Astronomy for Beginners

Here’s where you’ll find observing guides, how-to articles and great astronomy hints and tips. Don’t forget to also check out our comprehensive astronomy dictionary.

Astronomy Dictionary

An imaginary line that circles the Earth from north to south that marks the point at which the Sun is at its highest. Anti- and post-meridian (am and pm), mark the times before and after the Sun crosses the Meridian at midday, respectively.

Spectral lines

A rainbow shows the small slice of the entire electromagnetic spectrum that humans can see. When astronomers use instruments to break down the light from a distant star or galaxy they also produce spectra. These contain signatures of the chemicals and molecules present in an object

Solar mass

The mass of stars and other large astronomical bodies is expressed in terms of the mass of the Sun, which weighs in at about 2x10^30 kg.

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