astronomy Newsletter


October 16 2013 Astronomy Newsletter

Hi everybody

Here's the latest article from the Astronomy site at

Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2013
Gasp at the Galaxy's starry glow. Be awed by aurorae. Marvel at meteors. Be dazzled by deep space. It's the Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2013 competition winners. If you can't see the exhibition in Greenwich, England, it's also online.

Some anniversaries for the week

October 15
(1) 1829: Asaph Hall was born.
He was a professor at the US Naval Observatory and later lectured in celestial mechanics at Harvard University. Today Hall is best known for having discovered the two moons of Mars, Deimos and Phobos. He was honoured by major international prizes for his work.
(2) 1997: Cassini-Huygens was launched.
The international space mission was named for Jean Dominque Cassini (Italian-French astronomer) and Dutch astronomer and polymath Christiaan Huygens. The Huygens part of the mission was a lander which went to Saturn’s moon Titan and sent back data. [There’s more about the Cassini mission at]

October 19, 1910: Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar was born.
Chandrasekhar was an Indian-American mathematician and astrophysicist and Nobel laureate. The “Chandrasekhar limit” is the maximum mass of a white dwarf. Besides his pioneering work on white dwarfs, he made major contributions to the understanding of many distinct areas of stellar evolution, general relativity and gravitational waves. (The book “Empire of the Stars” is about Chandrasekhar’s life and work. It’s reviewed here:

October 22, 1905: Karl G. Jansky was born.
Jansky was an American physicist and radio engineer. He discovered that there is radio emission coming from the Milky Way. Jansky himself was not an astronomer, but his work laid the foundation for radio astronomy. As I mentioned in last week’s newsletter, the radio telescope called the Very Large Array (VLA) in New Mexico was renamed the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array.

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I wish you clear skies.

Mona Evans, Astronomy Editor

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