Palomar Observatory is an astronomical observatory located in San Diego County, United States,145 kilometers southeast of Los Angeles, California, in the Palomar Mountain Range. It is owned and operated by the California Institute of Technology located in Pasadena, research time is granted to Caltech and its research partners, which include the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Cornell University. The observatory operates several telescopes, including the famous 200-inch Hale Telescope, astronomer George Ellery Hale, whose vision created the Palomar Observatory, built the worlds largest telescope four times. He published an article in the April 1928 issue of Harpers Magazine called The Possibilities of Large Telescopes, Hale hoped that the American people would understand and support his project. Hale followed this article with a letter to the International Education Board of the Rockefeller Foundation dated April 28,1928, in his letter, Hale stated, No method of advancing science is so productive as the development of new and more powerful instruments and methods of research.
The 200-inch telescope is named after astronomer George Hale and it was built by Caltech with a $6 million grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, using a Pyrex blank manufactured by Corning Glass Works. Anderson was the project manager assigned in the early 1940s. The telescope saw first light January 26,1949 targeting NGC2261, the American astronomer Edwin Powell Hubble, perhaps the most important observer of the 20th century, was given the honor of being the first astronomer to use the telescope. Astronomers using the Hale Telescope have discovered distant objects at the edges of the universe called quasars and have given us the first direct evidence of stars in distant galaxies. They have studied the structure and chemistry of intergalactic clouds, leading to an understanding of the synthesis of elements in the universe, porter worked on the designs in collaboration with many engineers and Caltech committee members. The gleaming white building on Palomar Mountain that houses the 200–inch Hale Telescope is considered by many to be The Cathedral of Astronomy, the 200-inch Hale Telescope was first proposed in 1928 and has been operational since 1948.
It was the largest telescope in the world for 45 years, a 60-inch reflecting telescope is located in the Oscar Mayer Building. It was dedicated in 1970 to take some of the load off of the Hale Telescope and this telescope was used to discover the first brown dwarf star. The 48-inch Samuel Oschin Telescope was started in 1938 and installed in 1948 and it was initially called the 48–inch Schmidt, and was dedicated to Samuel Oschin in 1986. The dwarf planet Eris was discovered using this instrument, the existence of Eris triggered the discussions in the international astronomy community that led to Pluto being re-classified as a dwarf planet. An 18-inch Schmidt camera became the first operational telescope at the Palomar in 1936, in the 1930s, Fritz Zwicky, a Caltech astronomer, discovered over 100 supernovae in other galaxies with this telescope and gathered the first evidence for dark matter. Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 was discovered with this instrument in 1993 and it has since been retired and is on display at the small museum/visitor center.
The Palomar Testbed Interferometer was an instrument that permitted astronomers to make very high resolution measurements of the sizes
Lunar distance (astronomy)
Lunar distance is as a unit of measure in astronomy. It is the distance from the center of Earth to the center of the Moon. More technically, it is the mean semi-major axis of the lunar orbit. It may refer to the distance between the centers of the Earth and the Moon, or less commonly, the instantaneous Earth-Moon distance. The lunar distance is approximately a quarter of a million miles, Lunar distance is called Earth-Moon distance, Earth–Moon characteristic distance, or distance to the Moon, and commonly indicated with LD or Δ ⊕ L. The mean semi-major axis has a value of 384,402 km, the time-averaged distance between Earth and Moon centers is 385,000.6 km. The actual distance varies over the course of the orbit of the Moon, from 356,500 km at the perigee to 406,700 km at apogee, Lunar distance is commonly used to express the distance to near-Earth object encounters. The measurement is useful in characterizing the lunar radius, the mass of the Sun. Millimeter-precision measurements of the distance are made by measuring the time taken for light to travel between LIDAR stations on the Earth and retroreflectors placed on the Moon.
