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 F E A T U R E   A R C H I V E  

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Phantom Planets and Moons
Moons of Venus and Mercury? An unknown planet nearer the Sun than Mercury? Astronomers can misinterpret what they see, too. Happily, other observers, better instruments and new theoretical understandings can put it right. Here are some phantom objects that many astronomers once thought existed.

Lacaille's Skies - Sciences
There's a curious set of constellations in the southern skies. They don't represent exotic animals, heroic deeds or the foibles of ancient deities. They're composed of dim and nameless stars. Find out why Abbe Lacaille invented them, and take a quick tour.

Nicolas-Louis de Lacaille
Nicolas-Louis de Lacaille (1713-1762) was one of astronomy's greats. He surveyed nearly 10,000 stars in the southern hemisphere and invented fourteen new constellations still in use today. He was always thoughtful in dealing with others, but he really preferred the stars to people.

Hidden Universe 3D film
Hidden things intrigue, fire the imagination, and move us to uncover them. In "Hidden Universe 3D" you can see what powerful technology has made visible. And you can see it in 3D on a giant screen. A wonderful experience.

Stars Ten Facts for Kids
Stars are nuclear reactors. If a really big one took the Sun's place, it would swallow up the Sun and everything as far away as Jupiter. Yet others aren't much bigger than Jupiter. Big stars don't live very long and die in a blaze of glory. Smaller ones live for billions of years.

Cosmic Equines
Horses galloping and flying; creatures half human, half horse; dark horses invisible but for their silhouettes against the stars behind them. Find out about the cosmic equines that are features of our skies.

Rose Center and Hayden Planetarium
One of the world's leading planetariums, located in one of the world's premier museums in one of the world's great cities. It's the Hayden Planetarium in New York City. The old Hayden Planetarium was razed in 1997, to many people's sorrow. But the new one opened in 2000 and it is stunning.

John Herschel
John Herschel was the son of William Herschel, discoverer of the planet Uranus. But he earned his own reputation as an astronomer, mathematician, chemist, translator, artist, writer, and pioneer of photography. When he died he was laid to rest in Westminster Abbey near Sir Isaac Newton.

Virgo the Maiden
Virgo is one of the constellations of the zodiac, and its stars have been linked to agricultural goddesses for thousands of years. This area of sky contains thousands of galaxies, dozens of known extrasolar planets, and is where the first quasar was discovered.

Dark Universe - film review
How did space and time begin? How did the Universe evolve? Why is the Universe dark? The "Dark Universe" planetarium show looks at these questions, and how science got some of the answers. It's informative, up-to-date, and tells the story with stunning imagery and Neil deGrasse Tyson's narration.

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