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 F E A T U R E   A R C H I V E  

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Musical Astronomers
Astronomy no longer recognizes the "music of the spheres". Yet if heavenly bodies did make music, perhaps there are those who could hear it! Read about some individuals who've pursued astronomy and music in their different ways.

Naming Asteroids
How do asteroids get their names? You have to discover an asteroid to name it, but you still can't name it after yourself or your cat. You also can't buy the naming right, though someone might give theirs to you.

Naming Planets
From ancient times to the present, fifteen Solar System objects have been called planets. But there are only eight planets now. Find out what happened to the other seven and how the planets got their names.

Naming Stars
The International Astronomical Union is the official body in charge of naming celestial objects. But how do they name stars? Do all the stars have names? Can you buy a star name for a friend? Find out here.

NASA Helped Rescue Chilean Miners
In the Chilean winter of 2010 thirty-three miners were trapped half a mile below the surface. They were in a hostile environment, a confined space, reliant on supplies from outside - similar to the problems of a space mission. Find out how NASA's decades of experience helped the Chilean rescuers.

Nebulae
Nebulae are titanic clouds of gas and dust - celestial gossamer in the spaces between the stars. They're stellar nurseries, stellar graveyards and dark constellations. Some of their mysteries have been penetrated by infrared telescopes, but the cloaking dust still keeps some secrets.

Nebulae - Ten Facts for Kids
Nebulas are great clouds of gas and dust in the spaces between the stars. Some of them are made from dying stars. Others are the nurseries for new stars. Here are ten facts about these surprising objects.

Neptune Facts for Kids
Far beyond Uranus is another blue planet, one named for the Greek sea god. It could well have been named for a god of winds as it's the windiest place in the Solar System. Find out more about Neptune, the planet that was discovered using math.

Night Sky Olympic Tribute
Planet Earth presents a grand international sporting spectacular every four years, the Olympic Games. Even if you're not fond of sports, it's a majestic pageant and a set of unfolding dramas that a scriptwriter couldn't hope to emulate. Here is my astronomical tribute to this magnificent saga.

Northern Lights Planetarium
Tromsų, far to the north of Norway, attracts summer visitors to see the midnight sun and winter visitors to see the aurora borealis. The Northern Lights Planetarium is the northermost planetarium in the world. It's worth a visit at anytime, but extra welcome if it's too cloudy to see the sky.

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