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 F E A T U R E   A R C H I V E  

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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.

Lacerta – the Northern Stellar Lizard
Although the night sky has two lizards, the classical world wasn't enthralled by small reptiles. Both Lacerta and Chamaeleon constellations date from about the 17th century, which is considered modern. Lacerta is home to a fiery dwarf, a puffy planet and one of the most energetic known galaxies.

Lawrence Hall of Science - Astronomy
Follow a steep road into California's Berkeley hills to find the Lawrence Hall of Science (LHS). It's the public science center of the University of California Berkeley, and delights visitors of all ages with the wonders of science. A bonus is a spectacular panoramic view of the San Francisco Bay.

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?

Leo the Lion
Leo is a Zodiac constellation and its stars have represented a lion for over four thousand years. Leo contains one of the brightest stars in the sky and one of the dimmest, as well as a selection of spiral galaxies loved by amateur astronomers. And why isn't Regulus the star of summer anymore?

Lick Observatory - 10 Fascinating Facts
Lick Observatory lies high on a mountaintop overlooking Silicon Valley. Known for major contributions to astronomy, it also has some unusual features. Its benefactor James Lick is buried under one of the main telescopes and its original seismogram of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake is on display.

Life and Death of Massive Stars – Facts for Kids
Stars are all born in the same way, but they live and die in different ways. A star's mass rules how hot it will be, how long it will shine, and how it will end.

Life and Death of the Sun
In the distant future the Sun will be many times its present size and thousands of times brighter. It will seed the Galaxy with elements like carbon and oxygen–perhaps for life on a world yet unborn. Then it will collapse into a tiny dead sphere. For a time, a beautiful nebula will mark its place.

Light Pollution
Light pollution isn't just a problem for astronomers. It means the loss of an amenity for all of us now and the generations that follow. It affects the natural world, can ruin our health, wastes resources, and what's more, we're paying for it!

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