August 4 2012 Astronomy Newsletter
Here's the latest article from the Astronomy site at BellaOnline.com.
Night Sky Olympic Tribute
Planet Earth presents a grand international sporting spectacular every four years, the Olympic Games. Even if you're not fond of sports, it's a majestic pageant and a set of unfolding dramas that a scriptwriter couldn't hope to emulate. Here is my astronomical tribute to this magnificent saga.
*Curiosity landing on Mars – live coverage*
Universe Today will be running a live feed on the landing of the latest Martian rover. Coverage starts at 8pm PDT on Sunday August 5th (early Monday morning in Europe). If you have Google +, have a look at https://plus.google.com/u/0/events/c7c2fbd2gil25fjimln1jnr1134/110701307803962595019. It will also be run on http://www.youtube.com/user/universetoday, which is Universe Today's You Tube channel.
*First photograph of total solar eclipse*
The first photograph of a total eclipse was made on a daguerreotype on July 28, 1851 at the Royal Observatory in Königsberg, Prussia (now Kalingrad, Russia). The photographer’s name was Berkowski. His first name was never published and no one has been able to discover it.
You can learn more about “Photography and the Birth of Astrophysics” here: http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art19545.asp
*Maria Mitchell (August 1, 1818 – June 28, 1889)*
August 1st is the 194th anniversary of the birth of America’s first professional woman astronomer. Maria Mitchell was fascinated by astronomy from an early age and encouraged in it by her father who was a keen astronomer. In 1847 she discovered a comet for which she received a prize from the King of Denmark. It had been offered for discovery by telescope of a comet which couldn’t be seen with the unaided eye. The comet was known as Miss Mitchell’s Comet and earned her worldwide fame.
When Vassar College was founded in 1865 Mitchell was the first person appointed to the staff. She became America’s first female professor. She was also director of the college observatory. Mitchell believed in hands-on learning and her students were taught to practical observing as well as theory. She never faltered in her promotion of education and opportunities for women and was one of the founders of the American Association for the Advancement of Women.
*The Perseids Are Coming*
The Perseid meteor shower is usually one of the best of the year, and the milder nights of summer make it a pleasant experience. It’s expected to peak in the early hours of August 12
(so after midnight August 11), but some are predicting the peak in the early hours of August 13. The first Perseids are already arriving, and you could see quite a number any evening around the peak and indeed in the week before and after it. Worth taking a look.
Here is the trailer Meteorwatch.Org did for last year’s Perseids. All accurate except for any explosions included for dramatic effect: http://www.meteorwatch.org/meteorwatch-trailer-2011/
http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art27461.asp Meteor Shower – The Perseids
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I wish you clear skies.
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