February 16 2013 Astronomy Newsletter
Here's the latest article from the Astronomy site at BellaOnline.com.
European Astrofest came of age in 2013, celebrating its 21st birthday. It was a memorable anniversary with a fantastic selection of speakers at sold-out lectures, busy exhibition stands, enthusiastic visitors, happy meetings and some sad farewells.
(1) Galileo Galilei was born February 15, 1564. He was not only an important observational astronomer, but also helped to make the rules for carrying out experimental physics.
(2) Clyde Tombaugh, whose birth anniversary was last week, discovered Pluto on February 18, 1930. http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art45809.asp
(3) Nicholas Copernicus, known for his book arguing that the Sun orbits the Earth and not vice versa, was born on February 19, 1473. More about the life of Copernicus here: http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art40794.asp
(4) John Glenn became the first American to orbit Earth on February 20, 1962. He circled the globe three times in Friendship 7.
*Asteroid 2012 DA14*
As predicted, the asteroid came close to Earth on February 15, within the orbit of geostationary satellites. Also as predicted, it didn’t hit us. However, what about the meteor over Russia! Now that was scary. There doesn’t seem to be any recorded instance of anyone being killed by a meteorite or until Thursday, of any serious injury. If you want to find out more about it, here is Dr. Phil Plait's take on it: http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2013/02/15/russian_meteorite_fragment_may_have_fallen_in_frozen_lake.html
*Help name Pluto’s Moons*
Pluto has five known moons and three of them have names. Pluto and its moons are named from Greek and Roman mythological figures that have to do with the underworld. But the latest discoveries are just called P4 and P5. The discovery team is going to propose names for them to the International Astronomical Union and would like some help in deciding. They’ve made a list of 20 possible names and are open to appropriate suggestions. Voting closes on February 25. The website is here: www.plutorocks.com/
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