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 F E A T U R E   A R C H I V E  

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The Transit of Venus - Book Review
In the north of England in the early 17th century, there was an amazing circle of astronomers. They were well ahead of their time and included the first two people ever to observe a transit of Venus. What ended this brief flowering? Peter Aughton tells the story.

Mother's Day - an Astronomy Bouquet
Flowers from the florist are popular for Mother's Day. But for really stellar mothers, here is a cosmic floral tribute with links to some dazzling astronomical images.

Copernicus for Kids
Since the name of Nicolaus Copernicus is still well known nearly five hundred years after his death, why was his grave unmarked until 2010? Find out about the life of the quiet revolutionary that turned our view of the universe inside out.

Absolute Beginners - Observing the Sun
Study the Sun, but treat it with respect! Protect your eyes and use equipment with care, and you can count sunspots and see solar eclipses and transits. Or from the the comfort of your living room your computer will let you see space telescope images of solar flares, prominences and maybe a comet.

The Sun - Facts for Kids
The Sun is a star and it's a big one. It's bigger than 85% of the other stars in the Milky Way and contains almost all of the mass of the whole Solar System. Find out more about the star that makes life on Earth possible.

Kew Observatory
An observatory that a king built to watch the 1769 transit of Venus. The place where official time for London used to be set. Where a murderer was sometimes in attendance when the King walked in the gardens. Find out more about the history of Kew Observatory.

Transit of Venus - Measuring the Solar System
On June 8, 2004 millions of people witnessed an event that no one still alive had ever seen: a transit of Venus. Another occurred in June 2012, but it was the last for over a hundred years. What is a transit of Venus? How did it help to work out out the size of the Solar System?

The Magic Furnace - book review
What is everything made of? What makes the Sun shine? "The Magic Furnace" relates the tale of how science answered these questions. The book tells a good detective story with great characters, and clues include the Big Bang and the biggest explosions in the universe.

Heavenly Aviaries - Bird Constellations
The night sky is full of starry birds. Here is a selection, ranging from the majestic swan to the exotic birds of the southern skies: the peacock, bird of paradise and toucan. There is also an emu whose image appears not in the stars, but in the dark nebulae.

10 Amazing Facts about the Solar System
Our Solar System is pretty amazing. There's a planet that orbits lying down and a surprising number with rings. The Sun is losing mass at the rate of 300 million tons a minute, but it's nothing to worry about. And how did bits of Vesta end up on Earth?

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