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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?
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.
Does Sound Travel through Space
Can sound travel in space? The short answer is no, but it's not so simple. We can't hear the sound waves, but the Sun produces them. And then there's the black hole that astronomers have detected endlessly singing a B-flat over tens of thousands of light years.
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?
Dark Matter - Poems of Space - book review
What do poets see when they look at the heavens? And astronomers? Are the experiences completely different or different sides of the same sense of wonder? This collection of poems, edited by a poet and an astrophysicist, is a treasure trove. There's something here for everyone.
Cygnus the Swan
Seduction and supergiants, a beautiful blue and amber double star, vast explosions, a giant cloud that looks like North America. Where does myth end and astronomy begin? Here is a tour of some of the highlights of the constellation Cygnus the swan.
Could you survive unprotected in space?
Movies show people being expelled unprotected into space - they explode, they freeze instantly, their blood boils. It's not a pretty sight. Would this actually happen? Not necessarily, but I wouldn't recommend trying it out.
Cosmic Halloween Tour
Join us on a Halloween astronomical tour. See a cosmic witch and cosmic ghosts, spiders and snakes, and fiery skull. But have no fear. It's a virtual tour and all these objects are a very long way away.
We no longer see the heavens as perfect and the stars as eternal and unchanging. Even the Universe had a beginning, and everything that we observe changes and evolves. Many of these changes involve cosmic collisions.
Cosmic - book review
Cosmic isn't an astronomy text. It's a delightful novel for young people which includes space travel and an cast of great characters, including Liam who's too tall for his age. It's Willy Wonka meets Apollo 13, as the taikonauts get chosen in an unusual draw and end up stranded in space.
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