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Top Astronomy Stories 2012
What were the big astronomy stories of the year 2012? Here is my choice of the top ten plus a non-story. What do you think?
Someone has already responded to my question about what other people thought was big in astronomy this year. The answer was the footage of aurorae from space. This wasn't one particular event, but it certainly has made for some pretty images. You can see for yourself here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WL_-Zz7JDoA
Are there any favorite stories, events or discoveries that *you* think I missed? You can have your say in the forum: http://forums.bellaonline.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/798042/Top_Astronomy_Stories_2012#Post798042
(1) Isaac Newton was born on Christmas Day 1642. That's 370 years ago. We still rely on his brilliant work on motion and gravity in many areas of science and technology. You can learn more about Newton here: http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art48510.asp
(2) Johannes Kepler was born on December 27, 1571. He used the observations of Tycho Brahe to describe the orbits of the planets mathematically and make sense of the Copernican idea of the Sun-centered Solar System. Newton then explained how gravity held it together. More about the life of Kepler: http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art36947.asp
(3) Arthur Eddington was born on December 28, 1882. This Englishman was one of the most prominent astrophysicists of his day and not only made major contributions to understanding stars, but was also known as a great popularizer of astronomy. He's still remembered for the solar eclipse observations which confirmed that gravity bends light, as predicted by Einstein.
*Temple of Kukulkan*
Here is a stunning picture of my favorite constellation Orion rising over the ruins of a Mayan temple that's a thousand years old. It was taken by the wonderful astrophotographer Stéphane Guisard. In the Mayan sky the stars of Orion represented a turtle. http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1212/SGU-Castillo-Orion-IMG4323-1200x800.jpg
All good wishes for a Happy New Year.
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I wish you clear skies.
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