Download Alpha Centauri - The Nearest Star by Isaac Asimov PDF

By Isaac Asimov

Discusses the constellations and stars, the gap, luminosity and measurement, stellar astronomy, starlight, and lifestyles on different planetary platforms, with unique connection with the 3rd brightest and likewise the closest celebrity. Alpha Centauri.

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Extra info for Alpha Centauri - The Nearest Star

Sample text

Therefore they must shine by their own light. The only heavenly body we know that certainly shines by its own stars are other light is the sun. suns that look Can it be, then, that the like tiny points of light only be- cause they are so distant? Actually, as long ago as 1440 a German scholar, Nicholas Cusa (KYOO-suh), had suggested that stars were distant suns, but in his time that was only a guess. He had no evidence. Of course, even though the stars were other suns and very far away, they might still be all at the same great distance, and differences in brightness might still be the result of differences of in size only.

In the 1600S, after the telescope was invented, it quickly became apparent that the planets shone only by reflected light from the sun. The closer they were to the sun, the more light they received and reflected. The larger they were, the more light they received and reflected. By the end of the 1600s both the distances and the sizes of the planets were determined and the original notion that their magnitudes depended on both distance and size was confirmed. Well, then, what about the stars? The planets increase in size when looked at through the 56 • ALPHA CENTAURI, THE NEAREST STAR telescope so on.

0. You from Table 8 that it is the third-brightest star in the sky. Only Canopus and Sirius outshine it. 45, which means that it is one and a half times as bright as Alpha Centauri. Sirius, which is by far the brightest star in the sky, is 1. 1 5 magnitudes lower than Alpha Centauri, which means that it is about three times as bright as Alpha Centauri and twice as bright as the second-brightest star. Let us, however, return to Alpha Centauri. see Yet there are objects in the sky that are brighter than even the brightest stars.

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