as well, even if the moon is only at quarter or half display. 

So it is critically important that you get just the right telescope for where you are and what your star gazing preferences are. To start with, let s discuss the three major kinds of telescopes and then lay down some Telescope 101 concepts to increase your chances that you will buy the right thing. The three primary types of telescopes that the amateur astronomer might buy are the Refractor, the Reflector and the Schmidt Cassegrain telescope.