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We no longer see the heavens as perfect and the stars as eternal and unchanging. Even the Universe had a beginning, and everything that we observe changes and evolves. Many of these changes involve cosmic collisions.
Cosmic Ghosts, Ghouls and Vampires
Astronomers use colorful language for cosmic objects. But unlike ghosts, ghouls and vampires in horror stories, the cosmic ones aren't scary late at night. Here are tales of the birth, evolution and death of stars, a blinking demon and a star that, at Halloween, seems like the Sun's ghost.
Cosmic Halloween Tour
Join us on a Halloween astronomical tour. See a cosmic witch and cosmic ghosts, spiders and snakes, and fiery skull. But have no fear. It's a virtual tour and all these objects are a very long way away.
Could you survive unprotected in space?
Movies show people being expelled unprotected into space - they explode, they freeze instantly, their blood boils. It's not a pretty sight. Would this actually happen? Not necessarily, but I wouldn't recommend trying it out.
Creepy Crawlies in Space
What was the first Earth creature to go into space? Not a dog, but a fruit fly. Insects and arachnids have been mini-astronauts for over sixty years. They have also inspired the naming of heavenly objects.
Cygnus the Swan
Seduction and supergiants, a beautiful blue and amber double star, vast explosions, a giant cloud that looks like North America. Where does myth end and astronomy begin? Here is a tour of some of the highlights of the constellation Cygnus the swan.
Dark Matter - Poems of Space - book review
What do poets see when they look at the heavens? And astronomers? Are the experiences completely different or different sides of the same sense of wonder? This collection of poems, edited by a poet and an astrophysicist, is a treasure trove. There's something here for everyone.
Distances in Space
You wouldn't want to know the distance from Boston to San Francisco in inches. And for the same reason, miles aren't very useful in space. After all, it's 26 trillion miles to the next nearest star. So how do astronomers deal with these enormous distances?
Distances in Space - Facts for Kids
How tall are you? How far away is New York City? How far away is the Moon? How about the nearest planet, star, or galaxy? Do we measure them in inches, kilometers or light years? Find out why we choose some measuring units and not others.
Does Sound Travel through Space
Can sound travel in space? The short answer is no, but it's not so simple. We can't hear the sound waves, but the Sun produces them. And then there's the black hole that astronomers have detected endlessly singing a B-flat over tens of thousands of light years.
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