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 F E A T U R E   A R C H I V E  

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Scutum the Shield
Vienna, September 1683. For two months the city had been besieged by an army of the Ottoman Empire, and couldn't hold out much longer. But what does this have to do with astronomy? The link is the constellation Scutum (the Shield).

Black Moon – Is That a Thing ?
Followers of social media may know what a “black moon” is. It has been linked to dramatic predictions of doom and gloom. However it's not an astronomical term. So what is a black moon and would we survive it?

Moons of the Solar System - Quiz
There's no official definition of a moon, but we use it for objects that orbit planets, dwarf planets and even asteroids. Do you know the moons of the Solar System? Here's your chance to learn more.

Orionids – Crumbs of Halley's Comet
The most famous comet is Halley's Comet. English astronomer Edmond Halley didn't discover it, but did discover that it came visiting every 75-76 years. If you can't wait until 2062 for the next visit, you can see the Orionid meteor shower which is created by debris from Halley's Comet.

Europa Facts for Kids
Astronomers are very interested in Jupiter's moon Europa. They think that it has a large ocean covering the moon under its icy crust, and that it would be a good place to look for life.

Sputnik – The Space Race Begins
On October 4, 1957 a small object had people around the globe looking excitedly – or anxiously – up at the sky. It's so common now that people today could scarcely imagine the effect that the first artificial satellite had. Sputnik began the Cold War's space race.

Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2016
The Sun as you've never before seen it. A twilight aurora, lunar landscapes, and galaxies far far away. There's all that and more in the Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2016 exhibition at the Royal Observatory Greenwich.

M1 Crab Nebula
Messier's catalog of nebulous objects begins with M1 the Crab Nebula. In 18th-century telescopes it was just a fuzzy patch, yet imaged by the Hubble Space Telescope, it's fascinating and intricate. But what is it? Why is it called the Crab Nebula? And what amazing secret does it hide?

Makemake
Easter Island and a distant dwarf planet – what do they have in common? The answer is Makemake – the creator god in the Rapa Nui mythology of Easter Island. How did his name come to be given to a small frozen body seven billion kilometers (four billion miles) from the Sun?

Enceladus Facts for Kids
Enceladus is a small moon of Saturn that seems to be frozen. It's the coldest moon in Saturn's system because its bright surface reflects almost all of the sunlight that hits it. But under the ice is a liquid ocean and scientists wonder if there might be life there.

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Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017

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