June 8 2011 Astronomy Newsletter
Here's the latest article from the Astronomy site at BellaOnline.com.
Ceres Facts for Kids
Bode's Law predicted a planet between Mars and Jupiter. The Sky Police were looking for it, but Giuseppe Piazzi found it. Then someone found another one. And another one. We know of hundreds of thousands of asteroids now. Discover Ceres - planet, asteroid and dwarf planet.
The little Martian rover Spirit last phoned home on March 22, 2010, following six years of exploring the red planet. After over a year of trying to re-establish contact, on May 25, NASA sent the final recovery command. I think the team – and those who really took to those rovers in a big way – were a little choked up. You can read about what we learned from Spirit's investigations and what Opportunity is doing at http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/home/index.html.
Dave Scott was born on June 6, 1932. He was the commander of the Apollo 15 mission. In addition to walking on the Moon and driving on the Moon, he also tested Galileo's idea about falling bodies there. You can read about gravity at http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art2162.asp which includes a link to Scott's experiment on the Moon.
Giovanni Cassini, Italian-French astronomer, was born on June 8, 1625. He had accepted the idea of the Earth-centered universe, but was finally converted to the Copernican view. You can read more about the Copernican revolution at http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art5685.asp. Some of Cassini's many contributions to astronomy were his studies of Saturn and Jupiter. NASA's Cassini mission to Saturn is named for him.
Johann Gottfried Galle, German astronomer, was born on June 9, 1812. He used the telescope at the Berlin Observatory to find the planet Neptune, using the calculations Urbain LeVerrier had sent to him. Le Verrier had calculated the orbit of the then unknown planet through its effects on the orbit of Uranus.
*Online astronomy encyclopedia*
Here is an excellent online reference from the Swinburne Astronomy Online people, which is written with a general audience in mind. I've been finding it quite useful and they are adding to it all the time. I wish they'd had it when I was a student! http://astronomy.swin.edu.au/cms/astro/cosmos/
Just a reminder to those who don't live in North America that next Wednesday the first lunar eclipse of the year will occur. http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/LEplot/LEplot2001/LE2011Jun15T.pdf
That's all for now. Wishing you clear skies.
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