Astronomy FAQ's

On this page are answers to a whole set of astronomy related frequently asked questions.

  • Astronomical Frequently Asked Questions - What is the difference between astronomy and astrology? How old is the Universe? 3 How old is the Solar system? How far away is the closest star? What is the largest planet in the Solar system? What does the term light year refer to? How many galaxies are there? What causes the seasons? What is the "Big Bang"? Is there other life in the Universe"? How big is our galaxy"? How many planets are there in the solar system"?
  • Buying a star FAQ - This is the "Buying a Star" FAQ (Frequently Asked Question list) originally from the sci.astro.amateur newsgroup. Can I buy or name a star? Read this for the real truth.
  • Frequently Asked Questions About Radio Astronomy - Public awareness of radio astronomy lags far behind that of its optical counterpart. The vague image of huge dishes pointed at the sky is perhaps the only connection that many people can make with this new and and highly technology driven science. While, most people can relate on some level to the intrigue of peering through an eyepiece at some distant object, a bump on a graph which might cause great excitement among radio astronomers, does little to stir the public imagination. It is this general lack of familiarity with radio astronomy that gives birth to an array of extremely broad and often difficult to answer questions. Some of those questions will be tackled here, but it would behoove anyone who is new to this subject to seek help at the local library for references which are more in depth. Here is the List: How is radio astronomy different from optical astronomy? What is a radiotelescope? What do radio astronomers listen for? How are pictures made from all this radio noise? What frequencies are used? How much does a radiotelescope cost? Do I need to know electronics to do amateur radio astronomy? What can I do with a small radiotelescope? How do I build a radio observatory? How do I set up a SETI observatory?