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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. Voyager 1 – Gas Giants and a Last Look Homeward
When a rare planetary alignment opened up the outer Solar System, Voyager 1 was sent forth. It observed the gas giants Jupiter and Saturn and their moons. At nearly 4 billion miles from the Sun, the probe turned and took one last picture of home before continuing its journey to the stars.
2. 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.
3. 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!
4. 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.
5. Distances in Space - Facts for Kids
How tall are you? How far away is New York City? How far away is the Moon? How about the nearest planet, star, or galaxy? Do we measure them in inches, kilometers or light years? Find out why we choose some measuring units and not others.
6. Does Sound Travel through Space
Can sound travel in space? The short answer is no, but it's not so simple. We can't hear the sound waves, but the Sun produces them. And then there's the black hole that astronomers have detected endlessly singing a B-flat over tens of thousands of light years.
7. Packing for Mars - book review
If you think being an astronaut is a glamorous occupation, Mary Roach's book “Packing for Mars” will bring you down to Earth. Playing in free-fall looks like fun, but without gravity, eating, hygiene and dealing with waste are not fun. Here's the lowdown. Still want to go to Mars?
8. Neptune Facts for Kids
Far beyond Uranus is another blue planet, one named for the Greek sea god. It could well have been named for a god of winds as it's the windiest place in the Solar System. Find out more about Neptune, the planet that was discovered using math.
9. Oort Cloud - Facts for Kids
Where do comets come from? The Oort Cloud is home to a trillion comets at the edge of the Solar System, nearly half way to the next star. Sometimes they get kicked out and sometimes they come to visit the inner Solar System.
10. Halley's Comet for Kids
It visits every 75 years or so, appearing like a celestial ghost in our skies. In the past it has been a bad omen and scary object, but last time it came it was a big event around the world. What is it? Halley's Comet, the most famous comet of all.
Be sure to visit the Astronomy Archives for all the articles!
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