The Moon is spiraling away from the Earth at a rate of 3.8 cm per year. By coincidence, the diameter of corner cubes in retroreflectors on the Moon is 3.8 cm, the instantaneous lunar distance is constantly changing. In fact the distance between the Moon and Earth can change by as much as 75 m/s, or more than 1,000 kilometers in just 6 hours. There are other effects that influence the lunar distance. Some factors are described in this section, the distance to the Moon can be measured to an accuracy of 2 mm over a 1-hour sampling period, which results in an overall uncertainty of 2–3 cm for the average distance. However, due to its orbit with varying eccentricity, the instantaneous distance varies with monthly periodicity. Furthermore, the distance is perturbed by the effects of various astronomical bodies - most significantly the Sun. Other forces responsible for minuscule perturbations are other planets in the system, tidal forces. The effect of pressure from the sun contributes an amount of ±3.6 mm to the lunar distance
The ecliptic is the apparent path of the Sun on the celestial sphere, and is the basis for the ecliptic coordinate system. It refers to the plane of this path, which is coplanar with the orbit of Earth around the Sun, the motions as described above are simplifications. Due to the movement of Earth around the Earth–Moon center of mass, due to further perturbations by the other planets of the Solar System, the Earth–Moon barycenter wobbles slightly around a mean position in a complex fashion. The ecliptic is actually the apparent path of the Sun throughout the course of a year, because Earth takes one year to orbit the Sun, the apparent position of the Sun takes the same length of time to make a complete circuit of the ecliptic. With slightly more than 365 days in one year, the Sun moves a little less than 1° eastward every day, this is a simplification, based on a hypothetical Earth that orbits at uniform speed around the Sun. The actual speed with which Earth orbits the Sun varies slightly during the year, for example, the Sun is north of the celestial equator for about 185 days of each year, and south of it for about 180 days.
The variation of orbital speed accounts for part of the equation of time, if the equator is projected outward to the celestial sphere, forming the celestial equator, it crosses the ecliptic at two points known as the equinoxes. The Sun, in its apparent motion along the ecliptic, crosses the equator at these points, one from south to north. The crossing from south to north is known as the equinox, known as the first point of Aries. The crossing from north to south is the equinox or descending node. Likewise, the ecliptic itself is not fixed, the gravitational perturbations of the other bodies of the Solar System cause a much smaller motion of the plane of Earths orbit, and hence of the ecliptic, known as planetary precession. The combined action of two motions is called general precession, and changes the position of the equinoxes by about 50 arc seconds per year. Once again, this is a simplification, periodic motions of the Moon and apparent periodic motions of the Sun cause short-term small-amplitude periodic oscillations of Earths axis, and hence the celestial equator, known as nutation.
Obliquity of the ecliptic is the used by astronomers for the inclination of Earths equator with respect to the ecliptic. It is about 23. 4° and is currently decreasing 0.013 degrees per hundred years due to planetary perturbations, the angular value of the obliquity is found by observation of the motions of Earth and other planets over many years. From 1984, the Jet Propulsion Laboratorys DE series of computer-generated ephemerides took over as the ephemeris of the Astronomical Almanac. Obliquity based on DE200, which analyzed observations from 1911 to 1979, was calculated, jPLs fundamental ephemerides have been continually updated. J. Laskar computed an expression to order T10 good to 0″. 04/1000 years over 10,000 years, all of these expressions are for the mean obliquity, that is, without the nutation of the equator included
The Amor asteroids are a group of near-Earth asteroids named after the asteroid 1221 Amor. They approach the orbit of Earth from beyond, but do not cross it, most Amors cross the orbit of Mars. The two moons of Mars and Phobos, may be Amor asteroids that were captured by Marss gravity, the most famous member of this group is 433 Eros, which was the first asteroid to be orbited and landed upon by a human probe. There are three general criteria which an asteroid must meet to be considered a member of the Amor asteroid class, to be considered near, the asteroid must come closer to Earth than to any other major planet. The closest planet to Earth is Venus, which can come as close as 0.27 AU, therefore, an Amor asteroid must come within 0.30 AU of Earths orbit. The asteroids orbit must be outside the orbit of Earth, asteroids that come close to Earth whose orbits are inside Earths orbit are considered Apohele asteroids. The asteroids orbit must not cross Earths orbit, the most commonly used definition of this is that it never orbits closer to the Sun than Earths average distance from the Sun.
