astronomy Newsletter


October 16 2015 Astronomy Newsletter

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Here's the latest article from the Astronomy site at

Quaoar – What Is It
Beyond Neptune lies the Kuiper Belt where tens of thousands of icy bodies are scattered over billions of miles of space. Quaoar, named for the Tongva creation god, is one of them. It seems to fit the criteria for a dwarf planet, but it's still not on the official list.

(1) October 15, 1829: Asaph Hall was born. He was an American astronomer, now best remembered as the discoverer of the moons of Mars, Deimos and Phobos.

(2) October 15, 1997: The Cassini-Huygens mission was launched. Huygens landed on Saturn's large moon Titan and sent back pictures. Cassini's mission has been extended more than once and it's still collecting data and sending images home. You can find out more about the Cassini Mission and Website here:

(3) October 15, 2003: China sent its first astronaut, Yang Liwei, into space. He was launched on Shenzhou 5.

(4) October 19, 1910: Subramanyan Chandrasekhar born. Chandra, as he was known, was born and brought up in India, but later lived in the USA. He was awarded a Nobel Prize for his work on black holes, but he also made major contributions to various aspects of astrophysics. He did the maths to show how a white dwarf formed from a star that had run out of fuel. The Chandrasekhar limit is the maximum mass of a white dwarf. The book Empire of the Stars deals with his life and work. You can see my review at

(5) October 21, 2008: India launched the Chandrayaan-1 lunar probe. This was India's first lunar probe. Its name was Hindi for "moon vehicle". It malfunctioned before its mission was complete, but nonetheless completed 95% of its goals.

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I wish you clear skies.

Mona Evans, Astronomy Editor

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