The vast majority of objects out there in the universe are pretty big…moons, planets, stars, galaxies, so it can be difficult sometimes to get your head round their actual size. Here you’ll see how some space stuff out there compares to Earth stuff down here…
How a neutron star compares to the North West of England, satellite image credit Nasa
This is how a typical neutron star would compare if it was on Earth, easily fitting right between Liverpool and Warrington in the north west of England. A star that is only around 20 kilometres across? Yes, but this is not any normal run of the mill star you’d see shining in the night sky, this thing is a weird and exotic object. A Read more →
The Hubble Ultra Deep Field, roughly 10,000 galaxies populate this image.
Here you can appreciate just how enormous the universe is, even though we all find it hard to grasp. From the nearest stars to vast superclusters of galaxies, and out billions of light years to the very edge of what is possible to see. What lies beyond, is this just a tiny part…?
The universe is big…really, really big. You have no idea just how gargantuan it actually is. The universe is everything in existence, so it is thought. Unless there are others, and ours is just one among trillions, but Read more →
In astronomy you’ll often see objects described as being so many degrees apart, or 3 arc minutes wide. What on Earth do these numbers mean? Here you’ll find out, including how to accurately measure the sky with your hands and fingers…
The entire sky is divided up into degrees, The whole sky is in fact 360 degrees. If you look from one horizon the opposite horizon, well that’s 180 degrees. The highest point in the sky is called the meridian, now look from the meridian down to the horizon, and…yes you’ve guessed it, 90 degrees. So objects such as the Moon, stars, and planets’ diameters and Read more →
Own a good pair of binoculars? With this page you’ll be able to see some of the best sights in the sky, no telescope required…
Get yourself outside under the stars if it’s clear, pull up a deck chair, and scan the star clusters, nebulae, and even see other galaxies with your binoculars. Their lower power makes them just perfect for objects such as the larger open clusters, giving you great views and of course as you get to use both eyes, providing almost a 3D view. Just taking in the whole night sky scene and aimlessly wandering along the band of the Milky Way is also Read more →
Betelgeuse position in Orion
Red supergiant Betelgeuse sits at Orion’s left shoulder in the northern winter sky. Everyone has probably looked at it, in this striking constellation. But you will never see it again as just a boring point of light. It is a turbulent, volatile monster of a star on a one way trip to destruction in a supernova.
Maybe just a few million years old, Betelgeuse has evolved at a rapid rate due to its large mass, it is a live fast die young star. In fact it is so large that if it was Read more →
“What planets can I see in the sky tonight?”
“Is Mars visible?”
Look no further, with this page you can keep track of the planets daily. I tell you where they are in the sky if visible, with rising/setting times, and interesting details on each. Also information about how long you’ll be able to see them in the sky. Apart from Neptune, it is possible to see all with your unaided eyes…
Read more →
Eta Carinae, the smallest details visible are 10 billion miles across.
Eta Carinae lies in the constellation of Carina, a rare behemoth of a star, a wildly unstable and unpredictable beast that shines with a brightness of 4 million times that of the Sun. An extremely volatile member of our Galaxy that is so big at around 100 times that of our Sun, it just about manages to hold itself together.
But this unique star is still keeping secrets, scientists are not completely sure if this is just one star or a binary Read more →
From a dark location the Milky Way can be an incredible sight
Our home galaxy the Milky Way, a barred spiral galaxy, a colossal 100,000 light year wide disk of hundreds of billions of stars, planets, dust, gas, and dark matter slowly turning in interstellar space. On a clear night from a location without light pollution, the Milky Way arching overhead is an absolutely astounding and amazing sight. Star clouds, dark nebulae,
and star clusters are packed into a narrow band of light that is the Galaxy of which we are part. If you view the Milky Way with imagination and see
the scene as it actually is, the plane of our Galaxy and not just a band of
stars, Read more →