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The women of Harvard Observatory worked hard for their meager wages. And the director wanted data processed, not theoretical work. Yet some of them made significant discoveries. One of the least known, but considered by some professional astronomers to be the most able, was Antonia Maury.
Coma Berenices Berenice's Hair
A dazzling queen of ancient Egypt was the inspiration for the constellation Coma Berenices. It's small and dim, but contains the Galactic North Pole and multitudes of galaxies.
Doodles for Women Astronomers
Since 2013 four outstanding women astronomers have been honored by a Google Doodle. None of the Doodles have had a worldwide reach, but there is a link to each delightful drawing and I've given some biographical details. Read on to meet this stellar quartet.
Transit of Mercury
No one alive had seen Venus transit when the 2004 one occurred. And if you missed that and the 2012 transit, there isn't another until 2117. However Mercury also transits the Sun and these transits happen more often. But what's a transit and what do we learn from it?
Yuri Gagarin The First Spaceman
On April 12, 1961 with a Let's go!, the first spaceman blasted off. There was no fanfare or countdown when Yuri Gagarin in Vostok 1 became the first human to orbit the Earth. He was an exceptional individual who came from humble beginnings, and at 34 his life ended all too soon.
10 Amazing Facts about Mercury
Mercury was a mystery planet for a long time. It's so close to the Sun it's only visible around sunrise and sunset, and the Sun's glare wipes out surface detail. Space probes have now studied Mercury, and it turned out to be full of surprises.
Epsilon Eridani - A Norse God in the River
Eridanus is the great river that flows through the southern sky. One its stars, Epsilon Eridani, is of special interest to us because of its nearness and because the sunlike star has a planetary system. Benefiting from a new IAU naming policy, the star and its planet are now also Ran and AEgir.
Water Water Everywhere
Earth is a watery planet, the only one in the Solar System with surface oceans. Although there's a lot of water here, there seemed to be little or none elsewhere. Fortunately, space telescopes and space probes have detected what we couldn't find before, and there now seems to be water everywhere.
Jumbos of the Solar System
Our Solar System is full of wondrous things. Did you know that the mass of Jupiter is two and a half times greater than all the other planets put together? And which is the biggest moon, tallest mountain and biggest ocean? The answers may surprise you.
Vesta Facts for Kids
NASA's Dawn mission spent 14 months orbiting the asteroid Vesta. Vesta's an unusual object too small to be a dwarf planet. Yet it has the Solar System's tallest mountain and canyons comparable to Earth's Grand Canyon. It may also be the key to understanding the early Solar System.
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