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The Goddess of the Hunt Captures the Prey

25 September 2013

Astronomy is one of the most futuristic and high-tech sciences in the world. To go into space we need advanced rockets, to explore new worlds we need unbelievably complex probes and to look at distant objects we need powerful telescopes. But, did you know that it's also probably the oldest science? People have been studying the stars since prehistoric times, although back then it was strongly mixed together with religion and mythology.

You can still see signs of astronomy's legendary past in the names of space objects. The planets, for example, are almost all named after Roman gods: Mars is the Roman god of War and Venus is the god of Love. A new, extremely powerful camera designed by the European Southern Observatory combines the two extremes: ancient and modern. The camera is called 'ArTeMiS', a name taken from ancient Greek mythology for something that is definitely futuristic in design. This advanced technology will allow us to look at radio waves from space in more detail than ever before! ArTeMiS can make huge maps of the night sky using cosmic radio waves, faster and in much better quality than any camera that came before it!

Artemis is the Goddess of the Hunt, and in this photograph it's captured its prey: the Cat's Paw Nebula. The gorgeous picture shows a massive cloud of colourful gas, where loads of baby stars are being born!

Cool fact: There are eight planets in our Solar System and seven of them are named after Roman gods and goddesses. Uranus is the only exception. It's named after the Greek god of the sky.

This is a kids version of ESO Press Release eso1341.