March 7 2013 Astronomy Newsletter
Here's the latest article from the Astronomy site at BellaOnline.com.
Milky Way - Our Galaxy
The Milky Way is a giant spiral galaxy. Along with our neighboring giant Andromeda Galaxy, it dominates the Local Group of galaxies. But where are we in the Galaxy? Why do astronomers think that 95% of the Galaxy is mysterious dark matter? And what is lurking at the heart of the Milky Way?
*Earth Observatory – Vote for your favorite image*
From March 4th through April 5th, voting is open for the image of the year. There are thirty-two images and that number will be knocked down from 32 to 16 to 8 etc., until there's a winner – like a tournament. I've just cast 16 votes! Some really superb images of the Earth from space.
*What's up in March?*
This month's video from JPL is at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWC5xAxKTU0 It includes a report on Comet Pan-STARRS which should be visible to northern hemisphere observers this month.
March 7th is the birth anniversary of both John Herschel and Henry Draper.
John Herschel, son of William Herschel and nephew of Caroline Herschel, was born in 1792. He surveyed the southern skies to complete the nebula survey begun by his father and aunt. Herschel was known for his work in many fields – including as a pioneer in the development of photography. The oldest known photograph on glass was taken by John Herschel of his father's 40-foot telescope. As one of the nineteenth century's most distinguished scientists, when he died he was given a state funeral and interred in Westminster Abbey near Isaac Newton.
Henry Draper was born in 1837 and was a doctor by profession. However he was a very keen astrophotographer and helped develop the photography of stellar spectra. Unfortunately, he died when he was only 44, his catalog of stellar spectra scarcely begun. His widow Anna gave Harvard Observatory the money to create the catalog. Annie Cannon classified nearly a quarter of a million of spectra for the Henry Draper Catalog. If you see a star with an HD number, this refers to Henry Draper's Catalog.
You can find out more about the development of astrophotography here: http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art19545.asp Read about the amazing Annie Cannon here: http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art28074.asp
For a variety of astronomy images, follow me on Pinterest at: http://pinterest.com/astrobella/
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
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I wish you clear skies.
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