Stars are born, we see their light in the sky, and they die. Find out about the patterns of stars we see, about the stars themselves and the galaxies they inhabit.
Annie Jump Cannon
Oh! Be a fine girl (guy)--kiss me! This is the traditional mnemonic for the way stars are classified: OBAFGKM. Find out about the astronomer and suffragette who devised the system and who said that astronomical spectroscopy made it "almost as if the distant stars had acquired speech."
Did you know there are 88 official constellations? Learn what they are and how to find them. On cloudy nights you can read the ancient myths and legends that tell their exciting stories.
Cosmic Ghosts, Ghouls and Vampires
Astronomers use colorful language for cosmic objects. But unlike ghosts, ghouls and vampires in horror stories, the cosmic ones arenīt scary late at night. Here are tales of the birth, evolution and death of stars, a blinking demon and a star that, at Halloween, seems like the Sunīs ghost.
The International Astronomical Union is the official body in charge of naming celestial objects. But how do they name stars? Do all the stars have names? Can you buy a star name for a friend? Find out here.
Pleiades - the Seven Sisters
The Pleiades - the Seven Sisters - were shown in star catalogs six thousand years ago. Visible from northern and southern hemispheres, probably every culture that ever watched the sky had a name for them. But what is this group of stars? And are there actually seven of them?
Polaris - 10 Fascinating Facts
Today we travel paved roads using good maps or a GPS system to find the way. Imagine sailing uncharted waters or journeying through trackless deserts without such help. In the northern hemisphere one of the greatest of navigational aids has for nearly two thousand years been the north star Polaris.
If stars aren't white, why isn't the night sky more colorful? If it's 93 million miles to the Sun, how many times farther away is the next nearest star? Will the Sun become a black hole and suck us in? Here's a short explanation of some common misconceptions about the stars.
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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