astronomy Newsletter


December 17 2016 Astronomy Newsletter

Hi everybody

Here's the latest article from the Astronomy site at

Art on the Moon – Moon Museum
The Moon Museum is a fusion of art and science wrapped up in the excitement of space exploration. But what is it? Does it really exist? Can we visit it? Here is an unusual story from the days when men walked on the Moon.

(1) December 15, 1970: Venera 7 was the first spacecraft to land on Venus. The Soviet probe transmitted information to Earth for only 53 minutes, including 20 minutes from the surface.
(2) December 16, 1857: Edward Emerson Barnard was born. He was an American astronomer noted for his excellence as an observational astronomer. Barnard's Star is named for him.
(3) December 16, 1917: Arthur C. Clarke was born. He wrote more than 100 books and inspired scientists and space explorers. In honor of his work, the International Astronomical Union named the distance of 36,000 km above Earth the Clarke Orbit, and asteroid No. 4923 received the designation 'Clarke'.
(6) December 20, 1904: Mount Wilson Solar Observatory was founded.

*December Solstice*
The December solstice is on December 21st and occurs at 10.44 UTC.

*Two Christmas articles*
Cosmic White Christmas
If you're dreaming of a white Christmas, the cosmos may have something of interest. How about deep snow on one of Saturn's moons, a gigantic Christmas tree whose lights are baby stars, a snowman on an asteroid, or an Einstein ring?

Christmas in the skies
Christmas is a special day with a magic of its own. A Christmas eclipse is a great treat and centuries ago a long-awaited comet finally showed up on Christmas day. On the other hand, imagine spending the holidays a quarter of a million miles from home, as the crew of Apollo 8 did.

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I wish you clear skies.

Mona Evans, Astronomy Editor

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