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Absolute Beginners - Seeing Mercury and Venus
We can see five planets with our unaided eyes. But people often ask how to find them and how to recognize them. Here is a beginner's guide for seeing Mercury and Venus.
Distances in Space
You wouldn't want to know the distance from Boston to San Francisco in inches. And for the same reason, miles aren't very useful in space. After all, it's 26 trillion miles to the next nearest star. So how do astronomers deal with these enormous distances?
Teaching Moon Phases and Eclipses
Why does the Moon seem to change shape? If eclipses happen when the Sun, Moon and Earth are all lined up, why don't they happen every month? If you're an educator, you may need to understand why and explain it to children. Here are some online resources to help you out.
One of the greatest astronomers of all time was a Danish nobleman with a metal nose, who was also a publisher, an alchemist and the Imperial Mathematician. His astronomical observations were the key to the modern view of the Solar System.
Boötes the Herdsman
This ancient constellation contains black holes as massive as a billion Suns, extrasolar planets and a meteor shower acquired from an extinct neighbor. Its brightest star, a red giant 25 times the diameter of the Sun, is a sign that spring is here.
Science Fair Astronomy Projects
Attention, educators and students! Need help with astronomy ideas for a science fair? Wonder about how to do a project or investigation? Here are some useful sites with suggestions for astronomy-themed projects, as well as plenty of how-to on researching and presenting work.
Meteor Shower - The Perseids
When August comes around, the best sky show of the year is also on its way. The Perseids are an annual meteor shower. What's it all about and how can you see it?
Absolute Beginners - Summer Skies
Warm summer nights are a great time to study the sky. Here is a guide to the main summer constellations. You can see all of these things without a telescope, so head outside and look up.
Absolute Beginners - Start Observing
You'd like to know the night sky better? But you haven't a got a telescope, live in a city, don't know any constellations or can't tell a star from a planet? Time to give up? Absolutely not. Time to read on and look up.
Carrying the Fire - Book Review
What was it like to be one-third of the Apollo 11 crew? Michael Collins, the man in the command module that didn't land on the Moon, tells a fascinating story of astronaut training and space travel. Originally published in 1974, there was a Fortieth Anniversary edition of Carrying the Fire in 2009.
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