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One planet in the Solar System dominates the others, so it's fitting that it's named for Jupiter, the king of the Roman gods. Jupiter has moons galore and monster storms, and it spins so fast that its day is only ten hours long.
Jupiter Facts for Kids
It's the king of the Roman gods and comet-killer, containing two and a half times the mass of all the other planets put together and with the shortest day of any planet in the Solar System. It's Jupiter! Find out more.
Jupiter's Galilean Moons
Four moons circling Jupiter. It was a sensation when Galileo discovered them in the early 17th century - and they're still sensational! One is bigger than a planet. Another seethes with volcanic activity and has mountains taller than Everest. And which one has ocean that could harbor life?
Jupiter's Moons – Facts for Kids
Jupiter has at least 67 moons. Some of them are only half a mile long, but one is bigger than the planet Mercury. Which moon has hundreds of volcanoes, and which one has a deep ocean under an icy surface? Find out here.
An observatory that a king built to watch the 1769 transit of Venus. The place where official time for London used to be set. Where a murderer was sometimes in attendance when the King walked in the gardens. Find out more about the history of Kew Observatory.
Pluto was once the last outpost of the Solar System. Now we realize that it's the gateway to the Kuiper Belt, a disk made up of rubble left over from the formation of the Solar System. The Kuiper Belt is big and it's cold and the Sun would just look like a bright star from there.
Kuiper Belt - Facts for Kids
Pluto's not the last planet, it's the first Kuiper Belt Object. The Kuiper Belt is made up of millions of icy bits left over from the beginning of the Solar System. It starts at 30 AU - that's 30 times farther from the Sun than the Earth. From there it stretches for another 2 billion miles!
Lacaille's Skies - Sciences
There's a curious set of constellations in the southern skies. They don't represent exotic animals, heroic deeds or the foibles of ancient deities. They're composed of dim and nameless stars. Find out why Abbe Lacaille invented them, and take a quick tour.
Lacaille's skies – Arts
Much of the southern sky wasn't visible to the ancient Mediterranean civilizations. Instead of representing the ancient myths, the constellations were invented long afterwards by European explorers and astronomers. Some of Abbe Lacaille's inventions are tributes to the arts.
Le Gentil - Heroic Failure
Here's the story of Guillaume Le Gentil who went to India to observe the transit of Venus in 1761 and took eleven years to get home again. War and weather conspired to prevent his making observations and illness further delayed his return. Was he the unluckiest astronomer ever?
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