astronomy Newsletter


January 12 2016 Astronomy Newsletter

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Here's the latest article from the Astronomy site at

Four Astronomy Non-events of 2015
In 2015 we learned a lot about the Solar System and beyond. And the splendid sky events included a solar eclipse and two lunar eclipses. Yet, as ever, people on social media people who delight in disaster were declaring doom. Should we be apprehensive? Let's see.

*Birth anniversaries*
On January 19,
(1) Johann Bode was born in 1747. He produced two major star atlases, was the director of the Berlin Observatory for four decades, and a prolific writer. His name lives on in a relationship known as Bode's Law. You can find out more here:
(2) Jacobus Kapteyn was born in 1851. He was a Dutch astronomer who made extensive studies of the Milky Way.

*Huygens anniversary*
On January 14, 2005 ESA's Huygens probe, having been released by the Cassini spaceship, landed on Titan. For last year's 10th anniversary, there was a new visualization of Huygens data. It shows close-ups and multiple angles for a simulated probe's eye view. (Credit: ESA–C. Carreau/Schröder, Karkoschka et al)

*Tributes to David Bowie (1947-2016)*
Astronaut Chris Hadfield sang a version of Bowie's "Major Tom" on the International Space Station. Bowie was delighted, posting on Facebook that it was “possibly the most poignant version of the song ever created”. You can see the video here:

Yesterday Hadfield tweeted his tribute to Bowie:
"Ashes to ashes, dust to stardust. Your brilliance inspired us all. Goodbye Starman."

Rosetta Mission's tweet:
"RIP David Bowie fellow space traveller"

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I wish you clear skies.

Mona Evans, Astronomy Editor

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