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The International Astronomical Union is the official body in charge of naming celestial objects. But how do they name stars? Do all the stars have names? Can you buy a star name for a friend? Find out here.
Johannes Kepler - His Life
Johannes Kepler gave the first accurate description of the Solar System. As he did his work, he struggled with poverty, insecurity and bereavement in troubled times. Religion and warfare were tearing Europe apart, but Kepler never gave up his quest to understand the cosmos.
The Wizard Earl, the start of astronomy with a telescope, Sir Walter Raleigh, Virginia, the Gunpowder Plot, and the Smithsonian. What does all of this history have in common? Syon Park, a stately home on the River Thames.
Christmas in the skies
Christmas is a special day with a magic of its own. A Christmas eclipse is a great treat and centuries ago a long-awaited comet finally showed up on Christmas day. On the other hand, imagine spending the holidays a quarter of a million miles from home, as the crew of Apollo 8 did.
Asteroid Facts for Kids
Observers used to call them vermin of the skies. Asteroids weren't interesting and their streaks ruined sky photos. But not any more! We know that they can tell us about the early Solar System, one of them may have meant the end of the dinosaurs, and there could be more heading our way.
Buying Astronomy Presents - for Adults
If you have someone interested in astronomy amongst your friends or family, there is a wide range of gift possibilities. Here are some suggestions as to what to look for and where you might find it.
Astronomy Books as Gifts
What about some astronomy-related books for presents? Here are some recommendations that include something for readers from eight to eighty and beyond. Maybe an astronomy book would suit somebody on your list.
Exploring Stars and Planets - book review
Looking for an astronomy book for readers 8-14? Philip's has a brand new edition of Ian Ridpath's best seller. Clearly written and illustrated with up-to-date images, it's the story of the Solar System. But there are also glimpses into galaxies, exploding stars and the history of the Universe.
Thanksgiving in Space
Many foods are associated with a traditional American Thanksgiving dinner. But what do you suppose would be on the menu for Thanksgiving in space? Would you have to squeeze turkey paste out of a tube and get gelatin-covered dessert cubes? No. Food has improved since the early days of space flight.
Volcanoes - Fire and Ice
A volcano can produce a fiery sky with ash and deadly gases. The biggest one on Earth is Mauna Loa, but it's dwarfed by Olympus Mons on Mars which is three times the height of Everest. There are many volcanoes in the Solar System, including ice volcanoes.
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