October 26 2011 Astronomy Newsletter
Halloween is almost here, so I have a new article telling you about some of the spookier objects in the sky:
Cosmic Halloween Tour
Join us on a Halloween astronomical tour. See a cosmic witch and cosmic ghosts, spiders and snakes, and fiery skull. But have no fear. It's a virtual tour and all these objects are a very long way away.
In addition, there is another Halloween article which is about its origins:
Halloween falls midway between an equinox and a solstice. In the ancient Celtic world it was new year's eve and the start of winter - time to prepare for survival in the darkening days. But also a time when the boundary between our world and the otherworld weakened. Who knew what might cross it?
*The Great Worldwide Star Count*
There are still a few more days to take part in this survey. It continues through Friday of this week. For more information, including a downloadable activity guide: http://www.windows2universe.org/citizen_science/starcount/
*Rings and four moons – new picture*
The Cassini mission is always sending home great pictures of Saturn and its system. This one shows the rings edge-on and four moons. Besides being interesting, I think it’s almost a work of art: http://www.ciclops.org/view_media/35039/In_Around_Beyond_Rings?js=1 Titan is the large shadowy moon in the background - it’s larger than the planet Mercury. Dione is in front of Titan. Pandora is the small moon just to the right of the rings. And where is tiny Pan, the fourth moon? You need to look at the rings on the left of the picture where you’ll see a gap in them. If you look closely, you’ll see Pan in the gap.
*Painting with light*
Christopher Hibbert made this picture: http://tinyurl.com/3hflc4n He calls what he does “painting with light.” This picture shows star trails and figures of light in a field. While the camera shutter is open to get the long exposure, he uses a flashlight to “draw” the figures. Amazing.
That's all for now. Wishing you clear skies.
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