A more strict definition is that at any point along the asteroids orbit and this takes into consideration the fact that Earths orbit ranges between 0.983 and 1.016 AU from the Sun. It is more difficult to sort out the Amor asteroids from the non-Amor asteroids using this definition, however. These three criteria boil down to a single test for membership, If an asteroid has a perihelion between 1.000 AU and 1.300 AU, it is an Amor asteroid. Any asteroid with this trait is considered an Amor-class asteroid, regardless of its axis, aphelion, physical properties, orbital stability. An asteroid belongs to the Amor group if, Its orbital period is greater than one year and this is equivalent to saying that its semi-major axis is greater than 1.0 AU. Its orbit does not cross Earths orbit and that is, its lowest point is higher than Earths highest point. It is an object, that is, its perihelion distance q <1.3 AU. In summary, a >1.0 AU and 1.017 AU < q <1.3 AU, there are 6051 Amor asteroids currently known.
960 of them are numbered, and 73 of them are named, Amor asteroids can be partitioned into four subgroups, depending on their average distance from the Sun. The Amor I subgroup consists of Amor asteroids whose semi-major axes are in between Earth and Mars and that is, they have a semi-major axis between 1.000 and 1.523 AU. Less than one fifth of Amor asteroids belong to this subgroup, Amor I asteroids have lower eccentricities than the other subgroups of Amors
In astronomy, magnitude is a logarithmic measure of the brightness of an object, measured in a specific wavelength or passband, usually in the visible or near-infrared spectrum. An imprecise but systematic determination of the magnitude of objects was introduced in ancient times by Hipparchus, astronomers use two different definitions of magnitude, apparent magnitude and absolute magnitude. This distance is 10 parsecs for stars and 1 astronomical unit for planets, a minor planets size is typically estimated based on its absolute magnitude in combination with its presumed albedo. The brighter an object appears, the lower the value of its magnitude, with the brightest objects reaching negative values. The Sun has an apparent magnitude of −27, the full moon −13, the brightest planet Venus measures −5, and Sirius, an apparent magnitude can be assigned to man-made objects in Earth orbit. The brightest satellite flares are ranked at −9, and the International Space Station, ISS, the scale is logarithmic, and defined such that each step of one magnitude changes the brightness by a factor of the fifth root of 100, or approximately 2.512.
For example, a magnitude 1 star is exactly a hundred times brighter than a magnitude 6 star, the magnitude system dates back roughly 2000 years to the Greek astronomer Hipparchus who classified stars by their apparent brightness, which they saw as size. To the unaided eye, a prominent star such as Sirius or Arcturus appears larger than a less prominent star such as Mizar. For all the other Stars, which are seen by the Help of a Telescope. Note that the brighter the star, the smaller the magnitude, Bright first magnitude stars are 1st-class stars, the system was a simple delineation of stellar brightness into six distinct groups but made no allowance for the variations in brightness within a group. He concluded that first magnitude stars measured 2 arc minutes in apparent diameter, with second through sixth magnitude stars measuring 1 1⁄2′, 1 1⁄12′, 3⁄4′, 1⁄2′, the development of the telescope showed that these large sizes were illusory—stars appeared much smaller through the telescope.
However, early telescopes produced a spurious disk-like image of a star that was larger for brighter stars, early photometric measurements demonstrated that first magnitude stars are about 100 times brighter than sixth magnitude stars. Thus in 1856 Norman Pogson of Oxford proposed that a scale of 5√100 ≈2.512 be adopted between magnitudes, so five magnitude steps corresponded precisely to a factor of 100 in brightness. Every interval of one magnitude equates to a variation in brightness of 5√100 or roughly 2.512 times. Consequently, a first magnitude star is about 2.5 times brighter than a second star,2.52 brighter than a third magnitude star,2.53 brighter than a fourth magnitude star. This is the modern system, which measures the brightness, not the apparent size. Using this logarithmic scale, it is possible for a star to be brighter than “first class”, so Arcturus or Vega are magnitude 0, and Sirius is magnitude −1.46. As mentioned above, the scale appears to work in reverse, the larger the negative value, the brighter
An apsis is an extreme point in an objects orbit. The word comes via Latin from Greek and is cognate with apse, for elliptic orbits about a larger body, there are two apsides, named with the prefixes peri- and ap-, or apo- added to a reference to the thing being orbited. For a body orbiting the Sun, the point of least distance is the perihelion, the terms become periastron and apastron when discussing orbits around other stars. For any satellite of Earth including the Moon the point of least distance is the perigee, for objects in Lunar orbit, the point of least distance is the pericynthion and the greatest distance the apocynthion. For any orbits around a center of mass, there are the terms pericenter and apocenter and apoapsis are equivalent alternatives. A straight line connecting the pericenter and apocenter is the line of apsides and this is the major axis of the ellipse, its greatest diameter. For a two-body system the center of mass of the lies on this line at one of the two foci of the ellipse.
