Lammas is a Christian harvest festival celebrated on 1 August, but its origins are pagan. In the Gaelic tradition, it was Lughnasa. Lying midway between the June solstice and the September equinox, it was one of the four 'cross quarter' days of the Gaelic year.
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?
Earth's moon is "the Moon” because it was the only one people had ever seen until 1610. That's when Galileo discovered moons orbiting Jupiter. Why did it take until 1877 for someone to find the moons of our neighbor Mars?
Saturn: magnificent rings, a planet-sized moon, and dozens of smaller moons. Three spacecraft had flown by before Cassini-Huygens was launched in 1997. But this mission wouldn't just fly by and snap some photos. It was going to get up close and personal.
Google doodles are little drawings and animations that incorporate the Google name into a presentation of a person or event of note. Here are five doodles with an astronomy theme, including asteroids, a lunar eclipse and how the speed of light was calculated by observing Jupiter and Io.
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.
Rosetta, the European Space Agency (ESA) spacecraft, traveled for ten years and billions of miles in order to rendezvous with a comet, accompany it as it moved through the inner Solar System past the Sun, and deploy a lander.
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.
The Herschels were one of the greatest astronomical families of all time. A partnership of two brothers and a sister built the best telescopes of their time, and with those telescopes mapped the deep sky. They changed the way astronomers understood the heavens.