Almost everything about Jupiter is a superlative. The Solar System's biggest planet also has the most moons, and its magnetic influence extends well over a million miles into space. It's appropriately named for the mighty king of the classical Roman gods.
The Solar System's large moons tend towards the weird and wonderful, and Triton is no exception. It has ice volcanoes, a strange “cantaloupe terrain”, and crazy seasons. It's the only large moon to orbit in the wrong direction, so it didn't form near Neptune. But where did it come from?
Achievements may be honored with prizes and medals, but few get represented as children's toys. However Lego responded to a proposal to showcase women in space and astronomy by making a Lego set representing four such women and their major contributions. Who were these women?
How does the composition of a star affect the temperature? In 1925 a young woman solved this puzzle in her doctoral thesis. Her analysis was a great breakthrough in astrophysics. Otto Struve described it as “the most brilliant Ph.D. thesis ever written in astronomy.”
Through the vision and dedication of Edward Pickering, Harvard College had one of the world's top observatories. Pickering had a secret weapon: a team of women computers. One of them was Mina Fleming who began her employment as a housekeeper and ended it as an astronomer of international repute.
There was once a monastery on the site, but a king built an observatory on the ruins in order to watch the 1769 transit of Venus. It was the place where official time for the British Parliament was set. But also where a murderer was sometimes in attendance when the King walked in the gardens.
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.