astronomy Newsletter


November 7 2014 Astronomy Newsletter

Hi everybody

Apologies for the lateness of the newsletter. After BellaOnline's server crash, the coding for the newsletter send was corrupted, and I couldn't get it to send this week.

Here's the latest article from the Astronomy site at

William Herschel
A professional musician named William Herschel was the first person in history to discover a planet. Later, as a professional astronomer, Herschel studied the stars and deep space objects to try to understand “the construction of the heavens.” He was one of the fathers of modern astronomy.

William Herschel's 276th birth anniversary is next week on November 15.

Although last week's newsletter went out, the link to the (then) new article didn't work. So I'm including it here.

Star-gazing - Seeing in Dim Light
How can you see an object by not looking at it? Why do aurorae and deep-sky objects tend to look grey? How can an eyepatch and a red flashlight be useful to an astronomer? Why can a camera flash ruin a night's observing? Answers to all these questions are related to the way our eyes react to light.


November 2, 1917: First light for the 100-inch Hooker Telescope at Mount Wilson. With this telescope Edwin Hubble found evidence that the Andromeda “Nebula” was actually another galaxy. Later Hubble and Milton Humason studied the redshifts of distant galaxies, and Hubble formulated the relationship between the distance and the velocity at which a galaxy was receding. It convinced even Einstein that the Universe was expanding.

November 3, 1957: The first cosmonaut went into orbit on Sputnik 2. It wasn't Yuri Gagarin, it was Laika the dog. Sadly she didn't survive the trip. You can find out more at:

November 8, 1656: Edmond Halley was born. If he hadn't been a contemporary of Isaac Newton, he surely would have been remembered as the most brilliant scientist of his day. Nonetheless he is remembered for realizing that a particular comet is periodic – it comes back at regular intervals. And for this insight, it now bears his name. Halley was a fascinating man who excelled in many scientific fields, and was also a drinking companion of the future Czar of Russia. You can find out more about him here:

November 9, 1934: Carl Sagan was born. He was one of the most influential figures of the 20th century in bringing astronomy to the public. Carl Sagan Day is on his birth anniversary, and is a celebration of his life and work.


I was impressed and delighted with ESA's short film “Ambition” telling the Rosetta probe story as a sci fi movie. Great visuals and a good sense of why and how we seek knowledge. Very enjoyable. And, of course, the next installment of Rosetta's story happens live on November 12th when it's time for the Philae lander to meet the comet. Have a look at

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!

Do pass this message along to family and friends who might also be interested. Remember it's free and without obligation.

I wish you clear skies.

Mona Evans, Astronomy Editor

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