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Astronomy Club Meeting

New 3-D picture of the Milky Way Galaxy

What
  • Davis-Explorit Astronomy Club
When Sep 07, 2019
from 07:30 PM to 10:30 PM
Where Explorit Science Center
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On August 1, 2019, a team of astronomers announced that the Milky Way Galaxy is not a flat spiral disk as previously assumed but instead is a warped and twisted spiral resembling a flattened sideways 'S' with a central bulge. This new three-dimensional picture of the galaxy was obtained by directly measuring with great accuracy the distances of 2400 special type of super luminous Cepheid variable stars from the sun using the Warsaw Telescope located in the Chilean Atacama Desert.

 

A galaxy is group of stars that are gravitationally bound to each other and move through space as one unit. Even though the entire Milky Way Galaxy is not visible from our vantage point, the edge of the galaxy's disk can be observed. It appears to the naked eye as a faint white band about 30 degrees wide arching across the night sky resembling a celestial river of milk. Milky Way is the literal English translation of its Latin name 'via lactea' which is derived from the Greek word 'galaxias' meaning milky circle. Galileo Galilei was the first person to point his telescope at the Milky Way in 1610 and discover that the collective light was emanating from billions of stars. 

 

One of the most awesome sights to behold in a dark moonless and cloudless night is the hazy ribbon of the Milky Way spanning  the sky from horizon to horizon. Unfortunately, even though no equipment is needed for viewing but one's eyes, most never experience its stark beauty unless they travel to rural areas away from city lights. All the stars that we can see with our naked eyes and resolve individually with backyard telescopes belong to the Milky Way Galaxy, 

 

Everyone is invited to the Saturday, September 7 meeting of the Davis Astronomy Club at Explorit Science Center (3141 5th Street, Davis) starting at 7:30pm. This is a free meeting, and all ages are welcome to attend the featured presentation indoors where we will discuss the Milky Way Galaxy, followed by the star party outdoors where we will view the waxing gibbous moon and the gas giant planets Jupiter and Saturn.

For more information, please contact Vinita Domier at vcdomier@yahoo.com.

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