When one body is larger than the other it may be taken to be at this focus. Historically, in systems, apsides were measured from the center of the Earth. In orbital mechanics, the apsis technically refers to the distance measured between the centers of mass of the central and orbiting body. However, in the case of spacecraft, the family of terms are used to refer to the orbital altitude of the spacecraft from the surface of the central body. The arithmetic mean of the two limiting distances is the length of the axis a. The geometric mean of the two distances is the length of the semi-minor axis b, the geometric mean of the two limiting speeds is −2 ε = μ a which is the speed of a body in a circular orbit whose radius is a. The words pericenter and apocenter are often seen, although periapsis/apoapsis are preferred in technical usage, various related terms are used for other celestial objects. The -gee, -helion and -astron and -galacticon forms are used in the astronomical literature when referring to the Earth, stars.
The suffix -jove is occasionally used for Jupiter, while -saturnium has very rarely used in the last 50 years for Saturn. The -gee form is used as a generic closest approach to planet term instead of specifically applying to the Earth. During the Apollo program, the terms pericynthion and apocynthion were used when referring to the Moon, regarding black holes, the term peri/apomelasma was used by physicist Geoffrey A. Landis in 1998 before peri/aponigricon appeared in the scientific literature in 2002
The density, or more precisely, the volumetric mass density, of a substance is its mass per unit volume. The symbol most often used for density is ρ, although the Latin letter D can be used. Mathematically, density is defined as mass divided by volume, ρ = m V, where ρ is the density, m is the mass, and V is the volume. In some cases, density is defined as its weight per unit volume. For a pure substance the density has the numerical value as its mass concentration. Different materials usually have different densities, and density may be relevant to buoyancy, purity and iridium are the densest known elements at standard conditions for temperature and pressure but certain chemical compounds may be denser. Thus a relative density less than one means that the floats in water. The density of a material varies with temperature and pressure and this variation is typically small for solids and liquids but much greater for gases. Increasing the pressure on an object decreases the volume of the object, increasing the temperature of a substance decreases its density by increasing its volume.
In most materials, heating the bottom of a results in convection of the heat from the bottom to the top. This causes it to rise relative to more dense unheated material, the reciprocal of the density of a substance is occasionally called its specific volume, a term sometimes used in thermodynamics. Density is a property in that increasing the amount of a substance does not increase its density. Archimedes knew that the irregularly shaped wreath could be crushed into a cube whose volume could be calculated easily and compared with the mass, upon this discovery, he leapt from his bath and ran naked through the streets shouting, Eureka. As a result, the term eureka entered common parlance and is used today to indicate a moment of enlightenment, the story first appeared in written form in Vitruvius books of architecture, two centuries after it supposedly took place. Some scholars have doubted the accuracy of this tale, saying among other things that the method would have required precise measurements that would have been difficult to make at the time, from the equation for density, mass density has units of mass divided by volume.
