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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. Enceladus Facts for Kids
Enceladus is a small moon of Saturn that seems to be frozen. It's the coldest moon in Saturn's system because its bright surface reflects almost all of the sunlight that hits it. But under the ice is a liquid ocean and scientists wonder if there might be life there.
2. 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?
Easter Island and a distant dwarf planet what do they have in common? The answer is Makemake the creator god in the Rapa Nui mythology of Easter Island. How did his name come to be given to a small frozen body seven billion kilometers (four billion miles) from the Sun?
4. Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2016
The Sun as you've never before seen it. A twilight aurora, lunar landscapes, and galaxies far far away. There's all that and more in the Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2016 exhibition at the Royal Observatory Greenwich.
5. Charles Messier Comet Ferret
The Crab Nebula is M1 and the Andromeda Galaxy is M31. Over a hundred deep-sky objects with "M" numbers are listed in the Messier Catalogue. Charles Messier, 18th-century comet hunter, is known today less for his comets and more for his catalog of things that aren't comets.
6. Enceladus 10 Amazing Facts
Saturn's moon Enceladus is a strange one. There are eruptions of cold volcanoes. This adds snow to a surface so bright it reflects 99% of the Sun's light, and supplies particles to maintain one of Saturn's rings. And does the moon harbor life in the salty ocean that lies under the ice?
7. Firsts in Space Quiz
We walked on the Moon. Rovers explore Mars. The International Space Station has been continuously inhabited since 2000. We're in contact with the world and the cosmos via satellite. We take it for granted, but there had to be a first time for everything. How many of these space firsts do you know?
In the darkness of space we see the part of the Moon that the Sun illuminates. But sometimes there is a bright crescent Moon with a dark shadow filling in the rest of the Moon's face. What lets us see the Moon's night side, and how might the phenomenon detect life on distant worlds?
9. 10 Amazing Facts about Saturn's Moons
Saturn lies in the outer Solar System, ten times farther away from the Sun than Earth is. It's best known for its fabulous ring system, but it also has an amazing system of moons including ring shepherds and the smallest natural round body in the Solar System.
10. 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?
Be sure to visit the Astronomy Archives for all the articles!
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