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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. 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.
2. 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.
3. Ceres Facts for Kids
Bode's Law predicted a planet between Mars and Jupiter. The Sky Police were looking for it, but Giuseppe Piazzi found it on New Year's Day 1801. Then someone found another one. And another one. We know of hundreds of thousands of asteroids now. Discover Ceres - planet, asteroid and dwarf planet.
4. Buying Astronomy Presents - for Adults
If you have someone interested in astronomy amongst your friends or family, there is a wide range of gift possibilities. Here are some suggestions as to what to look for and where you might find it.
5. Teaching Why We Have Day and Night
Why do we have day and night? For thousands of years most people thought it was because the Sun went around the Earth. That is certainly what it looks like, so how can you explain that day and night happen because the earth spins on its axis? Here are some ideas.
6. Transit of Venus - Captain Cook 1769
How big is the Solar System? 18th century astronomers tried to find out by sending expeditions around the world to measure a transit of Venus. One of these was Captain Cook's voyage to Tahiti. He went under the auspices of the Royal Society, but he carried secret orders from the government.
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. 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. 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.
10. Icarus at the Edge of Time - book review
Icarus flew too close to the Sun with wings of wood and wax. The wax melted and he fell to his death. Brian Greene's Icarus of the future flies too close to a black hole and finds that he should have paid more attention to Einstein.
Be sure to visit the Astronomy Archives for all the articles!
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