As there are units of mass and volume covering many different magnitudes there are a large number of units for mass density in use. The SI unit of kilogram per metre and the cgs unit of gram per cubic centimetre are probably the most commonly used units for density.1,000 kg/m3 equals 1 g/cm3. In industry, other larger or smaller units of mass and or volume are often more practical, see below for a list of some of the most common units of density
They are the most common variety, forming around 75% of known asteroids. They are distinguished by a low albedo because their composition includes a large amount of carbon, in addition to rocks. Asteroids of this class have very similar to those of carbonaceous chondrite meteorites. The latter are very close in composition to the Sun. C-type asteroids are extremely dark, with albedos typically in the 0.03 to 0.10 range, whereas a number of S-type asteroids can normally be viewed with binoculars at opposition, even the largest C-type asteroids require a small telescope. The potentially brightest C-type asteroid is 324 Bamberga, but that very high eccentricity means it rarely reaches its maximum magnitude. Their spectra contain moderately strong ultraviolet absorption at wavelengths below about 0.4 μm to 0.5 μm, while at longer wavelengths they are largely featureless but slightly reddish. The so-called water absorption feature around 3 μm, which can be an indication of content in minerals is present
A near-Earth object is any small Solar System body whose orbit brings it into proximity with Earth. By definition, a solar system body is a NEO if its closest approach to the Sun is less than 1.3 astronomical unit and it is now widely accepted that collisions in the past have had a significant role in shaping the geological and biological history of the Earth. NEOs have become of increased interest since the 1980s because of increased awareness of the potential danger some of the asteroids or comets pose, and mitigations are being researched. In January 2016, NASA announced the Planetary Defense Coordination Office to track NEOs larger than 30 to 50 meters in diameter and coordinate an effective threat response, NEAs have orbits that lie partly between 0.983 and 1.3 AU away from the Sun. When a NEA is detected it is submitted to the IAUs Minor Planet Center for cataloging, some NEAs orbits intersect that of Earths so they pose a collision danger. The United States, European Union, and other nations are currently scanning for NEOs in an effort called Spaceguard.
In the United States and since 1998, NASA has a mandate to catalogue all NEOs that are at least 1 kilometer wide. In 2006, it was estimated that 20% of the objects had not yet been found. In 2011, largely as a result of NEOWISE, it was estimated that 93% of the NEAs larger than 1 km had been found, as of 5 February 2017, there have been 875 NEAs larger than 1 km discovered, of which 157 are potentially hazardous. The inventory is much less complete for smaller objects, which still have potential for scale, though not global. Potentially hazardous objects are defined based on parameters that measure the objects potential to make threatening close approaches to the Earth. Mostly objects with an Earth minimum orbit intersection distance of 0.05 AU or less, objects that cannot approach closer to the Earth than 0.05 AU, or are smaller than about 150 m in diameter, are not considered PHOs. This makes them a target for exploration. As of 2016, three near-Earth objects have been visited by spacecraft, more recently, a typical frame of reference for looking at NEOs has been through the scientific concept of risk.
In this frame, the risk that any near-Earth object poses is typically seen through a lens that is a function of both the culture and the technology of human society, NEOs have been understood differently throughout history. Each time an NEO is observed, a different risk was posed and it is not just a matter of scientific knowledge. Such perception of risk is thus a product of religious belief, philosophic principles, scientific understanding, technological capabilities, and even economical resourcefulness.03 E −0.4 megatonnes. For instance, it gives the rate for bolides of 10 megatonnes or more as 1 per thousand years, the authors give a rather large uncertainty, due in part to uncertainties in determining the energies of the atmospheric impacts that they used in their determination
Asteroids are minor planets, especially those of the inner Solar System. The larger ones have been called planetoids and these terms have historically been applied to any astronomical object orbiting the Sun that did not show the disc of a planet and was not observed to have the characteristics of an active comet. As minor planets in the outer Solar System were discovered and found to have volatile-based surfaces that resemble those of comets, in this article, the term asteroid refers to the minor planets of the inner Solar System including those co-orbital with Jupiter. There are millions of asteroids, many thought to be the remnants of planetesimals. The large majority of known asteroids orbit in the belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, or are co-orbital with Jupiter. However, other orbital families exist with significant populations, including the near-Earth objects, individual asteroids are classified by their characteristic spectra, with the majority falling into three main groups, C-type, M-type, and S-type.
These were named after and are identified with carbon-rich, metallic. The size of asteroids varies greatly, some reaching as much as 1000 km across, asteroids are differentiated from comets and meteoroids. In the case of comets, the difference is one of composition, while asteroids are composed of mineral and rock, comets are composed of dust. In addition, asteroids formed closer to the sun, preventing the development of the aforementioned cometary ice, the difference between asteroids and meteoroids is mainly one of size, meteoroids have a diameter of less than one meter, whereas asteroids have a diameter of greater than one meter. Finally, meteoroids can be composed of either cometary or asteroidal materials, only one asteroid,4 Vesta, which has a relatively reflective surface, is normally visible to the naked eye, and this only in very dark skies when it is favorably positioned. Rarely, small asteroids passing close to Earth may be visible to the eye for a short time. As of March 2016, the Minor Planet Center had data on more than 1.3 million objects in the inner and outer Solar System, the United Nations declared June 30 as International Asteroid Day to educate the public about asteroids.
