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BellaOnline's Astronomy Editor

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 F E A T U R E   A R C H I V E  

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Star Names in Harry Potter Stories
In the Harry Potter books there are a number of characters that are named for stars and constellations. You can find out more about these stars - and for those that don't know the books, there's a bit of background on the characters.

Starbirth
People once thought that stars were eternal and unchanging. Today we know that they have life cycles of birth and death. Here is the story of how a star like our Sun is born.

Jupiter's Moons – Facts for Kids
Jupiter has at least 67 moons. Some of them are only half a mile long, but one is bigger than the planet Mercury. Which moon has hundreds of volcanoes, and which one has a deep ocean under an icy surface? Find out here.

Voyager 1 – Gas Giants and a Last Look Homeward
When a rare planetary alignment opened up the outer Solar System, Voyager 1 was sent forth. It observed the gas giants Jupiter and Saturn and their moons. At nearly 4 billion miles from the Sun, the probe turned and took one last picture of home before continuing its journey to the stars.

Packing for Mars - book review
If you think being an astronaut is a glamorous occupation, Mary Roach's book “Packing for Mars” will bring you down to Earth. Playing in free-fall looks like fun, but without gravity, eating, hygiene and dealing with waste are not fun. Here's the lowdown. Still want to go to Mars?

Scale of the Universe 2 - website
How big is the Universe? And how small? This website takes you from yoctometers - unbelievably small - to yottameters – just as unbelievably big. Navigate up or down from the human scale, with drawings and diagrams that make sense of the numbers. A great tour for everyone.

Young Astronomers at Work
Telescopes are essential for astronomy, but you don't need one of your own. A computer can be the right instrument. Big telescopes collect data faster than professionals can process it, so amateurs can help. There is also room for individual ingenuity. See what some young astronomers have done.

Voyagers - the Golden Record
The Voyagers are on a mission that will eventually take them to the stars. They are both carrying a message from Earth. What images, sounds and music were chosen to represent the people of Earth?

Cosmic Ghosts Ghouls and Vampires
Astronomers use colorful language for cosmic objects. But unlike ghosts, ghouls and vampires in horror stories, the cosmic ones aren't scary late at night. Here are tales of the birth, evolution and death of stars, a blinking demon and a star that, at Halloween, seems like the Sun's ghost.

Distances in Space - Facts for Kids
How tall are you? How far away is New York City? How far away is the Moon? How about the nearest planet, star, or galaxy? Do we measure them in inches, kilometers or light years? Find out why we choose some measuring units and not others.

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How the Sun Was Born – Facts for Kids

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