Stellar Primary Sources: An Astronomy Day Blog Round-Up

Astronomy Day is April 25, and we at Teaching with the Library of Congress are standing by with a cluster of blog posts featuring primary sources that explore changing ideas of the solar system and what lies beyond it.

Historical documents may be rooted in the past, but they provide a powerful way for the scientists and stargazers of today to familiarize themselves with scientific practices, to observe the ways in which scientific knowledge changes over time, and to honor the legacy of those who have boldly gone before them.

Reflections on the World of Tomorrow: Science, Carl Sagan, and Different Conceptions of the Future

Our ideas about science and technology play an important role in how we imagine the future. Does new technology directly improve society? Or is it more complicated than that. We can look at a series of items from the new online collection Finding Our Place in the Cosmos: From Galileo to Sagan and Beyond to explore how Carl Sagan’s ideas developed and changed on this topic over time.

Asteroid Impostors and the Planet that Never Was: What’s on Your Diagram of the Solar System?

Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune: These are the eight planets of the solar system displayed on diagrams in our educational resources today. Of course, many of us still remember Pluto, which was considered a planet for many years until it was recently reclassified. Pluto’s demotion isn’t the only dramatic change that’s happened to educational solar system diagrams over the years, though.