Astronomy

Mona Evans

Nebulae are great clouds of gas and dust in the spaces between stars. Some of them are made from dying stars. Others are the nurseries for new stars. Here are ten facts about these amazing objects.

Mona Evans

The Sun, the Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn are visible to the naked eye. People have seen them for thousands of years. Other Solar System bodies were discoveries, but who discovered them?

Mona Evans

Lick Observatory lies on a mountaintop overlooking Silicon Valley. Known for major contributions to astronomy, it also has some unique features. Its benefactor James Lick is buried under one of the main telescopes, and it displays original seismogram taken during the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.

Mona Evans

No one alive had seen Venus transit when the 2004 one occurred. And if you missed that and the 2012 transit, there isn't another until 2117. However Mercury also transits the Sun – and these transits happen more often. But what's a transit and what do we learn from it?

Mona Evans

Massive stars are born in the same way as smaller stars like the Sun. But a massive star then burns brighter and hotter, and ends its life in one of the Universe's most stupendous explosions, a supernova. For a time, it shines as bright as entire galaxy of a billion stars.

Mona Evans

It went where no space mission had been before! Rosetta caught up with a comet in deep space and went into orbit around it. The lander Philae was the first ever to land on a comet. At the end of the mission, Rosetta also landed on the comet to join it on its journey.

Mona Evans

Most of our knowledge of Neptune and Uranus is based on Voyager 2's visits. Its grand tour of the four giant planets used a rare alignment of the planets that let the gravity of each one boost the spacecraft to the next one. No other probe has been to either of the ice giants.

Mona Evans

Many foods are associated with a traditional American Thanksgiving dinner. But what do you suppose would be on the menu for Thanksgiving in space? Would you have to squeeze turkey paste out of a tube and get gelatin-covered dessert cubes? No. Food has improved since the early days of space flight.