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
Pechlorates

These are a type of salt that have been found on the surface of Mars by the Phoenix lander. On Earth certain microbes are known to use pechlorates as an energy source.

Arcminute

A small unit of angular measurement, spanning one-sixtieth of a degree; an arcsecond is one-sixtieth of an arcminute. Astronomers measure the separation between stars in the night sky in terms of degrees.

Umbra

The part of the shadow cast by an eclipsing body that results from the Sun being totally eclipsed.

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