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Observable Universe
The observable universe is a ball-shaped region of the universe comprising all matter that can be observed from Earth or its space-based telescopes and exploratory probes at the present time, because the electromagnetic radiation from these objects has had time to reach the Solar System and Earth since the beginning of the cosmological expansion. There may be 2 trillion galaxies in the observable universe, although that number was reduced in 2021 to only several hundred billion based on data from '' New Horizons''. Assuming the universe is isotropic, the distance to the edge of the observable universe is roughly the same in every direction. That is, the observable universe is a spherical region centered on the observer and is unique for every unique observational position. The word ''observable'' in this sense does not refer to the capability of modern technology to detect light or other information from an object, or whether there is anything to be detected. It refers to th ...
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Astronomical Object
An astronomical object, celestial object, stellar object or heavenly body is a naturally occurring physical entity, association, or structure that exists in the observable universe. In astronomy, the terms ''object'' and ''body'' are often used interchangeably. However, an astronomical body or celestial body is a single, tightly bound, contiguous entity, while an astronomical or celestial ''object'' is a complex, less cohesively bound structure, which may consist of multiple bodies or even other objects with substructures. Examples of astronomical objects include planetary systems, star clusters, nebulae, and galaxies, while asteroids, moons, planets, and stars are astronomical bodies. A comet may be identified as both body and object: It is a ''body'' when referring to the frozen nucleus of ice and dust, and an ''object'' when describing the entire comet with its diffuse coma and tail. History Astronomical objects such as stars, planets, nebulae, asteroids and comet ...
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Solar System
The Solar System Capitalization of the name varies. The International Astronomical Union, the authoritative body regarding astronomical nomenclature, specifies capitalizing the names of all individual astronomical objects but uses mixed "Solar System" and "solar system" structures in theinaming guidelines document. The name is commonly rendered in lower case ('solar system'), as, for example, in the ''Oxford English Dictionary'' an''Merriam-Webster's 11th Collegiate Dictionary''. is the gravitationally bound system of the Sun and the objects that orbit it. It formed 4.6 billion years ago from the gravitational collapse of a giant interstellar molecular cloud. The vast majority (99.86%) of the system's mass is in the Sun, with most of the remaining mass contained in the planet Jupiter. The four inner system planets— Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars—are terrestrial planets, being composed primarily of rock and metal. The four giant planets of the outer system are ...
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Big Bang Cosmology
The Big Bang event is a physical theory that describes how the universe expanded from an initial state of high density and temperature. Various cosmological models of the Big Bang explain the evolution of the observable universe from the earliest known periods through its subsequent large-scale form. These models offer a comprehensive explanation for a broad range of observed phenomena, including the abundance of light elements, the cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation, and large-scale structure. The overall uniformity of the Universe, known as the flatness problem, is explained through cosmic inflation: a sudden and very rapid expansion of space during the earliest moments. However, physics currently lacks a widely accepted theory of quantum gravity that can successfully model the earliest conditions of the Big Bang. Crucially, these models are compatible with the Hubble–Lemaître law—the observation that the farther away a galaxy is, the faster it is movin ...
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Recombination (cosmology)
In cosmology, recombination refers to the epoch during which charged electrons and protons first became bound to form electrically neutral hydrogen atoms. Recombination occurred about 370,000 yearsRecombination time frames: * Edward L. Wright'Javascript Cosmology Calculator(last modified 23 July 2018). With a default H_0 =  (based on ), the calculated age of the universe with a redshift of ''z'' =  is in agreement with Olive and Peacock (about 370,000 years). * : "Going forward in time now, the temperature declined, and at ''T''∼3000 K, few of the photons in the radiation field, even in its high-energy tail, had the energy required to ionize a hydrogen atom. Most of the electrons and protons then recombined. Once this happened, at a time ''t''rec = 380,000 yr after the Big Bang, the major source of opacity disappeared, and the Universe became transparent to radiation of most frequencies." * : "The million dollar question is now, 'when did recombination happen ...
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Particle Horizon
The particle horizon (also called the cosmological horizon, the comoving horizon (in Dodelson's text), or the cosmic light horizon) is the maximum distance from which light from particles could have traveled to the observer in the age of the universe. Much like the concept of a terrestrial horizon, it represents the boundary between the observable and the unobservable regions of the universe, so its distance at the present epoch defines the size of the observable universe. Due to the expansion of the universe, it is not simply the age of the universe times the speed of light (approximately 13.8 billion light-years), but rather the speed of light times the conformal time. The existence, properties, and significance of a cosmological horizon depend on the particular cosmological model. Conformal time and the particle horizon In terms of comoving distance, the particle horizon is equal to the conformal time \eta that has passed since the Big Bang, times the speed of light c. In g ...
