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Top Astronomy Stories 2012
What were the big astronomy stories of the year 2012? Here is my choice of the top ten plus a non-story. What do you think?
Top Ten Astronomy Stories of 2013
What were the big astronomy events of 2013? Here are my top ten choices and they include a big bang over Russia, a Moon goddess and Jade Rabbit, a telescope in the high Andean desert to look for the first galaxies, and the launch one of the most ambitious space missions ever.
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?
Triton – Captive Moon of Neptune
The Solar System's big moons are weird and wonderful, and Triton is no exception. It has ice volcanoes. Its "cantaloupe terrain" is unique in the Solar System. It's unlike the other large moons. And it orbits in the wrong direction, so it didn't form near Neptune. But where did it come from?
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.
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