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Chemical Cosmos – book review
"The Chemical Cosmos: A Guided Tour" is an astronomy book about chemistry - or perhaps a chemistry book about astronomy. It's an engrossing guided tour that will take you from the baby Universe through the first stars, the formation of solar systems and to our search for the origins of life.
*Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2013*
The Royal Observatory Greenwich has announced the shortlist for the Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2013. You can see the shortlisted photos here: http://www.theguardian.com/science/gallery/2013/jul/30/astronomy-photographer-2013-shortlist-pictures#/?picture=413933299&index=14
Which one is your favorite?
*Did you see the Perseids?*
I was very excited to have seen some of the Perseids this year and hope you have too. Remember they’re named for Perseus the Hero http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art181078.asp because they seem to radiate from his constellation.
Here is a Perseid fireball http://spaceweather.com/submissions/pics/y/Yu-Jun-_MG_56401_1376471845_lg.jpg taken by Yu Jun on August 13, 2013 @ Bashang, Zhangbei, Hebei, China. The shower peaked on the morning of August 13 and numbers are dropping off. But there are still some around.
*Learning about Mars*
There are a number of Mars-related anniversaries this week.
(1) On August 12, 2005 Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter was launched. It’s still returning fantastic hi-res images of the red planet.
(2) American astronomer Asaph Hall discovered the moons of Mars in August 1877 – named Phobos and Deimos. In Greek mythology they were Fear and Panic, sons of Ares (Mars). Phobos was first spotted on August 12 and Deimos five days later.
(3) Viking 1 was launched on August 20, 1975. It was the first successful lander on Mars and carried out its mission for over six years.
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I wish you clear skies.
Mona Evans, Astronomy Editor
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