Astronomy Jargon 101: Galaxy Clusters

This NASA Hubble Space Telescope image shows the distribution of dark matter in the center of the giant galaxy cluster Abell 1689, containing about 1,000 galaxies and trillions of stars. Researchers used the observed positions of 135 lensed images of 42 background galaxies to calculate the location and amount of dark matter in the cluster. They superimposed a map of these inferred dark matter concentrations, tinted blue, on an image of the cluster taken by Hubble

In this series we are exploring the weird and wonderful world of astronomy jargon! You’ll be the biggest thing in town after today’s topic: galaxy clusters!

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Astronomy Jargon 101: Big Bang Theory

Timeline of the Big Bang and the expansion of the Universe. If the new atomic clock had been turned on at the Big Bang, it would be off by less than a single second now, almost 14 billion years later. Credit: NASA
Timeline of the Big Bang and the expansion of the Universe. If the new atomic clock had been turned on at the Big Bang, it would be off by less than a single second now, almost 14 billion years later. Credit: NASA

In this series we are exploring the weird and wonderful world of astronomy jargon! You’ll be off to a good start with today’s topic: the big bang theory!

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Astronomy Jargon 101: Trans-Neptunian Objects

This composite image of the primordial contact binary Kuiper Belt object 2014 MU69 (officially named Arrokoth) was compiled from data obtained by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft as it flew by the object on Jan. 1, 2019. The image combines enhanced color data (close to what the human eye would see) with detailed high-resolution panchromatic pictures. Credits: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute//Roman Tkachenko

In this series we are exploring the weird and wonderful world of astronomy jargon! You’ll be far from home in today’s topic: trans-Neptunian objects!

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Astronomy Jargon 101: Umbra

This diagram explains the geometry of the lunar eclipse.  When the moon is entirely in the Earth’s umbra (known as a total lunar eclipse or umbral eclipse), all sunlight reaching the lunar surface has been refracted or scattered through Earth’s atmosphere. When the moon is in the Earth’s penumbra (known as a penumbral eclipse), illumination comes from both direct sunlight and sunlight refracted and scattered through the planet's atmosphere. This is similar to an exoplanet transit observation.

In this series we are exploring the weird and wonderful world of astronomy jargon! You’ll be cool in the shade of today’s topic: umbra!

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