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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.
Camelopardalis the Giraffe
What do you know about the celestial giraffe Camelopardalis? Probably not much. It has no bright stars. Since it was invented long after the ancient Greeks, it has no folklore. But it has a runaway star, a supernova discovered by a child, and a galaxy from when the Universe was just a toddler.
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?
Canis Major - the Greater Dog
In a sky full of gods, heroes and wronged women, there are also four dogs. We have Canis Minor and the two dogs of Canes Venatici, but Canis Major is definitely top dog. It's a prominent constellation that has represented a dog from early Greek times.
Canis Minor – the Lesser Dog
Canis Minor is one of Orion's hunting dogs. It trots along behind its master unperturbed by the unicorn (Monoceros), and leaving the hare (Lepus) to the greater dog (Canis Major) to chase. It's a small constellation with not much more to offer than one bright star, but it has a long history.
Caroline Herschel was an intelligent young woman trapped in domestic servitude by her mother. Her brother William rescued her and trained her as a singer. After he discovered the planet Uranus, the two of them ended up forming a great partnership whose work revolutionized the study of astronomy.
Carrington Event – Biggest Solar Storm on Record
Dazzling aurorae filled the skies. Birds thought it was morning, people thought the world was ending. The telegraph didn't work. But strangely, sometimes the telegraph operators could send messages without a power supply. This was the Carrington Event, the biggest solar storm ever recorded.
Carrying the Fire - Book Review
What was it like to be one-third of the Apollo 11 crew? Michael Collins, the man in the command module that didn't land on the Moon, tells a fascinating story of astronaut training and space travel. Originally published in 1974, there was a Fortieth Anniversary edition of Carrying the Fire in 2009.
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