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 F E A T U R E   A R C H I V E  

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Eris and Pluto - They're not Twins
For nearly ninety years Pluto was our ninth planet. Then in 2006, much to the annoyance of some, it was no longer a planet, but a dwarf planet. What happened? Eris happened. Some call Eris and Pluto twin planets, but they aren't twins. Eris has a secret.

Exotic Creatures of the Southern Sky
Constellations telling the ancient tales of gods and heroes are still in use by astronomers. But there are only 48 classical constellations, and the skies around the south celestial pole can't be seen from the Mediterranean, so those constellations are more modern. Here are some of them.

Exotic Exoplanets Tour
We're used to a tidy Solar System. But there are some pretty strange planets orbiting stars far, far away. On one it doesn't rain water, it rains rock. Another has the density of cork. One has a double sun. And what would you do with a diamond the size of a planet?

Experience the Aurora - film review
Try to imagine seeing the northern lights dancing across the sky above you. A film on a flat screen couldn't duplicate this. But what about one made to be projected on the dome of a digital theater? This was the aim of "Experience the Aurora."

Exploring Stars and Planets - book review
Looking for an astronomy book for readers 8-14? Philip's has a brand new edition of Ian Ridpath's best seller. Clearly written and illustrated with up-to-date images, it's the story of the Solar System. But there are also glimpses into galaxies, exploding stars and the history of the Universe.

Exploring the Apollo Landing Sites
NASA sent the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) to the Moon to spy out sites for future manned missions. It doesn't look like they'll be sending anybody to the Moon, but LRO has documented the Apollo landing sites. Astronomy writer and space expert Ian Ridpath takes us to the Moon for a look.

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.

First Orbit - film review
On April 12, 1961 Yuri Gagarin saw what no human had ever seen before: the Earth from space. Now "First Orbit" allows you to imagine that you are making the historic voyage. Film shot from the International Space Station creates the views, but you'll also have Philip Sheppard's music.

Four Historic Eclipses
An empire lost, an empire saved, lives lost, lives saved. Read about some unexpected outcomes of solar and lunar eclipses.

Full Meridian of Glory - book review
What was the Paris Meridian? The “Full Meridian of Glory” tells its story and the stories of those who surveyed it. It's a saga of love and betrayal, dedication and deprivation, heroism and pettiness, and sometimes death. Truth really is stranger than fiction.

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