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Comets & Asteroids

Articles about these leftovers from forming the larger Solar System bodies out of a cloud of gas and dust. They attract our attention if they come too near Earth.

Asteroid Facts for Kids star
Observers used to call them vermin of the skies. Asteroids werenīt interesting and their streaks ruined sky photos. But not any more! We know that they can tell us about the early Solar System, one of them may have meant the end of the dinosaurs, and there could be more heading our way.

Astrofest 2014 star
“The Universe comes to London,” read the banner on the courtyard wall of the Kensington Conference and Events Centre. Images of the Universe, people who study it, ideas about how it works, and equipment for seeing it occupied the center for the two days of European Astrofest 2014.

Ceres Facts for Kids star
Bodeīs Law predicted a planet between Mars and Jupiter. The Sky Police were looking for it, but Giuseppe Piazzi found it. Then someone found another one. And another one. We know of hundreds of thousands of asteroids now. Discover Ceres - planet, asteroid and dwarf planet.

Chemical Cosmos - book review star
"The Chemical Cosmos: A Guided Tour" is an astronomy book about chemistry - or perhaps a chemistry book about astronomy. Itīs an engrossing guided tour that will take you from the baby Universe through the first stars, the formation of solar systems and to our search for the origins of life.

Christmas in the Skies star
Christmas is a special day with a magic of its own. A Christmas eclipse is a great treat and centuries ago a long-awaited comet finally showed up on Christmas day. On the other hand, imagine spending the holidays a quarter of a million miles from home as the crew of Apollo 8 did.

Comets star
Ill omens, objects of fascination, bringers of life, key to the ancient history of the Solar System. Comets are all of these things. Find out more about these small Solar System bodies.

Cosmic Collisions star
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.

Dwarf Planet Tour for Kids star
After all the fuss about Pluto, everybody knows that itīs a dwarf planet now. But itīs only one of five. Hereīs a mini tour of all five, including the one where a heatwave is the temperature of Antarctica, the one shaped like an egg, and one whose year is over 500 Earth years long. All aboard!

Dwarf Planets - a Tour star
Join the dwarf planet tour. It will take you so far away that the Sun seems to be no more than another bright star. Youīll see a dwarf planet the shape of an American football, one whose a month is the same length as its day, and the one that upset the fans of Pluto.

Edmond Halley star
Halley didnīt discover a comet, but he did research and published papers in astronomy and many other fields. Russian Czar Peter the Great liked him as a dining and drinking companion and King William III put this civilian in charge of a Royal Navy ship. But how did he get a comet named for him?

Galactic Winter Games star
Welcome to the Galactic Winter Games, a starry tribute to Earthīs Winter Olympic Games. Itīs a tour of some really cool cosmic sights – as well as some hot ones, such as one of the biggest explosions in the Universe.

Gemini - the Celestial Twins star
Gemini. A story of the love and loyalty of two brothers parted only by death. Includes a star thatīs actually a system of six stars, and a giant star that can help us measure distances in space. Contains an object that completely baffled astronomers for twenty years.

Halley's Comet star
Every 75 years or so a very special member of the Solar System swoops close to the Sun, becoming visible in our skies like a cosmic ghost. Read about Halley’s Comet, the most famous comet of all.

Halleyīs Comet for Kids star
It visits every 75 years or so, appearing like a celestial ghost in our skies. In the past it has been a bad omen and scary object, but last time it came it was a big event around the world. What is it? Halleyīs Comet, the most famous comet of all. Hereīs an updated article for you.

Meteor or Meteorite & Other Posers star
What's the difference between a meteor, a meteorite and a meteoroid? Is one of them the same as a shooting star? And what about asteroids and planetoids - which one is a minor planet? If any of these terms have puzzled you, here is a guide to help you out.

Meteor Shower - The Perseids star
When August comes around, the best sky show of the year is also on its way. The Perseids are an annual meteor shower. What's it all about and how can you see it?

Naming Asteroids star
How do asteroids get their names? You have to discover an asteroid to name it, but you still can't name it after yourself or your cat. You also can't buy the naming right, though someone might give theirs to you.

Rose Center and Hayden Planetarium star
One of the worldīs leading planetariums, located in one of the worldīs premier museums in one of the worldīs great cities. Itīs the Hayden Planetarium in New York City. The old Hayden Planetarium was razed in 1997, to many peopleīs sorrow. But the new one opened in 2000 and it is stunning.

Rosetta the Comet Chaser star
The climax of an amazing space mission is set for summer 2014. Rosetta, the European Space Agency (ESA) spacecraft, has already traveled for ten years and billions of miles in order to rendezvous with a comet, accompany it as it moves into the inner Solar System, and deploy a lander.

The Oort Cloud - Facts for Kids star
Where do comets come from? The Oort Cloud is home to a trillion comets at the edge of the Solar System, nearly half way to the next star. Sometimes they get kicked out and sometimes they come to visit the inner Solar System.

Water on the Moon star
Everybody had known for a long time that the Moon was bone dry. In the nineties probes found some evidence of water. After a big announcement of water on the Moon, it went back again to being described as dry. Whatīs the story in the 21st century?

Whatīs in a Name star
Things arenīt always what they seem. Many discoveries arenīt named for - or by - their discoverers. Halley didnīt discover Comet Halley. Kuiper said the Kuiper Belt didnīt exist. The Herschels called Uranus "the Georgian planet" after George III of England, but no one else did.

Who Let the Dogs out? star
Someone must have left the door open, because the skies are full of dogs. You can see the dogs of Orion and the hunting dogs of the shepherd Bootes in pursuit of the Great Bear. There is also the Running Dog Nebula and the memory of poor Laika, the first cosmonaut, who perished in space.

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Red Dwarfs - Ten Facts for Kids

Life and Death of the Sun

Triton – Captive Moon of Neptune

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