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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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Death of a Massive Star
Massive stars are born in the same way as smaller stars like the Sun. But a massive star then burns brighter and hotter, and ends its life in one of the Universe's most stupendous explosions, a supernova. For a time, it shines as bright as entire galaxy of a billion stars.

Distances in Space
You wouldn't want to know the distance from Boston to San Francisco in inches. And for the same reason, miles aren't very useful in space. After all, it's 26 trillion miles to the next nearest star. So how do astronomers deal with these enormous distances?

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.

Do Red Dwarfs Live Forever
Looking up at a clear, dark sky, you can see thousands of stars. Yet without binoculars or a telescope, the most common type of star is invisible. These are the small, cool red dwarfs that fill the sky and live practically forever.

Does Sound Travel through Space
Can sound travel in space? The short answer is no, but it's not so simple. The Sun produces sound waves we can't hear. And then there's a black hole that astronomers have detected endlessly singing a B-flat over tens of thousands of light years.

Draco the Dragon
An enormous dragon circles the northern celestial pole. The constellation Draco contains a star that was the pole star at the time of the pharaohs, some interesting galaxies and the most complex planetary nebula yet discovered.

Dwarf Planet Tour for Kids
After all the fuss about Pluto, everybody knows that it's a dwarf planet now. But it's only one of five. Here's a mini tour of all five, including the one where a heatwave is the temperature of Antarctica, the one shaped like an egg, and one whose year is over 500 Earth years long. All aboard!

Dwarf Planets - a Tour
Join the dwarf planet tour. It will take you so far away that the Sun seems to be no more than another bright star. You'll see a dwarf planet the shape of an American football, one whose a month is the same length as its day, and the one that upset the fans of Pluto.

Earthshine
In the darkness of space we see the part of the Moon that the Sun illuminates. But sometimes there is a bright crescent Moon with a dark shadow filling in the rest of the Moon's face. What lets us see the Moon's night side, and how might the phenomenon detect life on distant worlds?

Ecliptic and Equinoxes
The objects in the night sky seem to be projected onto the celestial sphere. A coordinate system lets us say where everything is, but something's not quite right. The north polar star will be Vega one day. Astrological star signs don't match the constellations any more. What's going on?

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