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BellaOnline's Astronomy Editor

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 F E A T U R E   A R C H I V E  

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Science Fair Astronomy Projects
Attention, educators and students! Need help with astronomy ideas for a science fair? Wonder about how to do a project or investigation? Here are some useful sites with suggestions for astronomy-themed projects, as well as plenty of how-to on researching and presenting work.

Scorpius the Scorpion
Anyone wary of spiders may want to avoid the spider's cousin Scorpius. Most constellations don't look like their namesakes. But Scorpius is easily imagined as a giant scorpion with a blood red heart gleaming in the southern sky. It's been an astronomical scorpion for over 3000 years.

Searching for Extrasolar Planets
Several dozen planets orbiting stars outside the Solar System have been directly imaged. But as of January 2015 astronomers had discovered nearly two thousand of them. How do they find what they can't see?

Seeing in the Dark - book review
Does amateur equal incompetence? No, says Timothy Ferris in a superb book exploring the role of amateur astronomers in probing the heavens. He reminds us that the root of the word amateur is love, and interweaves the stories of these lovers of astronomy with a grand tour of the universe.

Sky of Grand Central Terminal - History
In New York City, you can see the Milky Way on the ceiling of Grand Central Terminal. A beautiful mural of the night sky has graced this elegant Beaux-Arts building since its opening over a century ago. But why is there a black spot and hole in the ceiling? Are the constellations really backwards?

Sky of Grand Central Terminal – It's Backwards
A splendid starry sky crowns the concourse of Manhattan's Grand Central Terminal. It's a 1940s reworking of the original that Paul César Helleu designed after consultation with a prominent astronomer. Yet a month after the station opened, a starwise commuter claimed that the sky was backwards.

Smallest Star in the Universe
No one could possibly say that a star is the smallest one in the whole Universe. But the smallest known star is 2MASS J05233822-1403022, which is a pretty big name for a star that's about the size of Saturn. Could there be even smaller ones as yet unknown?

Solar Eclipses
Is it an ill omen, an amazing or terrifying experience, or a great opportunity for scientists? Solar eclipses have been all of these things and more. Read on to find out what it's all about.

Solar System - Our Neighborhood
Come tour the Solar System. It's our neighborhood, the star system in which we live. The Sun's gravity holds it all together - planets, dwarf planets, moons, asteroids, comets, Kuiper Belt objects. See what lies between the Sun and the farthest edge of the Oort Cloud.

Solar System - Tour for Kids
Take a quick tour of the Solar System, the star system where we live. It's our neighborhood of the Milky Way. Find out what lies between the Sun and the edge of the Oort Cloud.

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Eris - Dwarf Planet

The Starry Crowns – Corona Australis

Four Historic Eclipses

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