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Here are the Editor's Picks articles for the Astronomy Site! These are the top ten articles that your Astronomy Editor feels are most important for you to read. Enjoy!
1. Astronomical Valentines
Valentine's Day. Is it a romantic day or one invented by greeting card companies and sellers of luxury goods? It certainly isn't an astronomical holiday, but whatever your view of the day, you can enjoy this selection of cosmic valentines.
2. Copernicus - the Revolution
In the 16th century everyone knew that Earth was the center of the cosmos. But this made it impossible to predict the motions of heavenly bodies, even if they moved in elaborate circles within circles. Copernicus turned the idea on its head and put the Sun at the center. A revolution had begun!
3. Aurorae - Polar Light Shows
There's a glow on the northern horizon. The Sun set hours ago and there are no city lights there. What's up? You could be seeing nature's great polar light show - an aurora. With solar activity on the rise, you might not have to go to the far north (or south) to see one.
4. Night Sky Olympic Tribute
Planet Earth presents a grand international sporting spectacular every four years, the Olympic Games. Even if you're not fond of sports, it's a majestic pageant and a set of unfolding dramas that a scriptwriter couldn't hope to emulate. Here is my astronomical tribute to this magnificent saga.
5. Heavenly Aviaries - Bird Constellations
The night sky is full of starry birds. Here is a selection, ranging from the majestic swan to the exotic birds of the southern skies: the peacock, bird of paradise and toucan. There is also an emu whose image appears not in the stars, but in the dark nebulae.
6. Herschel Partnership - for Kids
The Herschels were the greatest astronomical family of all time. A partnership of two brothers and a sister built the best telescopes of their time, and with those telescopes mapped the deep sky. They changed the way astronomers understood the heavens.
7. Galaxy Facts for Kids
The Milky Way used to be the only galaxy people knew. Big telescopes changed that. Now we know there are billions of them. They come in different sizes and shapes and have some surprises for us.
8. Could you survive unprotected in space?
Movies show people being expelled unprotected into space - they explode, they freeze instantly, their blood boils. It's not a pretty sight. Would this actually happen? Not necessarily, but I wouldn't recommend trying it out.
9. Water on the Moon
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. What's the story in the 21st century?
10. Literary Moons of Uranus
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?
Be sure to visit the Astronomy Archives for all the articles!
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