January 21 2012 Astronomy Newsletter
Here is this week's article:
Ten Fascinating Facts about Space Exploration
Who was really the first to orbit Earth? What is Snoopy's role in the manned space program? What sent an Australian teenager rushing to San Francisco? Which stars are Dnoces, Navi and Regor? Find out all of this . . . and more!
(1) Johann Bode was born on January 19, 1747. Bode's name lives on in a relationship that (almost) describes the distances of the planets from the Sun. You can read about this here: http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art42694.asp He was a prominent astronomer in his day, a prolific writer and the author of *two* star atlases, as well as the man who gave the name Uranus to William Herschel's discovery.
(2) Buzz Aldrin, the second person to walk on the Moon, was born on January 20, 1930.
*New Horizons and a unique tribute*
Clyde Tombaugh – the American astronomer who discovered Pluto – was born on February 4, 1906. Almost exactly 100 years later, on January 19, 2006, NASA's New Horizons mission was launched on its way to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt. On board is a portion of Tombaugh's ashes. (This is one of the stories in this week's article.)
*Jupiter and Venus*
Jupiter is still a brilliant object in the sky. I've been seeing it high in the sky when I leave work. And looking to the west, Venus is also dazzling. Next week we'll be able to see it near the crescent Moon, which is always a lovely sight. Sky & Telescope shows what you'll be able to see. http://media.skyandtelescope.com/images/Webvic12_Jan25ev.jpg
*The ISS flies over the Moon!*
Of course the Space Station is still in its orbit, but this is a great picture that has caught the ISS and the Moon. One night I saw an aircraft – with jet trail – appear to fly over the gibbous Moon. It was quite amusing. http://www.universetoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/6643776051_2f4fecec21_o.jpg
I wish you clear skies. Please visit astronomy.bellaonline.com for even more great content about Astronomy.
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