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Alpha Centauri - The Nearest Star by Isaac Asimov

By Isaac Asimov

Discusses the constellations and stars, the space, luminosity and measurement, stellar astronomy, starlight, and lifestyles on different planetary platforms, with distinct connection with the 3rd brightest and in addition the closest superstar. Alpha Centauri.

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The first person to try to use some logical system was a 39 THE STARS • German astronomer named Johann Bayer (BIGH-er). He published a book of star maps in 1603 and in it he introduced his system. What he did was to name the bright stars in each constella- tion according to the order of their brightness or, sometimes, the order of their position. Using either system, he them as "the first star To more concise way of a list in the constellation Orion," "the second star in the constellation Orion," made use would and so on of putting — except that he it.

Many of the Arabic names describe the position of the star in the imaginary pictures suggested by the constellation. " In the constellation of Taurus there is a bright star that follows right behind the Pleiades as the sky turns. " There are two stars in Ursa Major that are close together, and one of which is much dimmer than the others. " Finally, we have the star Algol in the constellation of Perseus. lation is Vega, One myths was his slaying of the Medusa, a creature with snakes for hair and with so frightful an appearance that anyone who looked at her was turned to stone.

C. itself, when map. across the width of the It was about a Greek geographer, Dicaearchus (DIGH-see- AHR-kus), began actually to draw east to west lines on maps. It is customary to imagine ninety such parallels extending, at equal intervals, from the equator to the north pole, and more from the equator to the south pole. " The equator itself is at zero degrees, or 0°. As you move north you pass the one-degree parallel, the two-degree parallel and so on. " i"" N and 1° S. on Earth could be 10° N or 25° N or 77° N, or any number of degrees up to the north pole which is 90° N.

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