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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  

Archive by Date | Archive by Article Title

What Is a Galaxy
What is a galaxy? A great star system held together by gravity, with stars, gas and dust, black holes and dark matter. Astronomers used to think our Galaxy was the whole universe. But now that we know of billions of galaxies, they're considered to be the building blocks of the universe.

Solar System - Our Neighborhood
Come tour the Solar System. It's our neighborhood, the star system in which we live. The Sun's gravity holds it all together - planets, dwarf planets, moons, asteroids, comets, Kuiper Belt objects. See what lies between the Sun and the farthest edge of the Oort Cloud.

Top Astronomy Stories 2012
What were the big astronomy stories of the year 2012? Here is my choice of the top ten plus a non-story. What do you think?

Winter Solstice
For six months, each day has been shorter than the last, the Sun lower in the sky. Will it disappear altogether and leave the people bereft in the dark cold winter? The winter solstice is the shortest day of the year and is associated with more festivals than any other astronomical event.

Hurtigruten - Seeing the Northern Lights
What would it be like to take an astronomy tour on the Hurtigruten? Here is an account of some of the highlights of a trip around the coast of Norway in search of the northern lights. We heard stories of the constellations and then found them in the sky. And one night we saw the aurora dancing.

Astronomy Presents - for Kids
Birthdays, Christmas, and other special occasions . . . What might please a young astronaut or astronomer? Here is a varied list of suggestions - and you may be surprised to find that a telescope is very low on the list.

Palomar Observatory
A mile above the California desert stands Palomar Observatory. Its 200-inch mirror was officially impossible to make, but George Ellery Hale's vision inspired a nation in the grip of the Great Depression and it became the jewel in the crown of astronomy for the second half of the twentieth century.

Cetus the Sea Monster
Whale or monster? Benign plankton-eating creature or terrifying colossus, a hybrid with gaping jaws and the powerful scaly coils of a sea serpent? This is the constellation Cetus. The monster fell to the hero Perseus, but the stars and deep sky objects are impressive.

Bang! The Complete History of the Universe - book
If you don’t understand the Big Bang theory, would you like to? If Stephen Hawking was too scary for you, how about a lovely book that turns mathematical cosmology into plain English? A famous rock musician, a great popular astronomer and a working astrophysicist got together to tell this story.

Polaris - 10 Fascinating Facts
Today we travel paved roads using good maps or a GPS system to find the way. Imagine sailing uncharted waters or journeying through trackless deserts without such help. In the northern hemisphere one of the greatest of navigational aids has for nearly two thousand years been the north star Polaris.

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