Rosetta went where no space mission had been before! It caught up with a comet in deep space and went into orbit around it. Its lander Philae was the first ever to land on a comet. At the end of the mission, Rosetta also landed on the comet to join it and Philae on the comet's journey.
When Ceres was discovered in 1801, astronomers assumed it was a planet. But when many more of these bodies were found, they were all finally listed as asteroids. In 2006 Ceres became the only asteroid also to be listed as a dwarf planet.
AstroFest had been convened in London annually since 1992, but in its 30th year a global pandemic was raging. Undaunted, the Astronomy Now folk took European AstroFest into cyberspace as Worldwide AstroFest. Several events were planned, the first on February 18th for “Destination Mars”.
Valentine's Day is no assurance that love is in the air. Hearts and flowers aren't guaranteed to come your way. You may or may not get one of the billion valentine cards that are sent each year. But heart shapes are everywhere and anyone can admire them. Here is a cosmic selection.
Some people think that Venus could be habitable. And perhaps you might daydream about being closer to the Sun when the long winter nights come, and the temperature drops. After all, "Earth's twin" should be a nice place, shouldn't it? Let's talk about that.
Traveling into space is an astronaut's dream. However it's a dangerous occupation, both in the realization and in the training. A number of astronauts, almost all American or Russian, have paid the ultimate price for their dreams. Where are their memorials?
February second is Groundhog Day, a day that's a mystery to people outside North America. Even in the USA and Canada, it's more a bit of fun than a holiday. Yet however superficial it is now, it's the offshoot of traditions that began in Europe thousands of years ago.
Valentine's Day. Is it a romantic day or one invented by greeting card companies and sellers of luxury goods? It certainly isn't an astronomical holiday, but whatever your view of the day, you can enjoy this selection of cosmic valentines.