October 13 2010 Astronomy Newsletter
Here is the latest astronomy article from BellaOnline:
Royal Greenwich Observatory Photography
An ancient tree is young compared to the center of the Galaxy. The Sun shines through dark clouds as a perfect ring in an annular eclipse. These are two of the dazzling images in the Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition. You can see the exhibition online.
I also added this review late last week, having had a lot of fun reading the book.
Bang! - Book Review
What would it take to explain the Big Bang Theory? James Lu Dunbar's "Bang!" might do it - and amuse you and your children at the same time. It's a splendid little book which tells the story of the universe in verse and appealing graphics.
(1) Comet Hartley is a binocular object - with good viewing and dark skies – in Perseus. I haven't seen it, but I'd be interested to hear if you are able to. You can find a sky map to help you on http://www.heavens-above.com/ .
(2) Jupiter is still the bright gem of the sky for those without binoculars.
(3) Both Jupiter and Uranus have been at opposition recently, i.e., at their nearest to us. Here is a lovely photograph: http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap101008.html
(1) Monday was the 42nd anniversary of the first manned Apollo launch. It took place on October 11, 1968, over a year and a half after the horrific launch pad fire which took the lives of astronauts Virgil "Gus" Grissom, Edward H. White and Roger B. Chaffee.
Apollo 7 was an Earth orbit mission designed to test the systems. The tests were successful and NASA launched Apollo 8 a few months later, the first manned mission to orbit the Moon.
On October 13, 1968 the Apollo 7 astronauts made the first live broadcast from space.
(2) On October 15, 1997 Cassini-Huygens was launched, so Friday will mark a dozen years since it left Earth. It took nearly seven years to get to Saturn and on Christmas Day 2004 the Huygens probe was released toward the moon Titan. Cassini's original mission ended in 2008, but has been extended more than once. You can find the fantastic pictures and loads of information at http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/index.cfm .
Saturday October 16 is Astronomy Day. This is mostly observed in the USA and here are the events listed: http://www.astroleague.org/AstronomyDay/AstronomyDay-2010-10.html (I couldn't find any events outside of the USA.) If you have a local astronomy society or planetarium, it's worth asking if they have anything special planned for Saturday.
That's all for this week. Wishing you clear skies.
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Mona Evans, Astronomy Editor
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