astronomy Newsletter


December 18 2018 Astronomy Newsletter

Hi everybody

Here's the latest article from the Astronomy site at

Orion's Dogs - Facts for Kids
There are several canines in the night sky, including a wolf and a fox. But the best known canine constellations are Canis Major (the Greater Dog) and Canis Minor (the Lesser Dog).

But remember, it's for anyone, not just kids.

*Astro Advent Calendar*
If you haven't been following the advent calendar on the Forum, have a look. I've found some interesting pictures to share.

*Seasonal articles*
Another Forum thread is showcasing articles with a winter theme.

*Transit of Venus - anniversary*
On December 4 1639, Jeremiah Horrocks and William Crabtree in England became the first people ever to observe a transit of Venus.

*Birth anniversaries*
(1) December 7, 1905: Dutch-American astronomer Gerard Kuiper, father of modern planetary science.
(2) December 11, 1863: American astronomer Annie Jump cannon who classified nearly a quarter of a million star spectra for the Henry Draper Catalogue and oversaw its publication after the death of Edward Pickering.
(3) December 14, 1546: Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe, the greatest ever observer in the days before the telescope. His extensive collection of accurate observations made it possible for Kepler to work out the orbits of the planets.

*Space missions - anniversaries*
(1) December 1, 2013: China's Chang'e-3 spacecraft was launched to the Moon. It had a lander and a rover.
(2) December 2, 1995: NASA/ESA's Solar and Heliospheric Observator (SOHO) was launched.
(3) December 2, 1993: the first Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission was launched – it included corrective optics to restore Hubble's blurred vision.
(4) December 6,1998: the Unity and Zarya modules were connected to form the core of the International Space Station (ISS).
(5) December 7, 1970: NASA launched its final manned Moon mission, Apollo 17.
(6) December 10, 1999: the European Space Agency (ESA) launched the Newton X-Ray Multi-Mirror Telescope (XMM-Newton).
(7) December 19, 2013: ESA's Gaia mission was launched.

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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