June 12 2015 Astronomy Newsletter
Here's the latest article from the Astronomy site at BellaOnline.com.
The Starry Crowns – Corona Borealis
There are two crowns in the sky, the northern and southern ones. Classically, Corona Borealis represents the crown of Ariadne, abandoned heroine of the tale of the Minotaur and the labyrinth. More prosaically, in Australian aboriginal astronomy, it's Womera – the Boomerang, which it resembles.
(1) June 8, 1625: Giovanni Domenico Cassini (Jean-Dominique Cassini). Portrait: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/250090585531819222/
He was an Italian astronomer who became director of the Paris Observatory and a naturalized Frenchman. Three generations of astronomical Cassinis followed him at the observatory, so historians number them to keep them straight. He, of course, was Cassini I. For his early observations of Saturn's rings and moons, NASA named its Cassini mission to Saturn in his honor. Some notes on the Cassini Mission website: http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art23637.asp
(2) June 9, 1812: Johann Gottfried Galle. Portrait: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/250090585527911920/
Galle was a German astronomer best known for his part in the discovery of Neptune. He was at the Berlin Observatory when Urbain LeVerrier sent his calculations for the position of an unknown planet that was disturbing the orbit of Uranus. Galle found it the same night he received LeVerrier's letter.
(3) June 5, 1819: John Couch Adams was born. Portrait: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/250090585534691825/
He was a distinguished English mathematician and astronomer. However he's now most remembered for making calculations that should have enabled the discovery of Neptune. Unfortunately, that didn't happen. I think LeVerrier was fortunate that Johann Galle made the search and that the Berlin Observatory had very good star charts.
*Venus and Jupiter in conjunction*
Have you been looking at Venus and Jupiter at sunset (and beyond)? Venus is brilliant in the sky, outshining Jupiter by far, but the pair make a lovely sight in the sky. They will keep getting closer each night until there's a close conjunction at the end of the month. Around the 19th-20th of the month, a crescent Moon joins them.
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I wish you clear skies.
Mona Evans, Astronomy Editor
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