Star Encyclopedia

Star Encyclopedia

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Definitions and Terms of Stars


Ascendant According to astrology, the ascendant is a character descriptive element. At the time of birth it describes the rising degree of the sign of the zodiac on the eastern horizon.
Astronomy vs. Astrology Astronomy is an empirical science of celestial bodies, while astrology is about the interpretation of stars.
Black Hole The black hole is a dense mass which produces such a strong gravitation that not even the light can escape. The three basic forces of physics cannot counteract this either, which is why the entire mass collapses and forms a physical singularity in the centre of the black hole.
Binary Stars A binary star consists of two stars that are so close to each other in the sky that only a small angular distance is visible between them from Earth. With a very high probability, they are gravitatively coupled and orbit around a common center of gravity.
Circumpolarity Circumspolar astronomical objects are located near the celestial pole and therefore do not sink. Circumspolar constellations, for example, can be seen all year round.
Conjunction vs. Opposition While in a conjunction two celestial bodies meet, in an opposition they stand directly in the opposite to each other with the earth in the center.
Coordinates of the stars The coordinates of the stars are marked with RA (right ascension) and DEC (declination).
Ecliptic The ecliptic is the apparent orbit of the sun against the background of the fixed stars. On it lie the 12 signs of the zodiac, which were already divided in early antiquity.
Elements of the zodiacal signs Each sign of the zodiac is assigned to an element of life. A distinction is made between fire, earth, water and air.
Globular Cluster A globular cluster is a narrow, spherical accumulation of more than 100,000 stars. They are gravitatively connected to each other, so they move around the same centre of gravity.
Lacaille Nicolas Louis de Lacaille was an 18th century French astronomer who named 14 new constellations.
Milky Way The Milky Way is the galaxy in which our solar system is located. From Earth it can be seen as a bright band in the starry sky. It contains planets, gas clouds and stars.
Open Star Clusters In contrast to the globular clusters, an open star cluster contains only a small number of related stars. These twenty to several thousand stars are formed from the same giant molecular cloud and have a lower star density.
Planets The planets in our solar system are Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.
Precessional Movement The precession movement is the change of direction of the earth's axis. It is caused by the mass attraction of the moon and the sun and is also by the spherical shape of the earth.
Ptolemy Claudius Ptolemy was a Greek mathematician, geographer, astronomer, astrologer, music theorist and philosopher. His works from antiquity are still of great importance today.
Solar System Our solar system consists of the sun, the planets orbiting it and other celestial bodies. The attraction of the sun binds them to it.