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 F E A T U R E   A R C H I V E  

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Bang! The Complete History of the Universe - book
If you don’t understand the Big Bang theory, would you like to? If Stephen Hawking was too scary for you, how about a lovely book that turns mathematical cosmology into plain English? A famous rock musician, a great popular astronomer and a working astrophysicist got together to tell this story.

Polaris - 10 Fascinating Facts
Today we travel paved roads using good maps or a GPS system to find the way. Imagine sailing uncharted waters or journeying through trackless deserts without such help. In the northern hemisphere one of the greatest of navigational aids has for nearly two thousand years been the north star Polaris.

Hurtigruten - Hunting the Light
Imagine a three thousand-mile astronomy voyage “hunting the light”. Usually, astronomers avoid the light, but not when it's the aurora borealis, the famed northern lights. Here is the first of two articles about the Norwegian ships that carry cargo and people between the towns of the Arctic Circle.

Spiders in Space
Spiders and their webs are everywhere and not just on Halloween. Sixteen of them have been sent into space. How well did the orb-weavers manage their webs? Did the jumping spiders starve in microgravity? What was the big surprise Gladys had for researchers when she returned to Earth?

Lick Observatory - 10 Fascinating Facts
Lick Observatory lies high on a mountaintop overlooking Silicon Valley. Known for major contributions to astronomy, it also has some unusual features. Its benefactor James Lick is buried under one of the main telescopes and its original seismogram of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake is on display.

George's Cosmic Treasure Hunt - book review
George is sad. The family next door are moving away and things will be so dull without them. Or maybe not! Why is the new Martian rover acting so strangely? Has the search for life met an alien threat to Earth? Lucy and Stephen Hawking take George and the reader on a cosmic adventure.

Cosmic - book review
Cosmic isn't an astronomy text. It's a delightful novel for young people which includes space travel and a cast of great characters, including Liam who's too tall for his age. It's Willy Wonka meets Apollo 13, as the taikonauts get chosen in an unusual draw and end up stranded in space.

Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2012
An exquisite whirlpool of two galaxies held together by invisible bonds was this year's winning image. And the Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year captured the beauty of the Pleiades, a cluster of hot blue stars surrounded by a delicate haze of reflective dust. A feast for the eye.

Autumnal Equinox
Autumn begins on the equinox as the Sun crosses the equator. Equinoxes were celebrated by the earliest known civilizations and still are in many places. One of the biggest celebrations these days is the Chinese Moon Festival. A traditional palace or garden probably has a moon-watching pavilion.

Andromeda the Chained Princess
Andromeda stands in the northern sky eternally chained to her rock. She is one of six constellations that Ptolemy described in the second century, all part of one particular ancient Greek myth. In the constellation is a quadruple star, a blue snowball, exoplanets and spiral galaxies.

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