March 1 2012 Astronomy Newsletter
Here's the latest article from the Astronomy site at BellaOnline.com.
Issac Newton – His Life
Isaac Newton's thinking about gravitation really was stimulated by seeing an apple fall, but not on his head! Find out more about the troubled child and and indifferent school pupil who became a dominant figure in science, and still is nearly three hundred years after his death.
This month is a great chance to see all five naked-eye planets!
I mentioned Venus and Jupiter in last week's newsletter and will add that they'll be close together in the sky for several weeks – at their closest on March 15. Just look westwards at sunset.
In this Astronomy Picture of the Day, taken in Catalonia, Spain, the crescent moon is to the right of Venus. Jupiter is above them and to the left – you'll probably need to click to enlarge the picture to see Jupiter. http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1202/tripleconjunction_casados_1500.jpg
If you have a fairly clear western horizon, you could also find Mercury at sunset. This picture shows you where to look. http://en.es-static.us/upl/2012/02/12Mar04_300.jpg
In the eastern sky Mars is in the constellation of Leo. It's already bright and will be at conjunction on March 3 – this is when it's closest to us. Here is a diagram from Astronomy.com to help you, but remember that it's noticeably reddish and it's visible all night. http://www.astronomy.com/~/media/Images/News%20and%20Observing/Sky%20this%20Month/2012/03/Mars-finder-chart.ashx?la=en&mw=900&mh=650
And there's one more! Later in the evening, Saturn is also visible in the east. Since it's near Spica, Virgo's brightest star, there will be two bright objects near each other. To find Spica, first find the Big Dipper (Plough) and follow the curve of the handle to yellowish Arcturus and then onward to Spica. On March 10 you will also find the Moon nearby. http://en.es-static.us/upl/2012/02/12Mar10_300.jpg
I wish you clear skies. Please visit astronomy.bellaonline.com for even more great content about Astronomy.
To participate in online discussions, this site has a community forum all about Astronomy located here -http://forums.bellaonline.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=postlist&Board=323
I hope to hear from you sometime soon, either in the forum or in response to this email message. I welcome your feedback!
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Astronomy Editor BellaOnline
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