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Top Ten Astronomy Stories 2014
What happened in the skies in 2014? Here's my top ten. Some hints: it takes in stories all the way from a tiny lander alone on a comet to a supercluster of galaxies 500 million light years across, perhaps another Earth, and an ocean on one of Saturn's moons.
What Color Is a Nebula
Nebulae are distant clouds of gas and dust. We see pictures of them in glorious color, but is that what we would we see with our own eyes if we were closer? If not, what color is a nebula?
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.
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.
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