astronomy Newsletter


January 19 2017 Astronomy Newsletter

Hi everybody

I don't know what happened to the newsletter after I checked the test version, but here it is - I hope! - formatted properly.

Here's the latest article from the Astronomy site at

Dorado the Mahi Mahi
Since the heavenly flying fish (Volans) is intact, its neighboring constellation Dorado must still be hungry. Dorado is a dolphinfish, mahi mahi being the most common type. Mahi mahi pursue flying fish through tropical seas, and you might imagine Dorado chasing Volans through the southern skies.

*The last man on the Moon*

Neil Armstrong was, famously, the first human to walk on the Moon. There were twelve moonwalkers altogether, and Gene Cernan (1934-2017) was the last one to set foot on the Moon. Besides his career as an astronaut, Cernan was also a naval aviator and aerospace engineer among other things. He died, aged 82, on January 16, leaving only six moonwalkers still alive.


(1) January 16, 2015: the British Beagle 2 lander was found on Mars. It was last heard from on Christmas Day 2003. We now know that the entry, descent and landing sequence worked. However it failed to deploy correctly and was unable to communicate.
(2) January 18, 2002: The Gemini South Observatory was dedicated in Chile. Together with the Gemini North Observatory in Hawaii they give almost complete coverage of the sky.
(3) January 19, 1747: Johann Bode was born. His name lives on in "Bode's Law", but he was also a celestial cartographer who, amazingly, created two influential celestial atlases.
(4) January 19, 1851: Jacobus Kapteyn was born. He was a Dutch astronomer best known for his studies of the Milky Way. He discovered evidence for galactic rotation.
(5) January 19, 2006: NASA's New Horizons spacecraft was launched. It has been past Pluto and its moons, and is now on its way to another Kuiper Belt object.
(6) January 20, 1573: Simon Marius was born. He was a German astronomer who claimed he had seen Jupiter's moons before Galileo. Galileo's documentation was more extensive and published first, but the suggestions Marius made for naming the four large moons were eventually adopted.
(7) January 20, 1930: Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin was born. The second man to step onto the Moon has not only been an astronaut, but also an Air Force combat pilot, aerial gunnery instructor and flight commander. He has a doctorate from MIT and his thesis was on techniques for manned orbital rendezvous. Aldrin remains a passionate advocate of space exploration.

Please visit for even more great content about Astronomy. I hope to hear from you sometime soon, either in the forum or in response to this email message. I welcome your feedback!

Do pass this message along to family and friends who might also be interested. Remember it's free and without obligation. I wish you clear skies.

Mona Evans, Astronomy Editor

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