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Ecliptic and Equinoxes
The objects in the night sky seem to be projected onto the celestial sphere. A coordinate system lets us say where everything is, but something's not quite right. The north polar star will be Vega one day. Astrological star signs don't match the constellations any more. What's going on?
Mercury Facts for Kids
Now that Pluto is a dwarf planet, Mercury is the baby of the planets. It's close enough to the Sun for lead and zinc to melt during the day. Yet there may be frozen water in its deep craters. Until space probes came along Mercury was a mystery hidden in the Sun's glare, but that's changing!
Teaching Why We Have Day and Night
Why do we have day and night? For thousands of years most people thought it was because the Sun went around the Earth. That is certainly what it looks like, so how can you explain that day and night happen because the earth spins on its axis? Here are some ideas.
The Sun the Moon the Calendar
If you look at your calendar to find today's date, you can see the month, days of the week and maybe some appointments. But you're also looking at something that tracks Earth's journey around the Sun, reflects three thousand years of history and helps hold our society together.
10 Amazing Facts about Saturn's Moons
Saturn lies in the outer Solar System, ten times farther away from the Sun than Earth is. It's best known for its fabulous ring system, but it also has an amazing system of moons including ring shepherds and the smallest natural round body in the Solar System.
Imagine the horror: Something is eating the Moon, leaving its face covered in blood. This was how people once viewed lunar eclipses. Find out what actually causes a lunar eclipse, why the Moon may turn red during an eclipse, and where a lunar eclipse becomes a solar eclipse.
What Was the Star of Bethlehem?
The Star of Bethlehem is one of the loveliest symbols of Christmas. But what was it? Simply an inspired idea to emphasize the spiritual importance of the story? Or was it based on an actual astronomical happening?
Venus Facts for Kids
It's the planet most likely to mistaken for a UFO. It spins backwards on its axis. A day is longer than a year. It's Venus! Some call it Earth's twin, but I think you'll see that we don't have all that much in common.
Orion the Hunter
The stars of Orion have been part of humanity's mythscape for thousands of years. Seven bright stars outline the hunter's body. One of them is a supergiant nearing the end of its life. Yet just visible to the unaided eye is a vast stellar nursery where the next generation of stars is forming.
Absolute Beginners - Winter Skies
Many bright stars sparkle in the sky on crisp winter evenings. Brightest of all is Sirius the Dog Star, the face of one of the two dogs of Orion the hunter. The belt of Orion himself is an easily-identified feature and the constellation also has both a red supergiant star and a blue one.
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