Astronomy

Venture into another dimension and discover all about astronomy and the study of celestial objects, such as stars, comets, planets and asteroids. Plus, how you can be captivated by the wonders of the universe at the Peter Harrison Planetarium at Royal Observatory Greenwich. 

Sir George Biddell Airy (1801-92)

Within the Caird Library’s collection of rare books is the personal library of the seventh Astronomer Royal, Sir George Biddell Airy. It features a plethora of scientific and astronomical research, as well as some of the Library’s most historically significant works such as Copernicus’s influential De revolutionibus orbium coelestium and Flamsteed’s controversial Historiae coelestis, which was published without his consent.

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What can you see through binoculars or a small telescope of the Solar System?

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Working in astronomy has always been a challenge for women but somehow they’ve managed to contribute in their own way, whether it’s observing directly themselves or recording and analysing data from other astronomers. Others contributed by writing popular books and developing education materials to share the subject with others. Their work has long been overshadowed by their male counterparts but in this blog I’d like to focus on one particular female astronomer who worked here at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, during the 1890s and whose story really encapsulates the struggles faced by women in astronomy at the time.

Hunting Moon © Jean Baptise Feldmann, Astronomy Photographer of the Year People and Space Runner Up 2011

Is it a star, is it a planet or is it a plane? A handy guide to identifying that bright object you saw last night.

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The best time to see and photograph a planet is when it is at 'opposition'. Find out more and check the key opposition dates for Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.

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The 88 constellations act as a handy map of the skies and a seasonal calendar used from ancient times. But what connects the stars in the same constellation?

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The aurora borealis, also known as the 'northern lights', is one of the most spectacular displays in the night sky. What is the science behind these ethereal curtains of light?

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The telescope has evolved as a key scientific instrument that has changed our perceptions of the world. 

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The last transit of Mercury took place on 11 November 2019. Find out more about the science behind this extremely rare astronomical event.

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Polaris is the brightest star in the Ursa Minor constellation, and has been used by sailors for navigating at sea.

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