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 F E A T U R E   A R C H I V E  

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Edward Charles Pickering
Edward Pickering was a leading light of 19th century astronomy who made the Harvard College Observatory into an institution with an international reputation. He was honored for his work by scientific societies in several countries, but his name is now known from his employing “Pickering's harem”.

Eris – Facts for Kids
At first astronomers thought Eris was bigger than Pluto and that it was a tenth planet. But both Eris and Pluto ended up as dwarf planets. Eris is now farther away from the Sun than any known object except for some comets. It's so cold that its atmosphere has frozen and is on the ground.

Who Discovered Neptune
Neptune is the planet discovered mathematically and whose detection led to a heated rivalry between British and French astronomers. But who was the first person actually to see Neptune?

Edge of the Sky – book review
Robert Trotta lectures in astrophysics at Imperial College London. He's also a science communicator who likes to share his knowledge with the public. So he set himself the task of writing about the Universe using only words from a list of the 1000 most common English words. How did he do?

ABC of Astronomy - F Is for Fusion
The Sun is more than just a ball of burning gas. It's also a giant nuclear reactor. Find out about the fusion that supplies the energy to support life on Earth, and the solar flares that can disrupt it. Intense magnetic fields create sunspots and faculae, and suspend filaments a million miles long.

Quaoar – What Is It
Beyond Neptune lies the Kuiper Belt where tens of thousands of icy bodies are scattered over billions of miles of space. Quaoar, named for the Tongva creation god, is one of them. It seems to fit the criteria for a dwarf planet, but it's still not on the official list.

What Happened to the Prime Meridian
The Prime Meridian of the World is “where time begins” at zero degrees of longitude. By international agreement in 1884, it was located at Greenwich, England. But if you stand on that meridian and look at the GPS on your phone, it won't read zero. What happened?

Robert Hooke - England's Leonardo
In the 17th century Robert Hooke produced a revolutionary bestseller, helped rebuild London after the Great Fire, and was a renowned experimenter, inventor, musician and artist. Hooke contributed to astronomy, geology, structural engineering and chemistry. He was 'England's Leonardo'.

Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2015
Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2015. The judges' job: from over 2700 entries, get a shortlist of 138, choose 32 winners in 11 categories, and finally, an overall winner. Surprise! All the judges agreed wholeheartedly on the overall winner, and when you see it, I think you'll see why.

Hyperion – Saturn's Weird Wobbly Moon
Saturn has lots of moons – more than five dozen of them with confirmed orbits. They are remarkable in many ways, but perhaps the strangest one is the misshapen and unpredictable Hyperion.

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