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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. Phantom Planets and Moons
Moons of Venus and Mercury? An unknown planet nearer the Sun than Mercury? Astronomers can misinterpret what they see, too. Happily, other observers, better instruments and new theoretical understandings can put it right. Here are some phantom objects that many astronomers once thought existed.
2. Lacaille's Skies - Sciences
There's a curious set of constellations in the southern skies. They don't represent exotic animals, heroic deeds or the foibles of ancient deities. They're composed of dim and nameless stars. Find out why Abbe Lacaille invented them, and take a quick tour.
3. Celestial Sleuth – book review
A "celestial sleuth" solves puzzles in art, history and literature using astronomy. Why did Munch have a blood-red sky in "The Scream"? How did British sentries miss Paul Revere rowing across Boston Harbour under a full Moon? Which meteor shower did the characters in James Joyce's "Ulysses" see?
4. 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.
5. Saturn's Moons – Facts for Kids
Everybody recognizes Saturn's rings, but that isn't all that orbits the planet. There are shepherd moons, a moon with cold volcanoes erupting, a planet-sized moon, and more. It took nearly two hundred years for the first seven known moons to get names.
6. 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!
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. Nicolas-Louis de Lacaille
Nicolas-Louis de Lacaille (1713-1762) was one of astronomy's greats. He surveyed nearly 10,000 stars in the southern hemisphere and invented fourteen new constellations still in use today. He was always thoughtful in dealing with others, but he really preferred the stars to people.
10. John Herschel
John Herschel was the son of William Herschel, discoverer of the planet Uranus. But he earned his own reputation as an astronomer, mathematician, chemist, translator, artist, writer, and pioneer of photography. When he died he was laid to rest in Westminster Abbey near Sir Isaac Newton.
Be sure to visit the Astronomy Archives for all the articles!
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