A Journey through the Universe: Gresham Lectures on by Ian Morison

By Ian Morison

Delivering an in-depth figuring out either for basic readers and astronomy lovers, this hugely entire booklet offers an updated survey of our wisdom of the Universe past Earth. The e-book explores our sunlight approach, its planets and different our bodies; examines the solar and the way it and different stars evolve via their lifetimes; discusses the hunt for planets past our sunlight process and the way we would notice lifestyles on them; and highlights attention-grabbing gadgets stumbled on inside of our galaxy, the Milky approach. It additionally seems to be at our present realizing of the starting place and evolution of the Universe, in addition to many different fascinating subject matters, reminiscent of time, black holes and Einstein's theories, darkish topic, darkish power and the Cosmic Microwave heritage. The booklet is uniquely supported through video lectures given via the writer, on hand on-line. additionally it is the very most modern astronomical observations, corresponding to these made via the Planck and Kepler spacecraft.

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Extra resources for A Journey through the Universe: Gresham Lectures on Astronomy

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This chapter will cover our Earth and its Moon and the planets Mercury, Venus and Mars, with the following two chapters covering the outer planets, highlighting aspects related to their properties, discovery and satellites. The material included is that which I have found of most interest and I can only hope that what I have found interesting, you will too. 1. Mercury looks very like the highland regions of the Moon. In 1991, Mercury was observed by radar using the 70-metre Goldstone antenna with a half-million-watt transmitter.

As Einstein showed, anything travelling at the speed of light would experience no passage of time so there would be no way that an electron neutrino could ever change into one of the other two types. However, if the neutrino does have mass it will not travel at the speed of light so it will then experience the passage of time and thus could ‘oscillate’ into muon or tau neutrinos. It is thought that 17 18 A Journey through the Universe on their way from the core of the Sun to the Earth the neutrinos will evenly distribute themselves amongst the three types – thus only one-third of the electron neutrinos emitted by the Sun will remain to be detected – exactly as observed.

As it was found that our Sun is one of billions of stars in our Galaxy, a principle of mediocrity arose. Planets like Earth were thought to be very common and so advanced life like ours was thought to be widespread – we were not special. As we have learnt more about the history of our Earth, how plate tectonics has helped recycle carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere, how Jupiter prevents too many comets from impacting the Earth, and how our large moon has stabilised the Earth’s rotation axis, some scientists now believe that the conditions that have allowed intelligent life to arise here may well be very uncommon.

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