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If We Had No Moon
The Complete Cosmos
The Man Who Colours Stars
Christmas Star
3 Minutes To Impact

SPACEFILES - The Universe Unveiled

Inner Solar System Files 1 to 7 | Outer Solar System Files 8 to 13
Files 14 to 19 | Cosmos Files 20 to 26

14. Night Sky
Finding the Stars and Constellations

Navigating the stars and the 88 constellations of the night sky. A beginner’s guide to using vivid and easily recognizable patterns - like Orion, the Hunter, and Ursa Major, the Great Bear – as signposts in the heavens. How to find Sirius, the brightest star; Polaris, the north pole star, and the southern celestial pole, where there is no marker star. Why the position of stars changes a little night by night and a lot season by season. Why different places see different skies.

15. Discovery
History of Astronomy

The history of astronomy. From the Babylonians and ancient Chinese, the first astronomers, to the Egyptians, who created our calendar of 365 days, and the Greeks who discovered Earth is round. Copernicus, in the 16th century, worked out that the planets orbit the Sun. Galileo first used a telescope on the sky. Isaac Newton improved it - and described the effects of gravity. In the 20th century, Edwin Hubble revealed an ever-expanding Universe – into which today we peer ever deeper.

16. Whither
Man on the Moon, Next Stop Mars

The story of manned spaceflight. With the German Werner von Braun launching American rocketry and Sergei Korolev masterminding the Soviet space programme, the Russians put the first cosmonaut in space and the Americans the first astronaut on the Moon. Then came America’s Space Shuttle and the development of orbiting space stations, largely by the Russians. Today, with the International Space Station proving troublesome, a look at future space travel to the Moon, Mars and beyond

17. Orbit
Monitoring Earth from Space

Monitoring Earth from space. A constellation of artificial satellites keep an eye on our planet. They help predict our weather and the threat of tornadoes, floods and drought. Telecommunications depend on satellites. Shipping and road traffic navigate by satellite. Spies in the sky monitor farm crops, pests, forest fires, volcanoes and oil slicks. And with growing importance, satellites watch for climate change, melting icecaps, drying-up lakes and holes in the ozone layer.

18. High Hopes
Snags with Shuttle & International Space Station

Space stations. A review of ISS, the International Space Station, currently being assembled, and its forerunners. Most famous was Mir, run by the Russians for 14 years. ISS has now replaced Mir. But ISS is hugely over budget and way behind schedule due to  problems with its two major partners.  Russia has been late delivering parts because of money troubles. The Americans, with Space Shuttle grounded after the Columbia disaster, could not service ISS.  Russia filled in with 40-year-old space ferries.

19. Quest
Search for Extra-Terrestrial Life

The search for extra-terrestrial life is on.  Earth is perfect for life.  Our temperate planet is neither too near nor too far from the Sun.  With Venus too close and Mars too distant, if they once had life, they most likely don’t have now.  The only other possibility in the Solar System is Europa, a moon of Jupiter.  There, in an ocean beneath Europa’s icy surface, bacteria-like organisms could feed on volcanic vents.  But the best chance of life is on Earth-like planets around other stars.