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 F E A T U R E   A R C H I V E  

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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.

Cosmonauts - Birth of the Space Age
The starter's pistol for the space race was fired on October 4, 1957. It was in the form of a small highly-polished sphere that orbited the Earth every 98 minutes. This was the Soviet Union's Sputnik, Earth's first artificial satellite. It shook up the United States, and there was more to come.

Camelopardalis the Giraffe
What do you know about the celestial giraffe Camelopardalis? Probably not much. It has no bright stars. Since it was invented long after the ancient Greeks, it has no folklore. But it has a runaway star, a supernova discovered by a child, and a galaxy from when the Universe was just a toddler.

Gravitational Waves – What Are They?
In February 2016 news of gravitational waves went round the world. But what are these waves sometimes described as ripples in spacetime? To find out let's go back over a century to a time when Albert Einstein was completing the work that would change our view of the Universe.

European Astrofest 2016
It's great to have access to “the Universe under one roof”. When European Astrofest comes to the Kensington Conference Centre in London, it saves many light years of travel. Here are some highlights of the 2016 event.

Groundhog Day
February second is Groundhog Day, a day that's a mystery to people outside North America. Even in the USA and Canada, it's more a bit of fun than a holiday. Yet however superficial it is now, it's the offshoot of traditions that began in Europe thousands of years ago.

Astronomy Tributes to David Bowie
If astronomers talk about the death of stars, it's probably not pop stars they mean. Unless the pop star created Ziggy Stardust, Major Tom and Aladdin Sane, and sang “Life on Mars”, “Starman” and “Hallo Spaceboy”. Here are some of the astronomy tributes to David Bowie.

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