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Transit of Venus - Captain Cook 1769
How big is the Solar System? 18th century astronomers tried to find out by sending expeditions around the world to measure a transit of Venus. One of these was Captain Cook's voyage to Tahiti. He went under the auspices of the Royal Society, but he carried secret orders from the government.
Transit of Venus - Measuring the Solar System
On June 8, 2004 millions of people witnessed an event that no one still alive had ever seen: a transit of Venus. Another occurred in June 2012, but it was the last for over a hundred years. What is a transit of Venus? How did it help to work out out the size of the Solar System?
One of the greatest astronomers of all time was a Danish nobleman with a metal nose, who was also a publisher, an alchemist and the Imperial Mathematician. His astronomical observations were the key to the modern view of the Solar System.
Uranus and Neptune - Twin Planets
Uranus and Neptune are ice giants and twin planets. They are very similar in many ways, but they aren't identical twins. For example, Uranus orbits lying down and Neptune is much warmer than it should be.
Uranus Facts for Kids
This ice giant is twenty times farther from the Sun than we are. It orbits lying on its side so that half the planet can be dark for over twenty years at a time. This is the planet Uranus, discovered by William Herschel in 1871 and nearly named George!
Venus Facts for Kids
It's the planet most likely to mistaken for a UFO. It spins backwards on its axis. A day is longer than a year. It's Venus! Some call it Earth's twin, but I think you'll see that we don't have all that much in common.
You've made it through the winter and watched the food stores diminish. But the days are getting longer and green shoots are appearing. Spring is on the way. The festivals of the vernal equinox emphasize rebirth and renewal. In many cultures the equinox is also the New Year.
Virgo the Maiden
Virgo is one of the constellations of the zodiac, and its stars have been linked to agricultural goddesses for thousands of years. This area of sky contains thousands of galaxies, dozens of known extrasolar planets, and was where the first quasar was discovered.
Volcanoes - Fire and Ice
A volcano can produce a fiery sky with ash and deadly gases. The biggest one on Earth is Mauna Loa, but it's dwarfed by Olympus Mons on Mars which is three times the height of Everest. There are many volcanoes in the Solar System, including ice volcanoes.
Voyager 1 – Gas Giants and a Last Look Homeward
When a rare planetary alignment opened up the outer Solar System, Voyager 1 was sent forth. It observed the gas giants Jupiter and Saturn and their moons. At nearly 4 billion miles from the Sun, the probe turned and took one last picture of home before continuing its journey to the stars.
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