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Speed Of Light
The speed of light in vacuum, commonly denoted , is a universal physical constant that is important in many areas of physics. The speed of light is exactly equal to ). According to the special theory of relativity, is the upper limit for the speed at which conventional matter or energy (and thus any signal carrying information) can travel through space. All forms of electromagnetic radiation, including visible light, travel at the speed of light. For many practical purposes, light and other electromagnetic waves will appear to propagate instantaneously, but for long distances and very sensitive measurements, their finite speed has noticeable effects. Starlight viewed on Earth left the stars many years ago, allowing humans to study the history of the universe by viewing distant objects. When communicating with distant space probes, it can take minutes to hours for signals to travel from Earth to the spacecraft and vice versa. In computing, the speed of light fixes ...
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Light
Light or visible light is electromagnetic radiation that can be perceived by the human eye. Visible light is usually defined as having wavelengths in the range of 400–700 nanometres (nm), corresponding to frequencies of 750–420 terahertz, between the infrared (with longer wavelengths) and the ultraviolet (with shorter wavelengths). In physics, the term "light" may refer more broadly to electromagnetic radiation of any wavelength, whether visible or not. In this sense, gamma rays, X-rays, microwaves and radio waves are also light. The primary properties of light are intensity, propagation direction, frequency or wavelength spectrum and polarization. Its speed in a vacuum, 299 792 458 metres a second (m/s), is one of the fundamental constants of nature. Like all types of electromagnetic radiation, visible light propagates by massless elementary particles called photons that represents the quanta of electromagnetic field, and can be analyzed as both waves an ...
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Sphere
A sphere () is a geometrical object that is a three-dimensional analogue to a two-dimensional circle. A sphere is the set of points that are all at the same distance from a given point in three-dimensional space.. That given point is the centre of the sphere, and is the sphere's radius. The earliest known mentions of spheres appear in the work of the ancient Greek mathematicians. The sphere is a fundamental object in many fields of mathematics. Spheres and nearly-spherical shapes also appear in nature and industry. Bubbles such as soap bubbles take a spherical shape in equilibrium. The Earth is often approximated as a sphere in geography, and the celestial sphere is an important concept in astronomy. Manufactured items including pressure vessels and most curved mirrors and lenses are based on spheres. Spheres roll smoothly in any direction, so most balls used in sports and toys are spherical, as are ball bearings. Basic terminology As mentioned earlier is th ...
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Equidistant
A point is said to be equidistant from a set of objects if the distances between that point and each object in the set are equal. In two-dimensional Euclidean geometry, the locus of points equidistant from two given (different) points is their perpendicular bisector. In three dimensions, the locus of points equidistant from two given points is a plane, and generalising further, in n-dimensional space the locus of points equidistant from two points in ''n''-space is an (''n''−1)-space. For a triangle the circumcentre is a point equidistant from each of the three vertices. Every non-degenerate triangle has such a point. This result can be generalised to cyclic polygons: the circumcentre is equidistant from each of the vertices. Likewise, the incentre of a triangle or any other tangential polygon is equidistant from the points of tangency of the polygon's sides with the circle. Every point on a perpendicular bisector of the side of a triangle or other polygon is equidi ...
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Isotropy
Isotropy is uniformity in all orientations; it is derived . Precise definitions depend on the subject area. Exceptions, or inequalities, are frequently indicated by the prefix ' or ', hence ''anisotropy''. ''Anisotropy'' is also used to describe situations where properties vary systematically, dependent on direction. Isotropic radiation has the same intensity regardless of the direction of measurement, and an isotropic field exerts the same action regardless of how the test particle is oriented. Mathematics Within mathematics, ''isotropy'' has a few different meanings: ; Isotropic manifolds: A manifold is isotropic if the geometry on the manifold is the same regardless of direction. A similar concept is homogeneity. ; Isotropic quadratic form: A quadratic form ''q'' is said to be isotropic if there is a non-zero vector ''v'' such that ; such a ''v'' is an isotropic vector or null vector. In complex geometry, a line through the origin in the direction of an isotropic vecto ...
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NOIRLab
NSF’s NOIRLab (National Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory) is a United States federally funded research and development center for ground-based, nighttime optical and infrared astronomy. History Before the foundation of the NOIRLab, NSF-sponsored optical-infrared ground-based astronomical facilities were managed by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA), but were structured as separate organizations. These were the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO), which managed Kitt Peak, Cerro Tololo and the Community Science and Data Center (CSDC). AURA managed Gemini Observatory as well as the Vera C. Rubin Observatory, then under construction. Organization The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. (AURA) operates the NOIRLab and its facilities under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation (NSF). Programs NOIRLab operates the following programs: * Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory ...
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New Horizons
''New Horizons'' is an interplanetary space probe that was launched as a part of NASA's New Frontiers program. Engineered by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) and the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), with a team led by Alan Stern, the spacecraft was launched in 2006 with the primary mission to perform a flyby study of the Pluto system in 2015, and a secondary mission to fly by and study one or more other Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) in the decade to follow, which became a mission to 486958 Arrokoth. It is the fifth space probe to achieve the escape velocity needed to leave the Solar System. On January 19, 2006, ''New Horizons'' was launched from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station by an Atlas V rocket directly into an Earth-and-solar escape trajectory with a speed of about . It was the fastest (average speed with respect to Earth) man-made object ever launched from Earth. It is not the fastest speed recorded for a spacecraft, which as of ...
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