Astronomy

Mona Evans

Three beautiful planets - Mars, Jupiter and Saturn - are all visible to the unaided eye. If you have binoculars or a telescope, you can also see some of the moons and other features. Here's a beginner's look at the planets which lie beyond Earth.

Mona Evans

When Ceres was discovered in 1801, astronomers assumed it was a planet. But when many more of these bodies were found, they were all finally listed as asteroids. In 2006 Ceres became the only asteroid also to be listed as a dwarf planet.

Mona Evans

The constellation Lepus represents a hare, an animal related to rabbits. It's a very old constellation. Nearly 2000 years ago the astronomer Ptolemy included it in his list of 48 constellations.

Mona Evans

The Solar System's large moons tend towards the weird and wonderful, and Triton is no exception. It has ice volcanoes, a strange “cantaloupe terrain”, and crazy seasons. It's the only large moon to orbit in the wrong direction, so it didn't form near Neptune. But where did it come from?

Mona Evans

Mars has no little green men, but it's a fascinating place. It has a mountain three times the height of Everest and a deep valley that dwarfs the Grand Canyon. Although Mars has no liquid water on the surface, if the southern polar icecap melted, it could cover the planet 36 feet deep in water.

Mona Evans

Achievements may be honored with prizes and medals, but few get represented as children's toys. However Lego responded to a proposal to showcase women in space and astronomy by making a Lego set representing four such women and their major contributions. Who were these women?

Mona Evans

The Crab Nebula is M1 and the Andromeda Galaxy is M31. Over a hundred deep-sky objects with "M" numbers are listed in the Messier Catalogue. Charles Messier, 18th-century comet hunter, is known today less for his comets and more for his catalog of things that aren't comets.

Mona Evans

The starter's pistol for the space race was fired on October 4, 1957. It was in the form of a small highly-polished sphere that orbited the Earth every 98 minutes. This was the Soviet Union's Sputnik, Earth's first artificial satellite. It shook up the United States, and there was more to come.

Mona Evans

What tie would you give a cosmic father? What food would you serve him? Where might he find challenging mountaineering, make an astounding golf shot or get up an interstellar soccer game?

Mona Evans

Each day for six months after the winter solstice, the Sun rises a bit higher in the sky. It reaches the maximum height at the summer solstice, the longest day. Evidence of rituals and festivals at the times of the solstices goes back thousands of years.