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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!
Halloween falls midway between an equinox and a solstice. In the ancient Celtic world it was the new year's eve and start of winter - time to prepare for survival in the darkening days. But also a time when the boundary between our world and the otherworld weakened. Who knew what might cross it?
2. Absolute Beginners - Autumn Skies
As the long days of summer slip away and the skies darken earlier, the first stars of autumn appear. The centerpiece is the Great Square of Pegasus. It's the key to other autumn sights, including the most distant object you can see without a telescope - it's a billion billion miles away.
3. Hurtigruten - Seeing the Northern Lights
What would it be like to take an astronomy tour on the Hurtigruten? Here is an account of some of the highlights of a trip around the coast of Norway in search of the northern lights. We heard stories of the constellations and then found them in the sky. And one night we saw the aurora dancing.
4. Cosmic Ghosts Ghouls and Vampires
Astronomers use colorful language for cosmic objects. But unlike ghosts, ghouls and vampires in horror stories, the cosmic ones aren't 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 Sun's ghost.
5. 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.
6. Herschel Museum of Astronomy
In 1781 William Herschel was the first person in history to discover a new planet. He was observing in the back garden of his home in Bath, England. The house where history was made is a museum and its new Caroline Lucretia Gallery is named for William's sister, the first woman to discover a comet.
7. 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?
8. Naming Planets
From ancient times to the present, fifteen Solar System objects have been called planets. But there are only eight planets now. Find out what happened to the other seven and how the planets got their names.
9. 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.
10. Young Astronomers Reveal the Universe
In the film Deep Impact a teenage astronomer discovers a comet with a small telescope. In reality, teenage astronomers are more likely to make their discoveries in front of a computer - finding supernovae, pulsars, asteroids. The youngest discoverer was ten. Let them inspire you.
Be sure to visit the Astronomy Archives for all the articles!
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