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Tarantula Nebula (30 Doradus)
The biggest, brightest nebula in our galactic neighborhood is not for arachnophobes. It's a cosmic spider hundreds of light years across known as the Tarantula Nebula. Although the nebula is 170,000 light years away it's so luminous that it can be seen with the unaided eye.
Dorado the Mahi Mahi
Since the heavenly flying fish (Volans) is intact, its neighboring constellation Dorado must still be hungry. Dorado is a dolphinfish, mahi mahi being the most common type. Mahi mahi pursue flying fish through tropical seas, and you might imagine Dorado chasing Volans through the southern skies.
Volans Flies the Southern Skies
Volans (the Flying Fish) flees from its predator Dorado (the Mahi Mahi) across the southern sky. They're two of the southern hemisphere constellations that Flemish astronomer Petrus Plancius (1552-1622) created to fill in parts of the sky not visible to northern astronomers.
Five Astronomical Non-events 2016
The astronomical delights of 2016 are wonderful discoveries and beautiful heavenly events. Not so delightful are the flaky stories and shaky science and “intelligent aliens” as the answer to any mystery. Here's my selection of five such non-events from 2016.
Top Ten Astronomy Stories 2016
Nothing in astronomy in 2016 topped the February announcement that the LIGO collaboration had finally detected gravitational waves, ripples in space-time predicted by Einstein. However this wasn't the only story in astronomy for 2016, and they range from the Solar System to a distant supercluster.
Solstice to New Year - Quiz
The winter solstice, winter constellations, Christmas, dark and cold, exploration, and famous birthdays. Here's a little quiz for you that picks out some highlights in the period from the solstice through New Year's Day.
Art on the Moon – Moon Museum
The Moon Museum is a fusion of art and science wrapped up in the excitement of space exploration. But what is it? Does it really exist? Can we visit it? Here is an unusual story from the days when men walked on the Moon.
Who wants to go to Venus ?
Some people think that Venus could be habitable. And perhaps you might daydream about being closer to the Sun when the long winter nights come, and the temperature drops. After all, "Earth's twin" should be a nice place, shouldn't it? Let's talk about that.
Perseus and Andromeda – Quiz
An epic tale unfolds across the sky. Woven together are its strands of seduction, hubris and divine punishment, deities and monsters, and a dashing hero to rescue a damsel in distress. Nearly thirty percent of the northern sky is dedicated to the story of Perseus and Andromeda.
Neptune's Little Moons
Neptune, named for the Roman sea god, is the last planet out from the Sun, lying at the inner boundary of the Kuiper Belt. It has fourteen known moons and they're a mixed bag. One of them - Triton - represents over 99% of the total mass of Neptune moons. Thirteen little moons share what's left.
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