Nebraska is a state that lies in both the Great Plains and the Midwestern United States. It is bordered by South Dakota to the north, it is the only triply landlocked U. S. state. Nebraska's area is just over 77,220 square miles with a population of 1.9 million people. Its state capital is Lincoln, its largest city is Omaha, on the Missouri River. Indigenous peoples, including Omaha, Ponca, Pawnee and various branches of the Lakota tribes, lived in the region for thousands of years before European exploration; the state is crossed including that of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Nebraska was admitted as the 37th state of the United States in 1867, it is the only state in the United States whose legislature is unicameral and nonpartisan. Nebraska is composed of two major land regions: the Great Plains; the Dissected Till Plains region consist of rolling hills and contains the state's largest cities and Lincoln. The Great Plains region, occupying most of western Nebraska, is characterized by treeless prairie, suitable for cattle-grazing.
Nebraska has two major climatic zones. The eastern half of the state has a humid continental climate; the western half of the state has a semi-arid climate. The state has wide variations between winter and summer temperatures, variations that decrease moving south in the state. Violent thunderstorms and tornadoes occur during spring and summer and sometimes in autumn. Chinook winds tend to warm the state in the winter and early spring. Nebraska's name is derived from transliteration of the archaic Otoe words Ñí Brásge, pronounced, or the Omaha Ní Btháska, meaning "flat water", after the Platte River that flows through the state. Indigenous peoples lived in the region of present-day Nebraska for thousands of years before European exploration; the historic tribes in the state included the Omaha, Ponca, Pawnee and various branches of the Lakota, some of which migrated from eastern areas into this region. When European exploration and settlement began, both Spain and France sought to control the region.
In the 1690s, Spain established trade connections with the Apaches, whose territory included western Nebraska. By 1703, France had developed a regular trade with the native peoples along the Missouri River in Nebraska, by 1719 had signed treaties with several of these peoples. After war broke out between the two countries, Spain dispatched an armed expedition to Nebraska under Lieutenant General Pedro de Villasur in 1720; the party was attacked and destroyed near present-day Columbus by a large force of Pawnees and Otoes, both allied to the French. The massacre ended Spanish exploration of the area for the remainder of the 18th century. In 1762, during the Seven Years' War, France ceded the Louisiana territory to Spain; this left Spain competing for dominance along the Mississippi. In response, Spain dispatched two trading expeditions up the Missouri in 1794 and 1795; that year, Mackay's party built a trading post, dubbed Fort Carlos IV, near present-day Homer. In 1819, the United States established Fort Atkinson as the first U.
S. Army post west of the Missouri River, just east of present-day Fort Calhoun; the army abandoned the fort in 1827. European-American settlement was scarce until the California Gold Rush. On May 30, 1854, the US Congress created the Kansas and the Nebraska territories, divided by the Parallel 40° North, under the Kansas–Nebraska Act; the Nebraska Territory included parts of the current states of Colorado, North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana. The territorial capital of Nebraska was Omaha. In the 1860s, after the U. S. government forced many of the Native American tribes to cede their lands and settle on reservations, it opened large tracts of land to agricultural development by Europeans and Americans. Under the Homestead Act, thousands of settlers migrated into Nebraska to claim free land granted by the federal government; because so few trees grew on the prairies, many of the first farming settlers built their homes of sod, as had Native Americans such as the Omaha. The first wave of settlement gave the territory a sufficient population to apply for statehood.
Nebraska became the 37th state on March 1, 1867, the capital was moved from Omaha to the center at Lancaster renamed Lincoln after the assassinated President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. The battle of Massacre Canyon on August 5, 1873, was the last major battle between the Pawnee and the Sioux. During the 1870s to the 1880s, Nebraska experienced a large growth in population. Several factors contributed to attracting new residents; the first was. This helped settlers to learn the unfamiliar geography of the area; the second factor was the invention of several farming technologies. Agricultural inventions such as barbed wire, wind mills, the steel plow, combined with good weather, enabled settlers to use of Nebraska as prime farming land. By the 1880s, Nebraska's population
An observatory is a location used for observing terrestrial or celestial events. Astronomy, climatology/meteorology, geophysical and volcanology are examples of disciplines for which observatories have been constructed. Observatories were as simple as containing an astronomical sextant or Stonehenge. Astronomical observatories are divided into four categories: space-based, ground-based, underground-based. Ground-based observatories, located on the surface of Earth, are used to make observations in the radio and visible light portions of the electromagnetic spectrum. Most optical telescopes are housed within a dome or similar structure, to protect the delicate instruments from the elements. Telescope domes have a slit or other opening in the roof that can be opened during observing, closed when the telescope is not in use. In most cases, the entire upper portion of the telescope dome can be rotated to allow the instrument to observe different sections of the night sky. Radio telescopes do not have domes.
