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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. Astronomy April Fools
Mercury has a moon? The Jovian-Plutonian Gravitational Effect will give you a floating feeling? The Space Station has an alien visitor? Virgin Galactic has bought Pluto and has plans for getting it reinstated as a planet? Nope. These are a examples of April Fool hoaxes and jokes.
2. Titan Facts for Kids
Saturn's moon Titan is bigger than a planet. It's the only moon with a thick atmosphere. In fact the atmosphere is so smoggy, we can't see the surface. But the Cassini-Huygens mission has found out many of its secrets, including lakes and sand dunes and maybe volcanoes.
3. Quasar Facts for Kids
Quasars are the brightest and most distant objects in the universe. And when we see them we are looking into the past, to a time even before our Sun and Solar System existed.
4. 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!
5. Nebulae - Ten Facts for Kids
Nebulas 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.
6. Father Hell - Astronomer
The Moon's Hell crater sounds like the last place a space tourist would ever want to visit. But it's named for 18th century astronomer Father Maximilian Hell, director of the Vienna Observatory. He observed the 1769 Venus transit from Norway's far north, surviving the cold by adopting Sami dress.
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. Milky Way - Facts for Kids
We live in the Milky Way galaxy. When we look up at the sky all the stars we see are part of the Milky Way. But did you know that most of the Galaxy is made of mysterious, invisible dark matter and that there’s an even darker secret at its heart?
9. Titan - Planet-sized Moon of Saturn
Titan was a mystery for three and a half centuries. It's a giant moon shrouded in impenetrable clouds, and has only recently begun to share its secrets. Why do scientists say it's like Earth? Is it time to book a vacation to visit the lakes and mountains of Titan?
10. Teaching Moon Phases and Eclipses
Why does the Moon seem to change shape? If eclipses happen when the Sun, Moon and Earth are all lined up, why don't they happen every month? If you're an educator, you may need to understand why and explain it to children. Here are some online resources to help you out.
Be sure to visit the Astronomy Archives for all the articles!
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