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Edward Murphy Ph.D.

Edward Murphy Ph.D. >

The Constellations and Their Stars
Episode 1 of Our Night Sky Series
Begin your study of the night sky by investigating the origin of the constellations: the traditional groupings of stars that mostly date to antiquity. The well-known constellation Orion illustrates the fascinating mix of beauty, mythology, and scientific knowledge to be…
The Summer Sky
Episode 11 of Our Night Sky Series
Arching high overhead in the summer sky is the Milky Way, which is the plane of our galaxy seen from the inside. Tour this densely packed region of stars of all types, from dusty regions of star birth to the…
The Fall Sky
Episode 8 of Our Night Sky Series
Navigate your way around the autumn sky from the Northern Hemisphere, discovering how the classical myth of Andromeda ties together the stories of the nearby constellations of Cassiopeia, Perseus, Cepheus, Pegasus, and Cetus. The sights include the Andromeda galaxy, the…
Observing the Planets with a Telescope
Episode 5 of Our Night Sky Series
The rings of Saturn, the bands of Jupiter, the phases of Venus, the polar caps of Mars: these and other planetary features are visible through a small telescope. Learn when viewing opportunities arise for each of the planets and what…
Seeing and Navigating the Sky
Episode 2 of Our Night Sky Series
The naked eye is a powerful instrument: if you know how to use it. Learn the best times and conditions for observing, how to identify the positions and magnitudes of stars and planets, how the sky changes over the course…
The Northern Sky and the North Celestial Pole
Episode 7 of Our Night Sky Series
Embarking on the second half of the course in which you systematically tour the entire sky, study two constellations that are continuously in view from the Northern Hemisphere: Ursa Major and Cassiopeia. Also explore the slowly shifting position of true…
Observing the Moon and the Sun
Episode 4 of Our Night Sky Series
Charting the motions and changes of the sun and moon may be humankind's oldest astronomical activity. Discover how both objects offer rich opportunities for study. Also learn the precautions to take when observing the sun, which is the only star…
The Spring Sky
Episode 10 of Our Night Sky Series
The spring sky opens the view into intergalactic space perpendicular to the plane of the Milky Way. Among the objects visible are the immensely rich galaxy clusters in Virgo and Coma Berenices, which are many millions of light-years distant and…
Using Binoculars and Backyard Telescopes
Episode 3 of Our Night Sky Series
There are many choices when selecting binoculars or a telescope. Learn what to look for in light-gathering power, optical design, magnification, mounts, and other features. Professor Murphy also suggests several tips for getting the best observing experience out of your…
Meteor Showers, Comets, Eclipses, and More
Episode 6 of Our Night Sky Series
Explore a variety of special phenomena that are among the wonders of the sky. Some, like bright meteors, aurora, and many comets, are largely unpredictable. Others, like eclipses and annual meteor showers, occur at well-known times: although it may require…
The Southern Sky and the Milky Way
Episode 12 of Our Night Sky Series
In this final episode, travel to the Southern Hemisphere for sky views inaccessible from northern latitudes. Discover the famous Southern Cross, the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, and a spectacular panorama of the Milky Way: along with new myths and…
The Winter Sky
Episode 9 of Our Night Sky Series
Continuing your focus on the constellations of the Northern Hemisphere, survey the magnificent winter sky, dominated by Orion. Star hop around the region, which includes a wealth of interesting stars, globular clusters, nebulae, and other features, especially the Orion Nebula:…
Our Night Sky Series
For thousands of years, the star-filled sky has been a source of wonder, discovery, and entertainment. All you need to feel at home in its limitless expanse is Our Night Sky, a richly illustrated 12-episode course that gives you an…
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