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Welcome to . Starry Monday at Otterbein. Astronomy Lecture Series -every first Monday of the month- February 7, 2005 Dr. Uwe Trittmann. Today’s Topics. Famous Telescopes Objects worthy to be observed The Night Sky in February. Feedback!.

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Welcome to

Starry Monday at Otterbein

Astronomy Lecture Series

-every first Monday of the month-

February 7, 2005

Dr. Uwe Trittmann

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Today’s Topics

  • Famous Telescopes

  • Objects worthy to be observed

  • The Night Sky in February

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  • Please write down suggestions/your interests on the note pads provided

  • If you would like to hear from us, please leave your email / address

  • To learn more about astronomy and physics at Otterbein, please visit

    • (Obs.)

    • (Physics Dept.)

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  • From Galileo to Hubble

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  • Light collectors

  • Two types:

    • Reflectors


    • Refractors (Lenses)

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Famous Telescopes - Galileo

  • Galileo’s first telescope was 3x magnifying

  • his last one 32 x

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Famous Telescopes -Newton

  • First Reflector ever

  • Built around 1670

  • After this: gargantuan


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Famous Telescopes - Hevelius

Rooftop observatory of Johannes Hevelius (1670)

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Famous Telescopes - Hevelius

60 inch ^

140 inch 

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Famous Telescopes - Herschel

Herschel detected Uranus (1781)

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Famous Telescopes – Lord Ross

  • 72 inch Reflector

  • built during potato famine in Ireland

  • Largest Telescope until Mt Wilson (1917)

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Famous Telescopes – Yerkes

  • Largest Refractor Telescope ever

  • 40 inch lens

  • Built 1897

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Famous Telescopes – Mt Palomar

  • 5 Meter Telescope – Huge and heavy mirror

  • On Mt. Palomar in California

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Famous Telescopes – Hubble Space Telescope

  • In orbit around earth

  • No limitations due to earth’s atmosphere

  • Brilliant pictures

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Famous Telescopes – Arecibo Radio Telescope

  • Located in Puerto Rico

  • 300m diameter

  • Receives Radio waves

  • Built 1963

  • SETI

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Famous People

Hubble in prime focus of Einstein visits Mt Wilson Mt Palomar.

Hubble detected the Expansion of the Universe

 Proof of Einstein’s General Relativity Theory

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Largest Earth-Based Telescopes

  • Keck I and II, Mauna Kea, Hawai’i

    • 36  1.8 m hexagonal mirrors;

      equivalent to 10 m

    • Above most of atmosphere

      (almost 14,000 ft ASL)

    • Operating since 1993

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Mauna Kea

  • Elevation: 14,000 ft.

  • Oxygen: 60%

  • Freezing on top, snorkeling at sea level

  • Road: strictly 4 wheels!

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Mauna Kea

  • 325 observing days per year!

  • Darkest skies on the planet!


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Classifying Objects

  • Sun and Moon

  • Planets and their moons

  • Stars and Constellations

    • Variable stars

  • The Milky Way

  • Deep Sky Objects

    • Star Clusters (Open and Globular)

    • Bright and Dark Nebulae

    • Galaxies (used to be called nebulae also)

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When to observe which Objects

  • The surface features on the Moon are best seen when the Moon is not full (nor new )

  • Observe Jupiter’s four Galilean moons with binoculars whenever Jupiter’s up

  • Small telescope will show Saturn’s rings

  • Milky Way can be seen under dark skies

    (…but already in Madison county)

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Deep Sky Objects

  • Usually faint and/or small

  • Best observed under dark skies/ moonless nights

  • Some are binocular objects, some require sizeable telescopes

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Deep Sky Objects: Open Clusters

  • Classic example: Plejades (M45)

  • Few hundred stars

  • Young: “just born”

  • Still parts of matter

  • around the stars

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Deep Sky Objects: Globular Clusters

  • Classic example: Great Hercules Cluster (M13)

  • Spherical clusters

  • may contain

    millions of stars

  • Old stars

  • Great tool to study

    stellar life cycle

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From the Rooftop

Plejades in Taurus,

Open Cluster

M92 in Hercules, Globular Cluster 

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Deep Sky Objects: Nebulae

Classic example: Orion Nebula (M 42)

  • hot glowing gas

    Temperatures ~ 8000K

  • Made to glow by

    ultraviolet radiation

    emitted by young

    O- or B-type (hot)

    stars located inside

  • Color predominantly

    red, the color of a

    particular hydrogen

    emission line (“H”)

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Friday Night

  • 27 seconds exposure

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Friday Night

  • 87 seconds exposure

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Dark Nebulae

  • Classic Example: Horsehead Nebula in Orion

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Trifid Nebula(M20)

Good example for

dark dust lanes in

front of an emission


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Deep Sky Objects: Planetary Nebulae

  • Classic Example: Ring nebula in Lyra (M57)

    (Here: “Eye of God” Nebula)

  • Dead, exploded stars

  • We see gas expanding

    in a sphere

  • In the middle is the

    dead star, a

    “White Dwarf”

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Deep Sky Objects: Galaxies

  • Classic example: Andromeda Galaxy (M31)

  • “Island universes”

  • Made out of billions

    of stars and dust

  • Very far away

    (millions of ly’s)

  • Different types:

    • Spiral, elliptic, irr.

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Deep Sky Catalogues

  • Some of the best deep sky objects can be found in the Messier Catalogue (e.g. M 31)

  • Messier (around 1770) catalogued the objects not to confuse them with comets

  • There are 110 Messier Objects

  • Other catalogues:

    • NGC: new general catalogue (1880) lists 7800 objects

    • Caldwell list: 109 best non-messier objects

    • Herschel 400: from Herschel’s famous list, early 1800’s

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The Night Sky in February

  • The sun is still very low in the sky -> long nights!

  • Winter constellations (Orion, Gemini, Taurus,…) contain many bright stars and objects

  • Saturn was in Opposition last month (i.e. at its brightest)

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Moon Phases

  • Today (Waning crescent, 2%)

  • 2 / 8 (New Moon)

  • 2 / 15 (First Quarter Moon)

  • 2 / 28 (Full Moon)

  • 3 / 3 (Last Quarter Moon)

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Today at Noon

  • Sun at meridian, i.e. exactly south

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10 PM

Typical observing hour, early January

  • no Moon

  • Saturn!

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High in the sky:

Perseus and


with Plejades and the Double Cluster

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  • Big Dipper points to the north pole

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Due South

  • The Winter Constellations

    • Orion

    • Taurus

    • Canis Major

    • Gemini

    • Canis Minor

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Spring Constellations

- Cancer

- Leo

- Hydra

Deep Sky Objects:

- Beehive Cluster (M44)

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Mark your Calendars!

  • Next Starry Monday at Otterbein: March 7, 2005, 7 pm

    (this is a Monday )

  • We’ll talk about Mars Missions and more…

  • Web pages:

    • (Obs.)

    • (Physics Dept.)