By Ian Ridpath
Astronomy is increasing nearly as speedily because the universe itself, and the proliferating medical jargon can occasionally baffle even the main devoted novice. Now, in a few 4,000 concise, up to date entries, this dictionary cuts a transparent course throughout the maze of complicated technical language, delivering complete, transparent definitions drawn from all facets of astronomy. Compiled by way of Ian Ridpath, a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, and a professional group of individuals, A Dictionary of Astronomy comprises the newest entries from astrophysics and cosmology to galaxies and time.
listed here are succinct definitions for the large Bang idea, comets, eclipses, Magellanic Clouds, Mars, quasar, relativity, and variable stars. Entries on telescopes and different measuring units, observatories, house missions, and lately named sun approach gadgets express how astronomers have explored the universe. The Dictionary additionally offers biographical entries on eminent astronomers from Copernicus to Edwin Hubble.
From black gap to white dwarf, and from spiral galaxies to sun waves, A Dictionary of Astronomy opens a window at the universe for beginner astronomers in all places.
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Anastigmatic Describing a lens or optical system that has zero *spherical aberration, coma (see COMA, OPTICAL), and *astigmatism. html (2 of 2) [9/29/2007 7:47:13 PM] Document Page 16 photographic lenses. Anastigmats usually have at least three optical elements, and often many more. 428BC) Greek philosopher, born in modern Turkey. In his cosmogony, a vortex developed in the primordial Universe, causing dense, wet, dark, and cold matter to fall inwards and form the Earth, while rarefied, dry, light, and hot matter was forced outwards.
He specialized in the planets, of which he was one of the most outstanding observers of his time. His highly detailed drawings show, for example, spots on Saturn's disk and 'spokes' in its rings, the South Tropical Disturbance on Jupiter, and surface details on Mercury. Antoniadi's chief interest, though, was Mars. He was sceptical about the Martian canals, and was able to demonstrate that they were illusory. He devised the *Antoniadi scale for the quality of seeing. Antoniadi scale A scale of *seeing conditions, used by amateur astronomers, that describes the effect of atmospheric motions on an image, usually that of a planet.
Ngström. angular acceleration The rate of change in the *angular velocity of a spinning body, or in the angular velocity of a celestial object in its orbit about another body. angular diameter The apparent size of an object, such as the diameter of a planet, expressed in degrees, minutes, or seconds of arc. angular distance See ANGULAR SEPARATION. angular momentum The momentum a body has by virtue of its rotation. A body such as a planet has two types of angular momentum: one type results from its motion in orbit around the Sun, and the other from its spin on its own axis.