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 F E A T U R E   A R C H I V E  

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Cosmic White Christmas
If you're dreaming of a white Christmas, the cosmos may have something of interest. How about deep snow on one of Saturn's moons, a gigantic Christmas tree whose lights are baby stars, a snowman on an asteroid or an Einstein ring?

Natural History Museum London - Astronomy Tour
How about an astronomy tour of the Natural History Museum in London? It won't take more than 13.8 billion years – or much less, as your watch measures it. Highlights will be the evolution of the Earth, and pieces of Mars and the Moon, one of the oldest known meteors, and diamonds from stardust.

Rosetta's Story – Facts for Kids
It's gone where no space mission has been before! Rosetta caught up with a comet in deep space and went into orbit around it. The lander Philae was the first ever to land on a comet. Read the story so far and watch out for new developments.

How Big Are the Biggest Stars
What is the biggest star yet discovered? It's harder than you might think to answer this question. But here's a short tour of big, bigger and absolutely enormous stars - including some impossible ones.

Cancer the Crab
Cancer the crab scuttles across the late winter sky, well away from its nemesis Hercules. Cancer is a zodiac constellation, the Tropic of Cancer is named for it, and it has existed for over three thousand years. Yet it seems to be a dim and unremarkable constellation. Why all the attention?

Carrington Event – Biggest Solar Storm on Record
Dazzling aurorae filled the skies. Birds thought it was morning, people thought the world was ending. The telegraph didn't work. But strangely, sometimes the telegraph operators could send messages without a power supply. This was the Carrington Event, the biggest solar storm ever recorded.

William Herschel
A professional musician named William Herschel was the first person in history to discover a planet. Later, as a professional astronomer, Herschel studied the stars and deep space objects to try to understand “the construction of the heavens.” He was one of the fathers of modern astronomy.

Star-gazing – Seeing in Dim Light
How can you see an object by not looking at it? Why do aurorae and deep-sky objects tend to look grey? How can an eyepatch and a red flashlight be useful to an astronomer? Why can a camera flash ruin a night's observing? Answers to all these questions are related to the way our eyes react to light.

Red Dwarfs - Ten Facts for Kids
If you go outside on a clear dark night, you might see a few thousand stars. But without a telescope, not a single one will be the most common type of star in the Universe. You won't see red dwarfs, the stars that will still be shining in the far distant future when all the others have died.

Life and Death of the Sun
In the distant future the Sun will be many times its present size and thousands of times brighter. It will seed the Galaxy with elements like carbon and oxygen–perhaps for life on a world yet unborn. Then it will collapse into a tiny dead sphere. For a time, a beautiful nebula will mark its place.

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