Comets & Asteroids
These are leftovers when the larger Solar System bodies formed from a cloud of gas and dust. They occasionally attract our attention when they come near to Earth.
Asteroid Facts for Kids
Observers used to call them vermin of the skies. Asteroids weren´t 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.
Ceres Facts for Kids
Bode´s 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.
Christmas in the Skies
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.
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.
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.
Halley didn´t 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?
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.
Halley´s Comet for Kids
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? Halley´s Comet, the most famous comet of all. Here´s an updated article for you.
Meteor or Meteorite & Other Posers
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
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?
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.
The Oort Cloud - Facts for Kids
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.
What´s in a name
Things aren´t always what they seem. Many discoveries aren´t named for - or by - their discoverers. Halley didn´t discover Comet Halley. Kuiper said the Kuiper Belt didn´t exist. The Herschels called Uranus "the Georgian planet" after George III of England, but no one else did.
Who Let the Dogs out? Astronomy Homepage | Editor's Picks Articles | Top Ten Articles | Astronomy Site Map
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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