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Young Astronomers Reveal the Universe
In the film Deep Impact a teenage astronomer discovers a comet with a small telescope. In reality, teenage astronomers are more likely to make their discoveries in front of a computer - finding supernovae, pulsars, asteroids. The youngest discoverer was ten. Let them inspire you.
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.
Why Planets Have Seasons
For people living outside the tropics, June 21st is the longest or shortest day of the year, a solstice. It marks the first day of summer in the northern hemisphere and winter in the southern hemisphere. But why do we have seasons? And do other planets have them?
Who Let the Dogs out?
Someone must have left the door open, because the skies are full of dogs. You can see the dogs of Orion and the hunting dogs of the shepherd Bootes in pursuit of the Great Bear. There is also the Running Dog Nebula and the memory of poor Laika, the first cosmonaut, who perished in space.
What's in a Name
Things aren't always what they seem. Many discoveries aren't named for - or by - their discoverers. Halley didn't discover Comet Halley. Kuiper said the Kuiper Belt didn't exist. The Herschels called Uranus "the Georgian planet" after George III of England, but no one else did.
What Was the Star of Bethlehem?
The Star of Bethlehem is one of the loveliest symbols of Christmas. But what was it? Simply an inspired idea to emphasize the spiritual importance of the story? Or was it based on an actual astronomical happening?
What is Hanny's Voorwerp
Hanny's Voorwerp was first seen in 2007 - a strange blue blob in the constellation of Leo Minor. Since then it has been imaged by large telescopes in visible light, ultraviolet light, infrared light, radio waves and x-rays, but astronomers still don't entirely agree about the mystery object.
What Is Astrobiology
Do you wonder if there's life elsewhere in the universe? The universe is a big place, so it seems likely that there is. See how astrobiologists are helping to plan the search.
What Is a Supermoon
Some times the media are full of stories about a supermoon. They may even include dire predictions of earthquakes, tsunamis and other disasters. What is a supermoon and should you be worried?
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.
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