Top Ten astronomy Articles

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 and Space 2019 – Highlights
We've had another year of exploration and discoveries, achievements and celestial delights, celebrations and farewells. Here are my choices of notable events in astronomy and space in 2019.

2. Top Ten Astronomy Stories of 2019
2019 was a year of historic firsts – it saw the first landing on the far side of the Moon, a flyby of the most distant Kuiper Belt object yet studied, the first known interstellar comet and an image of a black hole.

3. Astro Advent 2019 – Days 13-24
A mysterious purple arc across the sky, a shower of meteors, a rare transit, a Christmas comet – and more – complete the astro countdown to Christmas. Here are the days from mid-Advent to Christmas Eve on the Bellaonline Astronomy Forum.

4. Astro Advent 2019 – Days 1-12
Northern lights, space probes, astronomers, astronauts, stars, planets and other interesting things in space and astronomy. They're in the astro countdown to Christmas on the Bellaonline Astronomy Forum.

5. Great Moon Hoax
The Edinburgh Journal of Science had printed an amazing report in 1835, and The Sun newspaper in New York revealed it the American public. Sir John Herschel had built a great telescope in South Africa and with it discovered not only life on the Moon, but a civilization. (Or had he?)

6. 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.

7. Names for Charon
When New Horizons made its historic fly-by of Pluto in 2015, it wasn't only Pluto that was surprising. Pluto's moon Charon also turned out to be complex and interesting. This meant names were needed for Charon's surface features too. A dozen have been approved, and exploration is the big theme.

8. When Does the New Year Begin
Imagine midnight on December 31 – fireworks, friendship and celebration greet a new year. But only if you follow the Gregorian calendar. In the past, a year often didn't start on January 1, and for nearly two billion people it still doesn't. So when does a new year begin?

9. Telescopium and Microscopium
Nicholas-Louis de Lacaille invented over a dozen constellations to fill gaps in the southern sky map. Instead of looking to classical mythology, he celebrated the instruments of the Enlightenment. Two small faint constellations represent extremes of visual aids – the telescope and the microscope.

10. Beagle 2 – Lost and Found
On Christmas day 2003 a British-European space probe called Beagle 2 was lost on Mars and never heard from. It was not only small, but possibly broken and scattered while attempting to land. Since Mars is quite big, it took eleven years to find the little lander, and there were some surprises.

Be sure to visit the Astronomy Archives for all the articles!

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