Rosetta went where no space mission had been before! It caught up with a comet in deep space and went into orbit around it. Its 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 and Philae on the comet's journey.
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.
AstroFest had been convened in London annually since 1992, but in its 30th year a global pandemic was raging. Undaunted, the Astronomy Now folk took European AstroFest into cyberspace as Worldwide AstroFest. Several events were planned, the first on February 18th for “Destination Mars”.
Valentine's Day is no assurance that love is in the air. Hearts and flowers aren't guaranteed to come your way. You may or may not get one of the billion valentine cards that are sent each year. But heart shapes are everywhere and anyone can admire them. Here is a cosmic selection.
Some people think that Venus could be habitable. And perhaps you might daydream about being closer to the Sun when the long winter nights come, and the temperature drops. After all, "Earth's twin" should be a nice place, shouldn't it? Let's talk about that.
Traveling into space is an astronaut's dream. However it's a dangerous occupation, both in the realization and in the training. A number of astronauts, almost all American or Russian, have paid the ultimate price for their dreams. Where are their memorials?
Rosetta, the European Space Agency (ESA) spacecraft, traveled for ten years and billions of miles with its lander in order to rendezvous with a comet, and accompany it as it moved through the inner Solar System past the Sun.
In the Harry Potter books there are a number of characters that are named for stars and constellations. You can find out more about these stars - and for those that don't know the books, there's a bit of background on the characters.