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An Introduction to the Universe. And a few numbers and simple mathematical techniques for developing a sense of scale. Let’s start at the planet we call home. Earth. The first lesson in scale…. How many Earth’s would fit side by side between the Earth and the Moon?.

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An introduction to the universe

An Introduction to the Universe

And a few numbers and simple mathematical techniques for developing a sense of scale.



The first lesson in scale
The first lesson in scale….

How many Earth’s would fit side by side between the Earth and the Moon?

Image from the Mars Express Spacecraft


Lest we forget
Lest we forget…

The Universe has a history of violence.



An introduction to the universe
Just 500 years ago, during the Renaissance, philosophers began to re-examine our place in the Universe.



An introduction to the universe
This image of Saturn backlit by the Sun taken by the Cassini Spacecraft partially illustrates our position in the Universe


An introduction to the universe
Stars are now believed to form in clusters like this one (M45) that still is surrounded by some of the gas and dust that stars form from.


An introduction to the universe

With the invention of the astronomical telescope in the early 1600’s, astronomers were able to see previously unknown objects like this Globular Cluster of stars in the constellation called M13


Galaxies are distributed in clusters
Galaxies are distributed in clusters early 1600’s, astronomers were able to see previously unknown objects like this Globular Cluster of stars in the constellation called M13



The hubble telescope reveals the tru character of rich galaxy cluster abell 1689
The Hubble telescope reveals the upward of 50,000 galaxies. tru character of rich galaxy cluster Abell 1689


An introduction to the universe
Our own galaxy is believed to be similar in structure to this galaxy called the Whirlpool Galaxy (M58)

Note the two supernova



An introduction to the universe
This map of small variations in the Cosmic Background Radiation has allowed astronomers to pin down the age of the Universe as 13.78 Byr


An introduction to the universe
Evidence for Dark Matter was firmly established by Vera Rubin by measuring the rotation speeds of stars in distant spiral galaxies


An introduction to the universe

Our understanding of the beginnings of our Universe has given rise to a phenomena known as cosmic inflation that explains the current large scale structure of our Universe.


An introduction to the universe

Recent measurements of supernova in distance galaxies has provided evidence that there is an unknown energy that is causing our Universe to accelerate its expansion – Dark Energy