Almost everything about Jupiter is a superlative. The Solar System's biggest planet also has the most moons, and its magnetic influence extends well over a million miles into space. It's appropriately named for the mighty king of the classical Roman gods.
Achievements may be honored with prizes and medals, but few get represented as children's toys. However Lego responded to a proposal to showcase women in space and astronomy by making a Lego set representing four such women and their major contributions. Who were these women?
The Crab Nebula is M1 and the Andromeda Galaxy is M31. Over a hundred deep-sky objects with "M" numbers are listed in the Messier Catalogue. Charles Messier, 18th-century comet hunter, is known today less for his comets and more for his catalog of things that aren't comets.
In the Harry Potter books there are a number of characters that are named for stars and constellations. You can find out more about these stars - and for those that don't know the books, there's a bit of background on the characters.
Each day for six months after the winter solstice, the Sun rises a bit higher in the sky. It reaches the maximum height at the summer solstice, the longest day. Evidence of rituals and festivals at the times of the solstices goes back thousands of years.
Here's the story of Guillaume Le Gentil who went to India to observe the transit of Venus in 1761 and took eleven years to get home again. War and weather conspired to prevent his making observations and illness further delayed his return. Was he the unluckiest astronomer ever?
It's the place where time begins: The Royal Observatory, Greenwich, England. Here you can stand on the Prime Meridian of the world with one foot in the western hemisphere and the other in the eastern hemisphere. It represents over three hundred years of astronomical and maritime history.