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g Astronomy Site

BellaOnline's Astronomy Editor

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 T O P   T E N  

Here are the top ten articles for the Astronomy Site! These rankings are live and get reset at the beginning of each month, so check back often to see what your fellow visitors are most interested in!

1. Five Astronomical Non-events 2016
The astronomical delights of 2016 are wonderful discoveries and beautiful heavenly events. Not so delightful are the flaky stories and shaky science and “intelligent aliens” as the answer to any mystery. Here's my selection of five such non-events from 2016.

2. Top Ten Astronomy Stories 2016
Nothing in astronomy in 2016 topped the February announcement that the LIGO collaboration had finally detected gravitational waves, ripples in space-time predicted by Einstein. However this wasn't the only story in astronomy for 2016, and they range from the Solar System to a distant supercluster.

3. Volans Flies the Southern Skies
Volans (the Flying Fish) flees from its predator Dorado (the Mahi Mahi) across the southern sky. They're two of the southern hemisphere constellations that Flemish astronomer Petrus Plancius (1552-1622) created to fill in parts of the sky not visible to northern astronomers.

4. Black Moon – Is That a Thing ?
Followers of social media may know what a “black moon” is. It has been linked to dramatic predictions of doom and gloom. However it's not an astronomical term. So what is a black moon and would we survive it?

5. Solstice to New Year - Quiz
The winter solstice, winter constellations, Christmas, dark and cold, exploration, and famous birthdays. Here's a little quiz for you that picks out some highlights in the period from the solstice through New Year's Day.

6. Johannes Kepler - His Life
Johannes Kepler gave the first accurate description of the Solar System. As he did his work, he struggled with poverty, insecurity and bereavement in troubled times. Religion and warfare were tearing Europe apart, but Kepler never gave up his quest to understand the cosmos.

7. M1 Crab Nebula
Messier's catalog of nebulous objects begins with M1 the Crab Nebula. In 18th-century telescopes it was just a fuzzy patch, yet imaged by the Hubble Space Telescope, it's fascinating and intricate. But what is it? Why is it called the Crab Nebula? And what amazing secret does it hide?

8. Winter Solstice
For six months, each day has been shorter than the last, the Sun lower in the sky. Will it disappear altogether and leave the people bereft in the dark cold winter? The winter solstice is the shortest day of the year and is associated with more festivals than any other astronomical event.

9. ABC of Astronomy – B Is for Bok Globule
B is for Bok globule, a kind of dark nebula studied by Bart Bok. B is for Bayer who invented a handy system of star designations beginning with a Greek letter. And B is for Baily's beads. You won't find them in a jewelry shop, but you might see them in a solar eclipse, as Francis Baily did.

10. ABC of Astronomy – D Is for Double Star
We're used to having just one Sun, so the planet Tatooine in George Lucas's Star Wars seems exotic with its double sun. Yet at least half the stars we can see in the sky are doubles. But a "double star" can be a true binary or just an optical double, which is a chance alignment of unrelated stars.



Be sure to visit the Astronomy Archives for all the articles!



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Volans Flies the Southern Skies

Five Astronomical Non-events 2016

Top Ten Astronomy Stories 2016

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