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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. Cosmic Father's Day
What sort of tie would you give a cosmic father? What would you feed him? Where might he find challenging mountaineering, make an astounding golf shot or get up an interstellar soccer game? How can you send a special man a genuinely galactic greeting? Here's how.
2. Summer Solstice - St John's Day
Each day for six months after the winter solstice, the Sun rises a bit higher in the sky. It reaches the maximum height at the summer solstice, the longest day. Evidence of rituals and festivals at the times of the solstices goes back thousands of years.
3. Triton – Captive Moon of Neptune
The Solar System's big moons are weird and wonderful, and Triton is no exception. It has ice volcanoes. Its "cantaloupe terrain" is unique in the Solar System. It's unlike the other large moons. And it orbits in the wrong direction, so it didn't form near Neptune. But where did it come from?
4. Henrietta Swan Leavitt
Henrietta Leavitt isn't a well known name, but a century ago she made one of the most important discoveries of 20th century astronomy. Previously, astronomers could only measure distances up to 100 light years, but her work extended that to 10 million light years.
5. Absolute Beginners - Summer Skies
Warm summer nights are a great time to study the sky. Here is a guide to the main summer constellations. You can see all of these things without a telescope, so head outside and look up.
6. Royal Observatory Cape of Good Hope
Why did the British government in 1820 want to build an astronomical observatory eight thousand miles from home? Which astronomers are buried on the premises and which one went home after a year in the "dismal swamp"? Here are some of the stories of the Royal Observatory at the Cape of Good Hope.
7. Cosmonauts - Birth of the Space Age
The starter's pistol for the space race was fired on October 4, 1957. It was in the form of a small highly-polished sphere that orbited the Earth every 98 minutes. This was the Soviet Union's Sputnik, Earth's first artificial satellite. It shook up the United States, and there was more to come.
8. Palomar Observatory
A mile above the California desert stands Palomar Observatory. Its 200-inch mirror was officially impossible to make, but George Ellery Hale's vision inspired a nation in the grip of the Great Depression and it became the jewel in the crown of astronomy for the second half of the twentieth century.
9. Titan Facts for Kids
Saturn's moon Titan is bigger than a planet. It's the only moon with a thick atmosphere. In fact the atmosphere is so smoggy, we can't see the surface. But the Cassini-Huygens mission has found out many of its secrets, including lakes and sand dunes and maybe volcanoes.
10. Moon Madness
How much do people know about our next-door neighbor the Moon? For example, does the full moon drive people crazy? Apparently not - unless maybe they're astronomers trying to observe faint nebulae. Here are ten common moon myths and lunar lapses.
Be sure to visit the Astronomy Archives for all the articles!
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