Astronomy Essay

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One thing us as humans have never been able to fully understand is astronomy. Always having an unexplained mystery, astronomy also has served as a way to keep time and predict the future. The word “astronomy” is defined as the study of heavenly bodies, meaning anything in the sky such as stars, galaxies, comets, planets, nebulae, and so on. Many people, if not everyone, is amazed by the night sky on a clear, moonless night.
     
Astronomy dates back to ancient times when peoples such as the Babylonians, Egyptians, and Chinese kept written records of astronomical events and occurrences. Today’s seven day week originates from the Babylonians’ seven important bodies in the night sky: the Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury,
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A wide array of instruments is used to observe heavenly bodies today. These instruments include optical telescopes which are used to magnify objects that emit visible light. Some celestial bodies are very difficult or impossible to see with optical telescopes. To see these, we use radio, X-ray, ultraviolet, or infrared instruments. An advantage of radio astronomy is the fact that radio waves aren’t stopped by the sun or clouds, therefore the stars can be observed at any time.
     
Our own solar system today is thought to have formed from a large, single cloud of dust and gas. The center of the cloud became dense enough and created enough energy from contraction to spark a nuclear reaction, forming the Sun. The remaining dust and ice in the cloud formed into the nine planets we know of today. Other objects within the solar system include comets, asteroids, meteorites, interplanetary dust and plasma.
     
Any star that we can see belongs to our own galaxy, the Milky Way. Stars do not exist outside of galaxies in empty space, rather in galaxies which are groups of billions of stars orbiting the center of the galaxy (Fradin 140). Every star has a color ranging from red to blue-white. These colors tell us many things about each star. Also, a star’s

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