astronomy Newsletter


November 5 2017 Astronomy Newsletter

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Here is the latest article from the Astronomy site at

Taurids – Halloween Fireballs
Thousands of years ago a comet broke up. A remnant of it still visits Earth, adding to the debris stream fuelling the annual Taurid meteor shower. The shower peaks near Halloween and may produce brilliant meteors – its nickname is 'Halloween Fireballs'. But is there something deadly in the debris?

I tend to think of meteors as things I don't see. In the time someone says “Look!” and I swivel my eyes in the right direction, it's gone. But I once saw a Taurid meteor and it was truly awesome. It was large and an orangey color. It wasn't streaking across the sky, but looking rather as if it were out for a Sunday stroll. And it left a smoke trail. I could see why people sometimes think they're seeing strange aircraft or even alien spacecraft.

*Birth Anniversaries*

(1) 1887 (25th October): Henry Norris Russell - one of the major figures of early 20th century astronomy. He's best known for his development of the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram which demonstrates stellar evolution. (Danish astronomer Ejnar Hertzsprung independently made the same discovery.)
(2) 1885 (2nd November): Harlow Shapley – was director of the Harvard College Observatory for thirty years, best known for his studies of the Milky Way..
(3) 1656 (8th November):  Edmond Halley – English scientist, one of the greatest minds of his era, still known today for Comet Halley which bears his name after he correctly predicted its return.
(4) 1934 (9th November): Carl Sagan – American astronomer, science communicator and writer, humanitarian.

(1) November 2, 1917: the 100-inch telescope on Mount Wilson saw first light. Edwin Hubble would make observations with this telescope that would show there was much more to the Universe than the our own galaxy, and that the Universe was expanding.
(2) November 2, 2000: Expedition 1 arrived at the International Space Station – it has been continuously occupied since then.
(3) November 3, 1957: Sputnik 2 carried the dog Laika into space, the first living creature to enter Earth orbit.

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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