For optical telescopes, most ground-based observatories are located far from major centers of population, to avoid the effects of light pollution. The ideal locations for modern observatories are sites that have dark skies, a large percentage of clear nights per year, dry air, are at high elevations. At high elevations, the Earth's atmosphere is thinner, thereby minimizing the effects of atmospheric turbulence and resulting in better astronomical "seeing". Sites that meet the above criteria for modern observatories include the southwestern United States, Canary Islands, the Andes, high mountains in Mexico such as Sierra Negra. A newly emerging site which should be added to this list is Mount Gargash. With an elevation of 3600 m above sea level, it is the home to the Iranian National Observatory and its 3.4m INO340 telescope. Major optical observatories include Mauna Kea Observatory and Kitt Peak National Observatory in the US, Roque de los Muchachos Observatory and Calar Alto Observatory in Spain, Paranal Observatory in Chile.
Specific research study performed in 2009 shows that the best possible location for ground-based observatory on Earth is Ridge A — a place in the central part of Eastern Antarctica. This location provides the least atmospheric disturbances and best visibility. Beginning in 1930s, radio telescopes have been built for use in the field of radio astronomy to observe the Universe in the radio portion of the electromagnetic spectrum; such an instrument, or collection of instruments, with supporting facilities such as control centres, visitor housing, data reduction centers, and/or maintenance facilities are called radio observatories. Radio observatories are located far from major population centers to avoid electromagnetic interference from radio, TV, other EMI emitting devices, but unlike optical observatories, radio observatories can be placed in valleys for further EMI shielding; some of the world's major radio observatories include the Socorro, in New Mexico, United States, Jodrell Bank in the UK, Arecibo in Puerto Rico, Parkes in New South Wales and Chajnantor in Chile.
Since the mid-20th century, a number of astronomical observatories have been constructed at high altitudes, above 4,000–5,000 m. The largest and most notable of these is the Mauna Kea Observatory, located near the summit of a 4,205 m volcano in Hawaiʻi; the Chacaltaya Astrophysical Observatory in Bolivia, at 5,230 m, was the world's highest permanent astronomical observatory from the time of its construction during the 1940s until 2009. It has now been surpassed by the new University of Tokyo Atacama Observatory, an optical-infrared telescope on a remote 5,640 m mountaintop in the Atacama Desert of Chile; the oldest proto-observatories, in the sense of a private observation post, Wurdi Youang, Australia Zorats Karer, Armenia Loughcrew, Ireland Newgrange, Ireland Stonehenge, Great Britain Quito Astronomical Observatory, located 12 minutes south of the Equator in Quito, Ecuador. Chankillo, Peru El Caracol, Mexico Abu Simbel, Egypt Kokino, Republic of Macedonia Observatory at Rhodes, Greece Goseck circle, Germany Ujjain, India Arkaim, Russia Cheomseongdae, South Korea Angkor Wat, CambodiaThe oldest true observatories, in the sense of a specialized research institute, include: 825 AD: Al-Shammisiyyah observatory, Iraq 869: Mahodayapuram Observatory, India 1259: Maragheh observatory, Iran 1276: Gaocheng Astronomical Observatory, China 1420: Ulugh Beg Observatory, Uzbekistan 1442: Beijing Ancient Observatory, China 1577: Constantinople Observatory of Taqi ad-Din, Turkey 1580: Uraniborg, Denmark 1581: Stjerneborg, Denmark 1642: Panzano Observatory, Italy 1642: Round Tower, Denmark 1633: Leiden Observatory, Netherlands 1667: Paris Observatory, France 1675: Royal Greenwich Observatory, England 1695: Sukharev Tower, Russia 1711: Berlin Observatory, Germany 1724: Jantar Mantar, India 1753: Stockholm Observatory, Sweden 1753: Vilnius University Observatory, Lithuania 1753: Navy Royal Institute and Observatory, Spain 1759: Trieste Observatory, Italy 1757: Macfarlane Observatory, Scotland 1759: Turin Observatory, Italy 1764: Brera Astronomical Observatory, Italy 1765: Mohr Observatory, Indonesia 1774: Vatican Observatory, Vatican 1785: Dunsink Observatory, Ireland 1786: Madras Observatory, India 1789: Armagh Observatory, Northern Ireland 1790: Real Observatorio de Madrid, Spain, 1803: National Astronomical Observatory, Bogotá, Colombia.