The date of International Asteroid Day commemorates the anniversary of the Tunguska asteroid impact over Siberia, the first asteroid to be discovered, was found in 1801 by Giuseppe Piazzi, and was originally considered to be a new planet. In the early half of the nineteenth century, the terms asteroid. Asteroid discovery methods have improved over the past two centuries. This task required that hand-drawn sky charts be prepared for all stars in the band down to an agreed-upon limit of faintness. On subsequent nights, the sky would be charted again and any moving object would, the expected motion of the missing planet was about 30 seconds of arc per hour, readily discernible by observers
B-type asteroids are a relatively uncommon type of carbonaceous asteroid, falling into the wider C-group. In the asteroid population, B-class objects can be found in the asteroid belt. They are thought to be primitive, volatile-rich remnants from the early Solar System, there are 65 known B-type asteroids in the SMASS classification, and 9 in the Tholen classification as of March 2015. Generally similar to the C-type objects, but differing in that the ultraviolet absorption below 0.5 μm is small or absent, the albedo tends to be greater than in the generally very dark C type. Spectroscopy of B-class objects suggests major surface constituents of silicates, hydrated clay minerals, organic polymers, magnetite. The closest matches to B-class asteroids have been obtained on carbonaceous chondrite meteorites that have been heated in the laboratory. Asteroid Bennu is a B-type asteroid which is the target of the OSIRIS-REx mission, the mission seeks to characterize the asteroid by mapping the surface, studying the Yarkovsky Effect, and retrieving a sample of the asteroid to return in 2023.
The spacecraft will launch in 2016, the asteroids are, Asteroid spectral types
The orbital eccentricity of an astronomical object is a parameter that determines the amount by which its orbit around another body deviates from a perfect circle. A value of 0 is an orbit, values between 0 and 1 form an elliptical orbit,1 is a parabolic escape orbit. The term derives its name from the parameters of conic sections and it is normally used for the isolated two-body problem, but extensions exist for objects following a rosette orbit through the galaxy. In a two-body problem with inverse-square-law force, every orbit is a Kepler orbit, the eccentricity of this Kepler orbit is a non-negative number that defines its shape. The limit case between an ellipse and a hyperbola, when e equals 1, is parabola, radial trajectories are classified as elliptic, parabolic, or hyperbolic based on the energy of the orbit, not the eccentricity. Radial orbits have zero angular momentum and hence eccentricity equal to one, keeping the energy constant and reducing the angular momentum, elliptic and hyperbolic orbits each tend to the corresponding type of radial trajectory while e tends to 1.
For a repulsive force only the trajectory, including the radial version, is applicable. For elliptical orbits, a simple proof shows that arcsin yields the projection angle of a circle to an ellipse of eccentricity e. For example, to view the eccentricity of the planet Mercury, tilt any circular object by that angle and the apparent ellipse projected to your eye will be of that same eccentricity. From Medieval Latin eccentricus, derived from Greek ἔκκεντρος ekkentros out of the center, from ἐκ- ek-, eccentric first appeared in English in 1551, with the definition a circle in which the earth, sun. Five years later, in 1556, a form of the word was added. The eccentricity of an orbit can be calculated from the state vectors as the magnitude of the eccentricity vector, e = | e | where. For elliptical orbits it can be calculated from the periapsis and apoapsis since rp = a and ra = a, where a is the semimajor axis. E = r a − r p r a + r p =1 −2 r a r p +1 where, rp is the radius at periapsis. For Earths annual orbit path, ra/rp ratio = longest_radius / shortest_radius ≈1.034 relative to center point of path, the eccentricity of the Earths orbit is currently about 0.0167, the Earths orbit is nearly circular.
Venus and Neptune have even lower eccentricity, over hundreds of thousands of years, the eccentricity of the Earths orbit varies from nearly 0.0034 to almost 0.058 as a result of gravitational attractions among the planets. The table lists the values for all planets and dwarf planets, Mercury has the greatest orbital eccentricity of any planet in the Solar System. Such eccentricity is sufficient for Mercury to receive twice as much solar irradiation at perihelion compared to aphelion, before its demotion from planet status in 2006, Pluto was considered to be the planet with the most eccentric orbit