National Geographic : 1974 Apr
WILLIAME. SCHOENING,KITT PEAKNATIONALOBSERVATORY Journey into the incredible universe N HIS YEARNING to understand the mysteries of the night sky, man peopled the heavens with mythical beings like the Archer, the Great Bear, and the Twins. But the facts, he has slowly learned, are infinitely more fantastic. Today's astronomers, looking through giant telescopes, study such awesome realities as the brilliant blossom of gas and dust (above) known as the Trifid Nebula, 3,500 light-years away. Using the complicated technology of the 20th century, scientists have raised puzzling questions and formulated unbelievable an swers. How long ago is a quasar? How heavy is a black hole? Why is a pulsar? Next month As sistant Editor Kenneth F. Weaver will talk in understandable terms about a whole universe of such mind-bending concepts. Science editor Weaver's article is another milestone in the GEOGRAPHIC'S efforts to make the strange familiar, to simplify the complex. Your friends can also travel such far horizons if you nominate them for membership below.