August 9 2012 Astronomy Newsletter
Here's the latest article from the Astronomy site at BellaOnline.com.
Cassiopeia the Queen
High in the sky, circling the north celestial pole are the distinctive stars of Cassiopeia, the boastful queen who nearly destroyed her kingdom. The Milky Way runs through the constellation and it’s full of star clusters, galaxies and the evidence of the life cycles of stars.
Cassiopeia's husband, King Cepheus, is represented nearby in the sky. You can read about his constellation at http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art29501.asp .
*Curiosity on Mars*
Much celebration earlier in the week when the latest NASA rover, Curiosity, landed safely on Mars! She's already sending pictures back and should be ready to start her exploration and astrochemistry mission. For all the latest news and pictures, here is the link to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Curiosity site: http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/
*Discovery of Deimos – anniversary*
On August 12, 1877 American astronomer Asaph Hall discovered the Martian moon that came to be named Deimos. Six days later he discovered the second moon, now known as Phobos. A number of names were proposed, but Hall selected the names of the horses of Ares (the Greek counterpart of Mars). Deimos means 'terror' and Phobos means 'fear'. (Our word phobia comes from this.) Interestingly, the names were suggested by an English academic named Henry Madan. Over half a century later, in 1930, his grandniece, 11-year-old Venetia Burney, suggested Pluto as the name for Clyde Tombaugh's discovery.
*Perseids peak August 11/13*
Here is a Perseid fireball caught on film by David Hoffman. http://spaceweather.com/submissions/pics/d/David-Hoffmann-IMG_8826_720x480_cr_1344480384_lg.jpg
You can tell if a meteor is a Perseid because the Perseids all appear to originate in the constellation Perseus.
If you aren't able to watch the Perseids in your area, you might want to join Bill Cooke at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. There will be a live video and audio feed on the night of August 11-12 from 11 p.m. To 3 am EDT. http://www.nasa.gov/connect/chat/perseids_2012.htm
http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art27461.asp Meteor Shower – The Perseids
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I wish you clear skies.
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