Ultra-cool Dwarf and the Seven Planets
When a planet was first discovered around an alien sun in 1995, it was big news. Now we know thousands of them, so it takes something special to get into the news. In February 2017 one team hit the jackpot: a star with seven Earth-sized planets, three of them in the habitable zone.
Google doodles are little drawings and animations that incorporate the Google name into a presentation of a person or event of note. Here are five doodles with an astronomy theme, including asteroids, a lunar eclipse and how the speed of light was calculated by observing Jupiter and Io.
European Astrofest 2017
It was the 25th Astrofest – and how things have changed since the first one! No one knew then if other stars had planets. Pluto was still a planet and its discoverer Clyde Tombaugh was still alive. The Rosetta mission was in the very early planning stages, and Cassini-Huygens hadn't been launched.
The women of Harvard Observatory worked hard for their meager wages. And the director wanted data processed, not theoretical work. Yet some of them made significant discoveries. One of the least known, but considered by some professional astronomers to be the most able, was Antonia Maury.
You've made it through the winter and watched the food stores diminish. But the days are getting longer and green shoots are appearing. Spring is on the way. The festivals of the vernal equinox emphasize rebirth and renewal. In many cultures the equinox is also the New Year.
Photography and the Birth of Astrophysics
Saturn's rings, spiral galaxies, solar flares. Astrophotography has shown us some wonderful images, but it's more than pretty pictures. It has allowed us to discover objects too dim for the human eye to see. Partnered with spectroscopy, it moved astronomy from mapping to understanding the stars.
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