You can see planets without a telescope. People have been seeing Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn for thousands of years. Even though Uranus was the first planet discovered by telescope, sometimes it can be seen without one.
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?
Neptune is the last planet out from the Sun. It has fourteen known moons and they're a mixed bag. One of them – Triton – has over 99% of the total mass of Neptune's moons. Thirteen little moons share what's left. Only two of the moons were discovered before 1981.
The 50th anniversary of the first manned Moon landing was on July 20, 2019, and there were books galore to celebrate it. Apollo 11: The Inside Story tells the fascinating story of how the space race was a battlefront in the Cold War as two competing ideologies vied for supremacy.
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?
By the late 19th century all the outer planets were known to have moons, yet Mars had none. At last, in 1877 American astronomer Asaph Hall found two Martian moons. Why did it take so long? And why did Hall call them Fear and Terror?
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.
Astronomy no longer recognizes the "music of the spheres". Yet if heavenly bodies did make music, perhaps there are those who could hear it! Read about some individuals who've pursued astronomy and music in their different ways.
Autumn begins on the equinox, the day the Sun crosses the equator. The earliest known civilizations celebrated the equinoxes, and they're still celebrated in many places. One of the biggest autumn celebrations is the Chinese Moon Festival. A traditional Chinese garden has a moon-watching pavilion.