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 F E A T U R E   A R C H I V E  

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Autumnal Equinox
Autumn begins on the equinox as the Sun crosses the equator. Equinoxes were celebrated by the earliest known civilizations and still are in many places. One of the biggest celebrations these days is the Chinese Moon Festival. A traditional palace or garden probably has a moon-watching pavilion.

Bang! - The Universe Verse - book review
What would it take to explain the Big Bang Theory? James Lu Dunbar's "Bang!" might do it - and amuse you and your children at the same time. It's a splendid little book which tells the story of the universe in verse and appealing graphics.

Bang! The Complete History of the Universe - book
If you don’t understand the Big Bang theory, would you like to? If Stephen Hawking was too scary for you, how about a lovely book that turns mathematical cosmology into plain English? A famous rock musician, a great popular astronomer and a working astrophysicist got together to tell this story.

Beagle 2 – Lost and Found
On Christmas day 2003 a British-European space probe called Beagle 2 was lost on Mars and never heard from. It was not only small, but possibly broken and scattered while attempting to land. Since Mars is quite big, it took eleven years to find the little lander, and there were some surprises.

Big Bang Theory
How did our universe come to be? The Big Bang theory is the explanation that most scientists currently accept. Let's look at what we mean by a theory, what the Big Bang story is and why it's not as crazy as sounds.

Blood Moons and Lunar Tetrads
A tetrad of Blood Moons sounds very dramatic. It could even be the title of a fantasy novel. But what is a “Blood Moon”? What is a lunar tetrad? And is it as apocalyptic as it sounds? Have a look.

Bode and Bode's Law
Johann Elert Bode, the author of the greatest star atlas of the Golden Age of star atlases, is better known today for Bode's Law. Strangely, Bode's Law is neither a law nor original to Bode. So what was it? How did it inspire the Celestial Police? How did Neptune ruin it all?

Boötes the Herdsman
This ancient constellation contains black holes as massive as a billion Suns, extrasolar planets and a meteor shower acquired from an extinct neighbor. Its brightest star, a red giant 25 times the diameter of the Sun, is a sign that spring is here.

Buying Astronomy Presents - for Adults
If you have someone interested in astronomy amongst your friends or family, there is a wide range of gift possibilities. Here are some suggestions as to what to look for and where you might find it.

Cancer the Crab
Cancer the crab scuttles across the late winter sky, well away from its nemesis Hercules. Cancer is a zodiac constellation, the Tropic of Cancer is named for it, and it has existed for over three thousand years. Yet it seems to be a dim and unremarkable constellation. Why all the attention?

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