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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. Smallest Star in the Universe
No one could possibly say that a star is the smallest one in the whole Universe. But the smallest known star is 2MASS J05233822-1403022, which is a pretty big name for a star that's about the size of Saturn. Could there be even smaller ones as yet unknown?
2. Heavens-Above – website
You can see the International Space Station from where you live. But when and from which direction? What are the two bright stars you've seen after sunset? What's an Iridium flare? The website Heavens-Above is a tool for beginners and experienced observers to answer questions like this.
3. 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.
4. Cosmic Father's Day
What sort of tie would you give a cosmic father? What would you feed him? Where might he find challenging mountaineering, make an astounding golf shot or get up an interstellar soccer game? How can you send a special man a genuinely galactic greeting? Here's how.
5. Cosmic 4th of July
What links the USA's Independence Day holiday, the Crab Nebula and NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft? What links the American War of Independence with the planet Uranus? And what is the Fireworks Galaxy? Here's the story.
6. 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.
7. Heavenly Aviaries - Bird Constellations
The night sky is full of starry birds. Here is a selection, ranging from the majestic swan to the exotic birds of the southern skies: the peacock, bird of paradise and toucan. There is also an emu whose image appears not in the stars, but in the dark nebulae.
8. Kuiper Belt - Facts for Kids
Pluto's not the last planet, it's the first Kuiper Belt Object. The Kuiper Belt is made up of millions of icy bits left over from the beginning of the Solar System. It starts at 30 AU - that's 30 times farther from the Sun than the Earth. From there it stretches for another 2 billion miles!
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.
10. Halley's Comet
Every 75 years or so a very special member of the Solar System swoops close to the Sun, becoming visible in our skies like a cosmic ghost. Read about Halley’s Comet, the most famous comet of all.
Be sure to visit the Astronomy Archives for all the articles!
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