Beauty & Self
Books & Music
Food & Wine
Health & Fitness
Hobbies & Crafts
Home & Garden
News & Politics
Religion & Spirituality
Travel & Culture
TV & Movies

Bored? Games!
Take a Quiz
Rate My Photo

Natural Living
Folklore and Mythology
Distance Learning

All times in EST

Full Schedule
g Astronomy Site

BellaOnline's Astronomy Editor


March 31 2014 Astronomy Newsletter

Hi everybody

Here's the latest article from the Astronomy site at

Astronomy April Fools
Mercury has a moon? The Jovian-Plutonian Gravitational Effect will give you a floating feeling? The Space Station has an alien visitor? Virgin Galactic has bought Pluto and has plans for getting it reinstated as a planet? Nope. These are a examples of April Fool hoaxes and jokes.

*Some fools don't wait until April*

This week's article relates a famous April Fool joke played in 1976 by the late Patrick Moore. But it's resurfaced on the Internet as a [supposedly] serious story. Phil Plait says that he debunked it earlier in the year and it's already back again! I think it's been back more than once. The version I've seen can't even manage to do its foolery for April 1. The story begins, “It has been revealed by the British astronomer Patrick Moore that, on the morning of April 4th 2014, an extraordinary astronomical event will occur.”

I like the “it has been revealed by” business. Good grief! The man's been dead since the end of 2012. When did this revelation come? That's apart from the fact that it was not only a joke, but one that made fun of the “Jupiter effect” which was popular in the media in the late 70s, though not with Moore. He wanted to make the point that the gravity of distant planets doesn't have radical effects on the Earth. Gravitational strength drops off rapidly with distance.

*First photo of the Sun*

French physicists Louis Fizeau and Leon Foucault made the first successful photograph of the Sun on April 2, 1845. The original image, taken with an exposure of 1/60th of a second, was about 4.7 inches (12 centimeters) in diameter and captured several sunspots. You can see a reproduction of the daguerreotype here: Read more about photography and progress in astronomy in "Photography and the Birth of Astrophysics" at:

*Two weeks to a lunar eclipse*
A total lunar eclipse occurs on April 14-15. If you're in North America or western South America, you'll be well-placed to see the whole show. Alas, in most of Europe, Asia or Africa, you won't see anything at all. Many people who can't see total eclipse will still get a partial eclipse. Here's a map showing the eclipse visibility:

To participate in online discussions, this site has a community forum all about Astronomy located here -

Please visit for even more great content about Astronomy.

I hope to hear from you sometime soon, either in the forum or in response to this email message. I welcome your feedback!

Do pass this message along to family and friends who might also be interested. Remember it's free and without obligation.

I wish you clear skies.

Mona Evans, Astronomy Editor

One of hundreds of sites at

Unsubscribe from the Astronomy Newsletter

Online Newsletter Archive for Astronomy Site

Master List of BellaOnline Newsletters


For FREE email updates, subscribe to the Astronomy Newsletter

g features
Art on the Moon – Fallen Astronaut

Why it took so long to discover Uranus

Moons of Uranus – Facts for Kids

Archives | Site Map


Past Issues

Note: BellaOnline uses cookies to help provide a consistent user experience. Our advertisers may use cookies to help customize ads. Please contact us with any question about our cookie use.

Summertime Foods
Corn on the Cob
Burgers on the Grill
Apple Pie


| About BellaOnline | Privacy Policy | Advertising | Become an Editor |
Website copyright © 2018 Minerva WebWorks LLC. All rights reserved.

BellaOnline Editor