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Father Hell - Astronomer
The Moon's Hell crater sounds like the last place a space tourist would ever want to visit. But it's named for 18th century astronomer Father Maximilian Hell, director of the Vienna Observatory. He observed the 1769 Venus transit from Norway's far north, surviving the cold by adopting Sami dress.
Titan Facts for Kids
Saturn's moon Titan is bigger than a planet. It's the only moon with a thick atmosphere. In fact the atmosphere is so smoggy, we can't see the surface. But the Cassini-Huygens mission has found out many of its secrets, including lakes and sand dunes and maybe volcanoes.
Astronomy April Fools
Mercury has a moon? The Jovian-Plutonian Gravitational Effect will give you a floating feeling? The Space Station has an alien visitor? Virgin Galactic has bought Pluto and has plans for getting it reinstated as a planet? Nope. These are a examples of April Fool hoaxes and jokes.
Miss Leavitt's Stars - book review
In the early 20th century an astronomer made a revolutionary discovery. Yet her life left almost no footprints on history. "Miss Leavitt's Stars" contrasts the solidity of her professional accomplishment with the butterfly touch of her life. Miss Leavitt isn't even the star of her own biography.
You've made it through the winter and watched the food stores diminish. But the days are getting longer and green shoots are appearing. Spring is on the way. The festivals of the vernal equinox emphasize rebirth and renewal. In many cultures the equinox is also the New Year.
Titan - Planet-sized Moon of Saturn
Titan was a mystery for three and a half centuries. It's a giant moon shrouded in impenetrable clouds, and has only recently begun to share its secrets. Why do scientists say it's like Earth? Is it time to book a vacation to visit the lakes and mountains of Titan?
Gemini – the Celestial Twins
Gemini. A story of the love and loyalty of two brothers parted only by death. Includes a star that's actually a system of six stars, and a giant star that can help us measure distances in space. Contains an object that completely baffled astronomers for twenty years.
Voyager 2 - The Grand Tour
Most of our knowledge of Neptune and Uranus is based on Voyager 2's visits. Its grand tour of the four giant planets used a rare alignment of the planets that let the gravity of each one boost the spacecraft to the next one. No other probe has been to either of the ice giants.
Astronomers Anonymous - book review
Here is a humorous book in the form of an advice column for distraught amateur astronomers. Some of the serious advice is good and the stories are funny, but humor is a very individual thing. It wasn't as entertaining as I'd hoped - and would authors please do the research!
“The Universe comes to London,” read the banner on the courtyard wall of the Kensington Conference and Events Centre. Images of the Universe, people who study it, ideas about how it works, and equipment for seeing it occupied the center for the two days of European Astrofest 2014.
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