Here's the latest article from the Astronomy site at BellaOnline.com.
Moons of Mars - Phobos
Mars has two tiny shapeless moons. The larger moon Phobos zooms around Mars so quickly, that it seems to rise in the west and set in the east twice a day. And it hasn't had easy time of it. Long ago it was nearly shattered by a giant impact. It's now being pulled towards Mars and its destruction.
*New panorama of the Small Magellanic Cloud*
The European Southern Observatory (ESO) has released the biggest infrared image ever taken of our neighbor dwarf galaxy the Small Magellanic Cloud. Interstellar dust obscures some of the features of the little galaxy, but ESO's VISTA telescope can image in the infrared which can see through the dust. Here is the wide-field image: https://cdn.eso.org/images/screen/eso1714a.jpg And here's a selection of nine images from it: https://cdn.eso.org/images/screen/eso1714b.jpg
*Herschel Space Observatory*
On April 29, 2013, ESA's Herschel Space Observatory mission ended. The infrared observatory was named after William Herschel, who discovered infrared radiation, and his sister and collaborator Caroline. The observatory was able to see the coldest and dustiest objects in space, but it needed liquid helium to cool its instruments. When that ran out the mission ended. You can find out more about this amazing space telescope here: http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art303045.asp
*Discovery of Nereid*
On May 1, 1949, Dutch-American astronomer Gerard Kuiper discovered Neptune's moon Nereid, the second known moon of Neptune. Neptune itself was discovered in 1846, and English astronomer William Lassell discovered its moon Triton soon afterwards. But more than a century elapsed before Nereid was found.
*Alan Shepard – Cinco de Mayo*
On May 5, 1961, NASA astronaut Alan Shepard became the first American in space when he made his suborbital flight in Freedom 7.
And to any readers who celebrate Cinco de Mayo: Good wishes to you for an enjoyable day.
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I wish you clear skies.
Mona Evans, Astronomy Editor