astronomy Newsletter


November 21 2017 Astronomy Newsletter

Hi everybody

Here is the latest article from the Astronomy site at

Doodling Spacecraft
Let's look at some doodles celebrating space missions. If you ever search with Google, you may have seen the doodles before. They're drawings and animations celebrating people, events, holidays, inventions and whatnot, incorporating the Google logo in an amusing way.

*Thanksgiving greetings to US readers*
Best wishes for an agreeable Thanksgiving. To find out what you might be having for dinner if you were celebrating it on the space station, have a look at:

*Asteroid from interstellar space*
Astronomers knew that about once a year an asteroid enters the Solar System from somewhere beyond. But only recently have they finally managed to catch one in the act, because they're hard to see. The object that's been caught out has been named Oumuamua (from Hawaiian for 'scout”). It's weird – long, dark and reddish in color. It seems to be either rocky or have a high metal content. It's been travelling through space for millions of years.

*Help find a nickname for 2014 MU69*
Having been to Pluto two years ago, New Horizons is now on its way to another Kuiper Belt object. But New Horizons and NASA realize that (486958) 2014 MU69 - aka MU69 - is a pretty meh name. So they're looking for a nickname for it. The SETI Institute is hosting the naming campaign. Mark Showalter, a member of the New Horizons science team, says "The campaign is open to everyone. We are hoping that somebody out there proposes the perfect, inspiring name for MU69." To vote or propose a name, go to: The campaign closes at 3 p.m. EST/noon PST on December 1, 2017. NASA and the New Horizons team will review the top vote-getters and announce their selection in early January, 2018.

*Birth Anniversaries*
(1) November 11, 1875: American astronomer Vesto Slipher, director of the Lowell Observatory in Arizona. He was the first to discover the redshift of galaxies when he measured their velocities - this laid the foundation for Hubble's later work.
(2) November 15, 1738: German born British astronomer William Herschel was the first person in history to discover a new planet (Uranus). Working in partnership with his sister Caroline, he helped to lay the foundations of modern astronomy.
(3) November 18, 1923: NASA astronaut Alan Shepard was the first American in space, but not the first to orbit. He commanded the Apollo 14 mission and was the oldest person to walk on the Moon.
(4) November 19, 1956: NASA astronaut and military test pilot Eileen Collins was the first woman to pilot a space shuttle and the first woman commander of a space shuttle.

Please visit for even more great content about Astronomy. I hope to hear from you sometime soon, either in the forum or in response to this email message. I welcome your feedback!

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I wish you clear skies. 

Mona Evans, Astronomy Editor 

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