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Lick Observatory - 10 Fascinating Facts
Lick Observatory lies high on a mountaintop overlooking Silicon Valley. Known for major contributions to astronomy, it also has some unusual features. Its benefactor James Lick is buried under one of the main telescopes and its original seismogram of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake is on display.
George's Cosmic Treasure Hunt - book review
George is sad. The family next door are moving away and things will be so dull without them. Or maybe not! Why is the new Martian rover acting so strangely? Has the search for life met an alien threat to Earth? Lucy and Stephen Hawking take George and the reader on a cosmic adventure.
Cosmic - book review
Cosmic isn't an astronomy text. It's a delightful novel for young people which includes space travel and a cast of great characters, including Liam who's too tall for his age. It's Willy Wonka meets Apollo 13, as the taikonauts get chosen in an unusual draw and end up stranded in space.
Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2012
An exquisite whirlpool of two galaxies held together by invisible bonds was this year's winning image. And the Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year captured the beauty of the Pleiades, a cluster of hot blue stars surrounded by a delicate haze of reflective dust. A feast for the eye.
Autumn begins on the equinox, the day the Sun crosses the equator. Equinoxes were celebrated by the earliest known civilizations, and are still in many places. One of the biggest celebrations is the Chinese Moon Festival. A traditional Chinese palace or garden has a moon-watching pavilion.
Andromeda the Chained Princess
Andromeda is in the northern sky eternally chained to her rock. She is one of six constellations described by Ptolemy in the second century that are part of an epic ancient Greek myth. The constellation also contains a quadruple star, a blue snowball, exoplanets and a famous spiral galaxy.
Cassini Mission and Website
The space probe Cassini has been sending home fantastic pictures of Saturn and its satellites since 2004, and its mission has been extended twice. Its website has a wealth of images and some interesting material for teachers, students and astronomy fans.
Meteor or Meteorite and Other Posers
What's the difference between a meteor, a meteorite and a meteoroid? Is one of them the same as a shooting star? And what about asteroids and planetoids - which one is a minor planet? If any of these terms have puzzled you, here is a guide to help you out.
Illuminations - A Planetarium Afloat
Why is the Illuminations Planetarium unique? It's the only one that sails the seas. Purpose-built as part of a theater on board Cunard Liner Queen Mary 2, it shows astronomy films, and on some voyages, astronomers from the Royal Astronomical Society in London use it to present the night sky.
Henrietta Swan Leavitt
Henrietta Leavitt isn't a well known name, but a century ago she made one of the most important discoveries of 20th century astronomy. Previously, astronomers could only measure distances up to 100 light years, but her work extended that to 10 million light years.
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