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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. Robert Hooke - England's Leonardo
In the 17th century Robert Hooke produced a revolutionary bestseller, helped rebuild London after the Great Fire, and was a renowned experimenter, inventor, musician and artist. Hooke contributed to astronomy, geology, structural engineering and chemistry. He was 'England's Leonardo'.
2. Blood Moons and Lunar Tetrads
A tetrad of Blood Moons sounds very dramatic. It could even be the title of a fantasy novel. But what is a “Blood Moon”? What is a lunar tetrad? And is it as apocalyptic as it sounds? Have a look.
3. Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2015
Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2015. The judges' job: from over 2700 entries, get a shortlist of 138, choose 32 winners in 11 categories, and finally, an overall winner. Surprise! All the judges agreed wholeheartedly on the overall winner, and when you see it, I think you'll see why.
4. Hyperion – Saturn's Weird Wobbly Moon
Saturn has lots of moons – more than five dozen of them with confirmed orbits. They are remarkable in many ways, but perhaps the strangest one is the misshapen and unpredictable Hyperion.
One planet in the Solar System dominates the others, so it's fitting that it's named for Jupiter, the king of the Roman gods. Jupiter has moons galore and monster storms, and it spins so fast that its day is only ten hours long.
6. Isaac Newton - His Life
Isaac Newton's thinking about gravitation really was stimulated by seeing an apple fall, but not on his head! Find out more about the troubled child and and indifferent school pupil who became a dominant figure in science, and still is nearly three hundred years after his death.
7. Mary Somerville and the World of Science – book
Mary Somerville was an exceptional individual. Although self-educated and - as a woman - barred from membership in scientific societies, her books sold well and were used as textbooks for many decades. Allan Chapman relates her achievements to the context of 19th century science in Britain.
8. Mars Myths – Would You Believe Them
Which famous astronomer kept seeing canals on Mars, even when they couldn't be seen with the world's biggest telescope? What was the tragic outcome of a fictional invasion from Mars? Is NASA hiding evidence of an ancient Martian civilization? Does Mars ever look as big as a full Moon?
9. ABC of Astronomy – E Is for Ecliptic
Star maps show you where the ecliptic is. That's because it's where you find the planets and the zodiac constellations. But what is the ecliptic plane on which the planets orbit? What shape are their orbits, and what do we mean by an eccentric orbit?
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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