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Andromeda Galaxy (M31) Fascinating Facts
Imagine yourself under a dark autumn or winter northern hemisphere sky. You're looking towards the W of Cassiopeia, and notice a hazy patch between Cassiopeia and the constellation Andromeda. That is the Andromeda Galaxy (M31). Here are some fascinating facts about this stunning object.
Andromeda the Chained Princess
Andromeda stands in the northern sky eternally chained to her rock. She is one of six constellations that Ptolemy described in the second century, all part of one particular ancient Greek myth. In the constellation is a quadruple star, a blue snowball, exoplanets and spiral galaxies.
Annie Jump Cannon
Oh! Be a fine girl (guy)--kiss me! This is the traditional mnemonic for the way stars are classified: OBAFGKM. Find out about the astronomer and suffragette who devised the system and who said that astronomical spectroscopy made it "almost as if the distant stars had acquired speech."
The women of Harvard Observatory worked hard for their meager wages. And the director wanted data processed, not theoretical work. Yet some of them made significant discoveries. One of the least known, but considered by some professional astronomers to be the most able, was Antonia Maury.
Aries the Golden Ram
Aries was the winged ram from which the Golden Fleece came. Two thousand years ago his constellation marked the spring equinox when the Sun crossed the celestial equator near Beta and Gamma Arietis. The equinox is now in Pisces, but what strange object was discovered in 2007 in Aries?
Asteroid Facts for Kids
Observers used to call them vermin of the skies. Asteroids weren't interesting and their streaks ruined sky photos. But not any more! We know that they can tell us about the early Solar System, one of them may have meant the end of the dinosaurs, and there could be more heading our way.
Astrofest 2012: "The Universe under one roof." We saw aurorae and learned about solar storms, dark matter and the beginning of the Universe. There were telescopes galore and an unusual demonstration of spectroscopy.
European Astrofest came of age in 2013, celebrating its 21st birthday. It was a memorable anniversary with a fantastic selection of speakers at sold-out lectures, busy exhibition stands, enthusiastic visitors, happy meetings and some sad farewells.
The Universe comes to London, read the banner on the courtyard wall of the Kensington Conference and Events Centre. Images of the Universe, people who study it, ideas about how it works, and equipment for seeing it occupied the center for the two days of European Astrofest 2014.
Astronauts in Memoriam
Traveling into space is an astronaut's dream. However it's a dangerous occupation, both in the realization and in the training. A number of astronauts, almost all American or Russian, have paid the ultimate price for their dreams. Where are their memorials?
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