We're always adding new features to the BellaOnline sites. Whether you're an old hand who hasn't yet noticed some of the new ones or a newcomer who's still exploring, here is a short guide to help you get the most out of the Astronomy site. (Most of it applies to the other sites as well!)
The most popular articles
If you're curious about what other people are reading, you can see the current "Top Ten". The list is kept updated by BellaOnline's traffic counter and reset each month. There is a link at the bottom of any article or you can click on the Top Ten.
Site editors can also make recommendations. I try to chose a mixture of topical articles, those aimed at young people, help in observing, and a few oddments I think you might like. There is a link next to the "Top Ten", but you can click on Editor's Picks.
When I make a new list I usually write something about the reasons for my choices in the Astronomy Forum in this thread.
The astronomy newsletter is free and without obligation, and giving your email address won't lead to spam. Each newsletter gives a link to the latest astronomy articles, but other content may not be included anywhere else on the site.
There are sign-up buttons in various places on all of the pages and a link to "Past Issues" next to one of them. Or click here to see the archive. If you'd just like to see a sample, this is the newsletter for July 6, 2011.
Games and Quizzes
There are themed games (Hangman, Word Scramble, Word Search) for many of the BellaOnline sites, as well as quizzes. You can look them up using the link in the "Daily Click" box. For more information or direct links to the astronomy content, click here.
Archives and Site Map
If you want to find an old article, the "Archives" lists by title or by date. For browsing, the "Site Map" lists all the subject areas. Both options have links at the bottom of the "Features" box.
Search the site
There is a search box at the top of each page just under the BellaOnline logo. If you search on any of the Astronomy pages, it will show you articles that contain your search word. You will also then be given the option to search other BellaOnline areas.
But please remember that even the whole of BellaOnline is a small site compared with to the whole web! Use just one simple useful word or phrase -- and check the spelling! I've looked at site searches and seen some of the problems. For example, "asteroids" gave no results, but "asteroid" provided three. There were no results for "what is on the surface of the moon" but "the moon" would have given seven results, one of them to an article that says a lot about the Moon's surface. "Cpmet" didn't get anywhere, but "comet" would have.
For links to new articles, news and comment, check out the Astronomy forum. The "Forum" button below the "Features" box will take you there.
And finally, if you have comments, suggestions or questions, the "Contact" button will let you send them to me. It's just below the "Features" box.