Every year has its astronomical events – and its non-events. A non-event may be science that needs more evidence. However it's usually something for which the only “evidence” is in the mind of its creator. Here are five from 2018.
The sky is full of potential triangles. You just need three stars that aren't in a line. We have large triangular asterisms – the Summer, Spring, and Winter Triangles. And did you know we have two triangle constellations? The northern one is Triangulum, and it has a surprisingly long history.
The year 2018 was a good one for astronomers. Mars, asteroids, and the outer Solar System had the spotlight more than once. Gaia is bringing the Milky Way into focus, and Hubble found the most distant star ever seen. Here are my choices for the top astronomy stories of 2018.
The Cassini Mission to Saturn is one of NASA's best known undertakings. For over fourteen years it sent images and data back from the ringed planet and its moons. But who was the Cassini that gave his name to the spacecraft?
Valentine's Day is no assurance that love is in the air. Hearts and flowers aren't guaranteed to come your way. You may or may not get one of the billion valentine cards that are sent each year. But heart shapes are everywhere and anyone can admire them. Here is a cosmic selection for everyone.
February second is Groundhog Day, a day that's a mystery to people outside North America. Even in the USA and Canada, it's more a bit of fun than a holiday. Yet however superficial it is now, it's the offshoot of traditions that began in Europe thousands of years ago.
Most people think of Galileo as the man who is a symbol of the heroic voice of truth against a powerful reactionary Church. However this mythic Galileo is not the one Dava Sobel's book, "Galileo's Daughter", reveals through his faith, his work and his daughter's love.
Solar System moons are named from mythology. Except for Uranus - its moons are named from English literature, primarily Shakespeare. How did this come about and what is the connection with the moons of Saturn?
The day job of Nicolaus Copernicus, the reluctant revolutionary, was canon of a cathedral. The last resting place of this man who turned astronomy on its head was unmarked. How did his student astronomy books help to identify his remains four and a half centuries after his death?
NASA's New Horizons has been to visit Pluto, and we will be learning new things about it for years to come. Meanwhile here's a profile of dwarf planet 134340 Pluto, largest object in the Kuiper Belt and former planet.