The following articles explore the topics of some of the quizzes on this web site:
- Mars: our next home planet?
- As we look to the other planets in our Solar System for a potential candidate for human colonization, Mars seems to be our first choice. Since the 1960s numerous missions have been sent to Mars, and we continue to learn a great deal from them about the conditions there, The latest missions, and the ones to come, are now looking more deeply at the possibility of human settlement ... (continue)
- Curiosity – its amazing journey, and some fun facts
- At 899 kg (1,982 lbs) Curiosity is more than 5 times the weight of its predecessors Spirit and Opportunity, making it the heaviest rover sent to Mars so far. Curiosity is 2.2 m tall (7.2 ft) which is a bit taller than the average height for a basketball player. Image 1 below offers a size comparison with previous Mars rovers ... (continue)
- A top 10 of astronomy events in 2017
- It’s been quite a busy year in terms of astronomical events, with major discoveries and fond farewells. This top 10 of 2017 wasn’t easy to organize as each event was equally special and interesting in it’s own way. So here’s my take on the major ones ... (continue)
- Venus: a very unique 'twin'
- Venus was once thought to be Earth’s twin because of their similarity in size, mass and proximity to the Sun: it is only slightly smaller than Earth (by 650 km (404 mi) at the equator), has a mass which is 85% of Earth’s, and is 72% of an AU away from Sun. It’s also a rocky planet just like Earth. However this is where the similarities end. For example it is much hotter than Earth, with a mean surface temperature of 462°C (863°F) - that's a mere 447°C (848°F) more than what we’re used to here on Earth! ... (continue)
- The renaissance of the Moon
- The last time an astronaut walked on the Moon was on December 13, 1972, and apart from the occasional lander, robot or orbiter there has been nothing really big happening since. Abandoned for over 40 years, the Moon is now back in vogue; but why? Much has been achieved in the years following the landings on the Moon, but manned missions have only reached the ISS and no further. Much has happened since 1972, and there now seem to be a change of attitude about a possible Moon settlement ... (continue)
- The heliosphere
- The rather mysterious astronomical structure known as the heliosphere is a solar magnetic bubble that protects our system from interstellar radiation. We don’t know much about it, and what we do know is still fragile. We do know that it changes at increasing distance from the Sun, with areas known as ‘structures’, which are regions where the solar wind and magnetic fields change either in density and/or speed. And according to data from Voyager 1 when it crossed the heliopause into interstellar space ... (continue)
- More coming soon!
To support the quizzes in each section, we've put together some extra resources to provide further information:
- Articles - Alongside the quizzes, you'll find short articles on related topics, to help widen your knowledge of that area.
- Glossary - As with any field of scientific study astronomy has a long list of important terminology. So we've put together a glossary where you can check you fully understand the meaning of the more unusual words!