astronomy Newsletter


October 27 2016 Astronomy Newsletter

Hi everybody

Here's the latest article from the Astronomy site at

Moons of the Solar System - Quiz
There's no official definition of a moon, but we use it for objects that orbit planets, dwarf planets and even asteroids. Do you know the moons of the Solar System? Here's your chance to learn more.

Halloween is an ancient holiday in the Celtic tradition. It falls on a cross quarter day, i.e., midway between a solstice and an equinox. You can read more about its origins here:

The “Cosmic Halloween Tour” picks out astronomical objects that match the scary theme of Halloween:

“Cosmic Ghosts Ghouls and Vampires” visits some astronomical objects that are described by astronomers in colorful language: Astronomers use colorful language for cosmic objects. But unlike ghosts, ghouls and vampires in horror stories, the cosmic ones aren't scary late at night. Here are tales of the birth, evolution and death of stars, a blinking demon and a star that, at Halloween, seems like the Sun's ghost.

(1) November 2, 1885: Harlow Shapley was born. Shapley was an American astronomer, prominent in the study of the Milky Way, an advocate for astronomy, and director of the Harvard College Observatory for thirty years.
(2) November 2, 1917: First light for the Mount Wilson 100-inch telescope. Edwin Hubble used his observations with this telescope to show that the Universe went beyond the Milky Way, and that it was expanding.
(3) November 3, 1957: Sputnik 2 carried the dog Laika into space.

*Educators: the “All American Eclipse”
The Astronomical Society of the Pacific produces materials for astronomy education. The current edition of “The Universe in the Classroom” presents “a storyline approach to teaching about eclipses, including investigations into lunar phases, the size and scale of the Earth-Moon system, why eclipses happen, and the pattern and frequency of their occurrence.”

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I wish you clear skies.

Mona Evans, Astronomy Editor

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