1811: Tartu Old Observatory, Estonia 1812: Astronomical Observatory of Capodimonte, Italy 1830/1842: Depot of Charts & Instruments
Lincoln is the capital of the U. S. state of Nebraska and the county seat of Lancaster County. The city covers 94.267 square miles with a population of 284,736 in 2017. It is the 71st-largest in the United States; the city is the economic and cultural anchor of a larger metropolitan area in the southeastern part of the state called the Lincoln Metropolitan and Lincoln-Beatrice Combined Statistical Areas. The statistical area is home to 353,120 people, making it the 106th-largest combined statistical area in the United States; the city was founded in 1856 as the village of Lancaster on the wild salt marshes of what was to become Lancaster County. In 1867, the village of Lancaster was renamed Lincoln; the Bertram G. Goodhue-designed state capitol building was completed in 1932 and is the second tallest capitol in the United States; as the city is the seat of government for the state of Nebraska, the state and the United States government are major employers. The University of Nebraska was founded in Lincoln in 1867.
The university is the largest in Nebraska with 26,079 students enrolled and is the city's third-largest employer. Other primary employers fall within the service and manufacturing industries, including a growing high-tech sector; the region makes up a part of. Designated as a "refugee-friendly" city by the U. S. Department of State in the 1970s, the city was the twelfth-largest resettlement site per capita in the United States by 2000. Refugee Vietnamese, Karen and Yazidi people, as well as other refugees from Iraq & the Middle East, have been resettled in the city. Lincoln Public Schools during the school year of 2017–18 provided support for 3,100 students from 100 countries, who spoke 50 different languages. Prior to the expansion westward of settlers, the prairie was covered with buffalo grass. Plains Indians, descendants of indigenous peoples who occupied the area for thousands of years, lived in and hunted along Salt Creek; the Pawnee, which included four tribes, lived in villages along the Platte River.
The Great Sioux Nation, including the Ihanktowan-Ihanktowana and the Lakota located to the north and west, used Nebraska as a hunting and skirmish ground, although they did not have any long-term settlements in the state. An occasional buffalo could still be seen in the plat of Lincoln in the 1860s. Lincoln was founded in 1856 as the village of Lancaster and became the county seat of the newly created Lancaster County in 1859; the village was sited on the east bank of Salt Creek. The first settlers were attracted to the area due to the abundance of salt. Once J. Sterling Morton developed his salt mines in Kansas, salt in the village was no longer a viable commodity. Captain W. T. Donovan, a former steamer captain, his family settled on Salt Creek in 1856. In the fall of 1859, the village settlers met to form a county. A caucus was formed and the committee, which included Captain Donovan, selected the village of Lancaster to be the county seat; the county was named Lancaster. After the passage of the 1862 Homestead Act, homesteaders began to inhabit the area.
The first plat was dated August 6, 1864. By the close of 1868, Lancaster had a population of 500 people; the township of Lancaster was renamed Lincoln with the incorporation of the city of Lincoln on April 1, 1869. In 1869, the University of Nebraska was established in Lincoln by the state with a land grant of about 130,000 acres. Construction of University Hall, the first building, began the same year. Nebraska was granted statehood on March 1, 1867; the capital of the Nebraska Territory had been Omaha since the creation of the territory in 1854. After much of the territory south of the Platte River considered annexation to Kansas, the territorial legislature voted to locate the capital city south of the river and as far west as possible. Prior to the vote to remove the capital city from Omaha, a last ditch effort by Omaha Senator J. N. H. Patrick attempted to derail the move by having the future capital city named after assassinated President Abraham Lincoln. Many of the people south of the Platte River had been sympathetic to the Confederate cause in the concluded Civil War.
It was assumed that senators south of the river would not vote to pass the measure if the future capital was named after the former president. In the end, the motion to name the future capital city Lincoln was ineffective in blocking the measure and the vote to change the capital's location south of the Platte River was successful with the passage of the Removal Act in 1867; the Removal Act called for the formation of a Capital Commission to locate a site for the capital on state-owned land. The Commission, composed of Governor David Butler, Secretary of State Thomas Kennard and Auditor John Gillespie, began to tour sites on July 18, 1867, for the new capital city; the village of Lancaster was chosen, in part due to the salt marshes. Lancaster had 30 residents. Disregarding the original plat of the village of Lancaster, Thomas Kennard platted Lincoln on a broader scale; the plat of the village of Lancaster was not abandoned. To raise money for the construction of a capital city, a successful auction of lots was held.
