August 29 2012 Astronomy Newsletter
Here's the latest article from the Astronomy site at BellaOnline.com.
Meteor or Meteorite & Other Posers
What's the difference between a meteor, a meteorite and a meteoroid? Is one of them the same as a shooting star? And what about asteroids and planetoids - which one is a minor planet? If any of these terms have puzzled you, here is a guide to help you out.
*Neil Armstrong (1930-2012)*
The first human being to set foot on another world died on Saturday. His route to the Moon began with a love of flying in childhood. Armstrong got a pilot’s license at 16, before he even had a driver’s license. He went on to earn a degree in aerospace engineering, which remained his absorbing interest along with the actual flying. He became a Navy pilot and flew nearly eighty combat missions. Later he was a test pilot and then an astronaut. After he left NASA he went into university teaching until he retired to his farm.
As a quiet, reserved man who shunned the limelight, being one of the most famous men in history was difficult. Nonetheless he went his own way and didn't capitalize on his fame.
To his family his death is a deep, personal loss. To those of us who remember the night of July 20/21, 1969, when the whole world held its breath, it's a piece gone of our personal history, as well as one of the defining events of the 20th century.
Armstrong's family's tribute ended with these words: "For those who may ask what they can do to honor Neil, we have a simple request. Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink."
Universe Today asked its readers to send their pictures if they went out and winked at the Moon. Here is a gallery that includes some quite lovely images. http://www.universetoday.com/97048/winking-at-the-moon-in-memory-of-neil-armstrong/
*Visit the Moon on your computer*
Astronomer Pete Lawrence has made a wonderful high resolution interactive Moon picture. You can zoom in or out and move across it by clicking and dragging. The detail is incredible. It’s here: http://zoom.it/ephS
*Hubble’s Hidden Treasures*
We’ve all seen many fantastic images from the Hubble Space Telescope. But its cameras collect data which needs to be processed to turn it into pictures. There is a lot of data which hasn’t been fully processed, so the archives were opened up to amateurs and the European Space Agency ran a competition. The judges had nearly three thousand submissions to choose from. Here is a list of the winners and links to their images: http://www.spacetelescope.org/announcements/ann1211/
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I wish you clear skies.
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