Astro Glossary

  • Lacerta, the Lizard

  • Lagoon Nebula, M8

    A stellar nursery about 5,000 light-years away, toward the center of the galaxy.

  • Legends and Folklore

  • Leo, the Lion

    A constellation of the zodiac visible high in south in April and May.

  • Lepus

    The constellation is the hare or rabbit. It’s below the feet of Orion the hunter, and to the west of Canis Major, one of Orion’s hunting dogs. It consists of a few moderately bright stars, although you might have a hard time connecting them to see a rabbit.

  • Libra, the Scales

    A constellation of the zodiac.

  • Life on Mars

  • Lifecycle of Stars

  • Light Pollution

    The stray light cast into the sky by streetlamps, porch lights, neon signs, and other glowing objects that hinders our visibility of the night sky.

  • Lightsail

    A wide, thin sheet of material that uses the pressure of light to propel a craft through space. Lightsails have been successfully demonstrated in Earth orbit using sunlight. Scientists and engineers are exploring the possibility of using lightsails to send craft to Mars and other worlds of the solar system. They also are evaluating laser-powered lightsails as a means to send tiny robotic probes to Alpha Centauri, the closest star system to our own. Although the initial thrust provided by a lightsail can be relatively small, the light pressure can be applied continuously for as long as needed, adding up to a substantial kick. 

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