Newcomers began to arrive and Lincoln's population grew. The Nebraska State Capitol was completed on December 1, 1868; the Kennard house, built in 1869, is the old
Astronomy is a natural science that studies celestial objects and phenomena. It applies mathematics and chemistry in an effort to explain the origin of those objects and phenomena and their evolution. Objects of interest include planets, stars, nebulae and comets. More all phenomena that originate outside Earth's atmosphere are within the purview of astronomy. A related but distinct subject is physical cosmology, the study of the Universe as a whole. Astronomy is one of the oldest of the natural sciences; the early civilizations in recorded history, such as the Babylonians, Indians, Nubians, Chinese and many ancient indigenous peoples of the Americas, performed methodical observations of the night sky. Astronomy has included disciplines as diverse as astrometry, celestial navigation, observational astronomy, the making of calendars, but professional astronomy is now considered to be synonymous with astrophysics. Professional astronomy is split into theoretical branches. Observational astronomy is focused on acquiring data from observations of astronomical objects, analyzed using basic principles of physics.
Theoretical astronomy is oriented toward the development of computer or analytical models to describe astronomical objects and phenomena. The two fields complement each other, with theoretical astronomy seeking to explain observational results and observations being used to confirm theoretical results. Astronomy is one of the few sciences in which amateurs still play an active role in the discovery and observation of transient events. Amateur astronomers have made and contributed to many important astronomical discoveries, such as finding new comets. Astronomy means "law of the stars". Astronomy should not be confused with astrology, the belief system which claims that human affairs are correlated with the positions of celestial objects. Although the two fields share a common origin, they are now distinct. Both of the terms "astronomy" and "astrophysics" may be used to refer to the same subject. Based on strict dictionary definitions, "astronomy" refers to "the study of objects and matter outside the Earth's atmosphere and of their physical and chemical properties," while "astrophysics" refers to the branch of astronomy dealing with "the behavior, physical properties, dynamic processes of celestial objects and phenomena."
In some cases, as in the introduction of the introductory textbook The Physical Universe by Frank Shu, "astronomy" may be used to describe the qualitative study of the subject, whereas "astrophysics" is used to describe the physics-oriented version of the subject. However, since most modern astronomical research deals with subjects related to physics, modern astronomy could be called astrophysics; some fields, such as astrometry, are purely astronomy rather than astrophysics. Various departments in which scientists carry out research on this subject may use "astronomy" and "astrophysics" depending on whether the department is affiliated with a physics department, many professional astronomers have physics rather than astronomy degrees; some titles of the leading scientific journals in this field include The Astronomical Journal, The Astrophysical Journal, Astronomy and Astrophysics. In early historic times, astronomy only consisted of the observation and predictions of the motions of objects visible to the naked eye.
In some locations, early cultures assembled massive artifacts that had some astronomical purpose. In addition to their ceremonial uses, these observatories could be employed to determine the seasons, an important factor in knowing when to plant crops and in understanding the length of the year. Before tools such as the telescope were invented, early study of the stars was conducted using the naked eye; as civilizations developed, most notably in Mesopotamia, Persia, China and Central America, astronomical observatories were assembled and ideas on the nature of the Universe began to develop. Most early astronomy consisted of mapping the positions of the stars and planets, a science now referred to as astrometry. From these observations, early ideas about the motions of the planets were formed, the nature of the Sun and the Earth in the Universe were explored philosophically; the Earth was believed to be the center of the Universe with the Sun, the Moon and the stars rotating around it. This is known as the geocentric model of the Ptolemaic system, named after Ptolemy.
A important early development was the beginning of mathematical and scientific astronomy, which began among the Babylonians, who laid the foundations for the astronomical traditions that developed in many other civilizations. The Babylonians discovered. Following the Babylonians, significant advances in astronomy were made in ancient Greece and the Hellenistic world. Greek astronomy is characterized from the start by seeking a rational, physical explanation for celestial phenomena. In the 3rd century BC, Aristarchus of Samos estimated the size and distance of the Moon and Sun, he proposed a model of the Solar System where the Earth and planets rotated around the Sun, now called the heliocentric model. In the 2nd century BC, Hipparchus discovered precession, calculated the size and distance of the Moon and inven