Here you can read the latest Space Scoop, our astronomy news service for children aged 8 and above. The idea behind Space Scoop is to change the way science is often perceived by young children as an outdated and dull subject. By sharing exciting new astronomical discoveries with them, we can inspire children to develop an interest in science and technology. Space Scoop makes a wonderful tool that can be used in the classroom to teach and discuss the latest astronomy news.
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A Big Fiery Giant!
23 June 2011: Stars come in different colours and sizes. This new picture shows the famous Red Giant star called Betelgeuse (you say the name as “Beetle-Juice”). The star looks small in the picture – just a little red circle at the centre. But Betelgeuse is actually huge: If you replaced the Sun in our Solar System with this star, it is so wide that it would reach as far as the planet Jupiter!
Our Universe is big, beautiful… and mostly invisible!
22 June 2011: It’s hard to picture just how big the Universe is. For instance, the Earth seems like a big place to us, but you could fit about one million Earths inside our nearest star, the Sun. And the Sun is just one of billions of stars that make up our galaxy, which is called the Milky Way. When you think about how the Milky Way is just one galaxy in a group of about 40 nearby galaxies, the Universe is starting to seem like a big place!
Astronomy in the Desert!
8 June 2011: Professional astronomers have powerful telescopes that can take amazing pictures of the Universe. But to get the most out of the telescopes, they have to think carefully about where they put them on Earth.
Our Galaxy has a Look-alike!
1 June 2011: Astronomers have taken lots of beautiful images of galaxies in the Universe, but we don’t have a single photo of our own galaxy, the Milky Way. That’s because no astronaut or man-made spacecraft has ever left the Milky Way in order to be able to turn around and take a picture of our home galaxy.
Superstar goes Solo
25 May 2011: Astronomers have found an amazing star: a superstar that is 150 times heavier than the Sun and an incredible 3 million times brighter! The star is found in a huge cloud of gas and dust called the Tarantula Nebula, shown here in this stunning new image.
The Calm before Saturn’s Storm
19 May 2011: Saturn is one of the most beautiful worlds in our Solar System because of the wonderful set of rings that surround the planet. It is much further away from the Sun than the Earth, so its journey around the Sun is much longer. Since a year is the time that it takes a planet to travel once around the Sun, Saturn’s years are much longer than a year on Earth. In the time that it takes Saturn to complete one journey around the Sun, 30 years have passed on Earth!
4 May 2011: The Universe is filled with many galaxies that have perfectly uniform shapes. But the uneven S-shape of the galaxy in this new picture is messy, like a graffiti artist has drawn it by hand!
Galaxies Playing Tug of War
20 April 2011:
Fireworks in Space
13 April 2011: Stars are born in big clouds of gas and dust in the Universe. Young stars are very hot and make the gas in the clouds glow brightly, which means that we can see these clouds through telescopes.
Looking at a Baby Planet Growing
24 February 2011: Astronomers want to learn more about how planets like the Earth are formed. Since all of the planets in our Solar System are already fully grown, they have to use powerful telescopes to look for baby planets around distant stars.
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