June 25 2014 Astronomy Newsletter
Here's the latest article from the Astronomy site at BellaOnline.com.
Nicolas-Louis de Lacaille
Nicolas-Louis de Lacaille (1713-1762) was one of astronomy's greats. He surveyed nearly 10,000 stars in the southern hemisphere and invented fourteen new constellations still in use today. He was always thoughtful in dealing with others, but he really liked the stars more than he liked people.
(1) Charles Messier was born on June 16, 1730. He was the most prominent of the great 18th-century comet hunters. But his claim to fame is his catalog of nebular objects that might be mistaken for comets. The catalog numbers are still in use. The first item in the Messier Catalog is M1 the Crab Nebula, a supernova remnant.
(2) George Ellery Hale was born on June 29, 1868. How many people can say they built the biggest telescope in the world? Not many. And Hale did that three times, for he founded three major observatories, each with a telescope bigger than the last: Yerkes, Mt. Wilson and Palomar. You can read more about the Palomar Observatory here: http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art178826.asp
*James Bond at the VLT*
The “Hidden Universe 3D” film shows the award-winning Residencia at the Very Large Telescope site:
http://www.pinterest.com/pin/250090585532618309/ It houses telescope staff and visiting astronomers, but was also a location for the James Bond film “Quantum of Solace”.The European Southern Observatory (ESO) has a video showing off the Residencia and its James Bond connection: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/250090585532674117/ (The explosions were filmed at a mock-up of the Residencia in the London studios.)
You can read more about the “Hidden Universe” film here: http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art183545.asp
*Winners of 2014 International Earth & Sky Photo Contest winners*
This is the fifth annual competition for photographers highlighting the beauty of the night sky and its battle with light pollution. There were photographs from 55 countries. An exquisite video shows off the winners: http://vimeo.com/98478669 (Turn off the sound if your computer, like mine, isn't running the video smoothly.) You can see all the winners and honorable mentions here: http://www.twanight.org/contest
*Curiosity has been on Mars for one Martian year*
On June 24 the Curiosity rover completed her first Martian year. That's 687 Earth days. And did Mars once have environmental conditions that would have been favorable for microbial life? Yes indeed. Here's Curiosity's latest selfie: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/250090585532681577/ The images to make up this composite were taken just a few months ago. (But not surprisingly, it doesn't look much different to a self-portrait from last year.)
Please visit astronomy.bellaonline.com for even more great content about Astronomy.
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I wish you clear skies.
Mona Evans, Astronomy Editor
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