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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. How the Sun Will Die - Facts for Kids
The Sun was born in a nebula five billion years ago. It's going to keep going for another few billion years, but it won't last forever. Here's the story of what happens to a sunlike star when it runs out of fuel. And some of it is very strange.
2. 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.
3. Mizar and Alcor – Horse and Rider
The Big Dipper is part of the constellation Ursa Major. It's probably the best known item in the night sky after the Moon. More people could pick out its seven stars than could locate the Seven Sisters, the Pleiades. But are there only seven stars in the Big Dipper? What about the Horse and Rider?
4. 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?
5. Eris - Dwarf Planet
In a tilted orbit in the scattered disk, it shook up the traditional Solar System. Was it bigger than Pluto, and therefore a planet? No, both of them ended up as dwarf planets. Eris – named for the Greek goddess of discord – was an apt name for an object whose discovery started so many arguments.
6. Maria Mitchell
Maria Mitchell was a true pioneer woman. She didn't brave a physical wilderness. Hers was the harder job of pioneering higher education for women. She was the first American woman to discover a comet, the first to be elected to scientific societies and the first woman professor of astronomy.
7. Does Sound Travel through Space
Can sound travel in space? The short answer is no, but it's not so simple. The Sun produces sound waves we can't hear. And then there's a black hole that astronomers have detected endlessly singing a B-flat over tens of thousands of light years.
8. The Starry Crowns – Corona Australis
A wreath, a crown, a wheel of torment, a boomerang. The constellation Corona Australis has represented them all in different traditions. Its stars are dim, but its stories are vivid.
9. Nebulae - Ten Facts for Kids
Nebulae are great clouds of gas and dust in the spaces between the stars. Some of them are made from dying stars. Others are the nurseries for new stars. Here are ten facts about these surprising objects.
10. Four Historic Eclipses
An empire lost, an empire saved, lives lost, lives saved. Read about some unexpected outcomes of solar and lunar eclipses.
Be sure to visit the Astronomy Archives for all the articles!
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