Top Ten astronomy Articles

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. Passport to the Universe – film
Can you imagine a trip from our Solar System into the Virgo Supercluster 60 million light years away? Then whizzing home via a shortcut through a black hole? If not, here's good news: the American Museum of Natural History has not only imagined it, but also imaged it, in Passport to the Universe.

2. Octans – the Octant
Octans was one of the southern constellations created by 18th-century French astronomer Nicolas-Louis de Lacaille. He used them to fill the gaps in the southern sky map, naming them for tools of the arts and sciences of his day. An octant was a navigation device that preceded the sextant.

3. Triton – Neptune's Captured Moon
The Solar System's large moons tend towards the weird and wonderful, and Triton is no exception. It has ice volcanoes, a strange “cantaloupe terrain”, and crazy seasons. It's the only large moon to orbit in the wrong direction, so it didn't form near Neptune. But where did it come from?

4. Serpens – a Tour of the Celestial Snake
Snakes were revered in ancient Greece. They represented wisdom, healing and rebirth. The constellation Serpens was included in a 2nd century star catalog, but it's much older than that. Seen through telescopes, it's rich in deep sky objects.

5. Serpens and Ophiuchus - Ancient Tales
What is the link between two ancient constellations and modern medicine? According to one myth, how did Ophiuchus end up in the sky? Why would a healer be associated with a snake?

6. Ophiuchus – the Tour
Ophiuchus the Snake Bearer represents the healer Asclepius who was a god of healing in classical times. He was associated with snakes – symbols of wisdom and regeneration – and in the sky he's entwined with Serpens.

7. Apollo Program – Quiz
2019 was the 50th anniversary of the first Moon landing. How many manned missions went to the Moon? Everybody knows who the first man on the Moon was – but who was the last one? What was a falcon feather doing on the Moon? Try the quiz and find out.

8. What Is a Nebula
Nebulae are titanic clouds of gas and dust – celestial gossamer in the spaces between the stars. They're stellar nurseries, stellar graveyards and dark constellations. Some of their mysteries have been penetrated by infrared telescopes, but the cloaking dust still keeps some secrets.

9. Our Sun – Quiz
The Solar System was made from the leftovers of the formation of the Sun. How much do you know about the star that makes life on Earth possible? Try the quiz.

10. Jupiter the Giant Planet
Almost everything about Jupiter is a superlative. The Solar System's biggest planet also has the most moons, and its magnetic influence extends well over a million miles into space. It's appropriately named for the mighty king of the classical Roman gods.

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

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