astronomy Newsletter


December 22 2017 Astronomy Newsletter

Hi everybody

Here is the latest article from the Astronomy site at

Winter Hexagon
From March to May you can see the Spring Triangle in northern skies. In summer the Summer Triangle is most prominent, but may be seen all year round in most of the northern hemisphere. There is also a Winter Triangle. But grandest of all is the Winter Hexagon.

*Winter Greetings*
Best wishes to you all whatever winter holiday you may be celebrating – and to those in the southern hemisphere, enjoy your holiday and your summer!

It's not too late, even now, to send Christmas or other winter greetings. You can still download winter holiday greetings from the Hubble Space Telescope site. The Hubble site has a lovely selection of downloadable cards that you can save and incorporate into your own e-greetings.

*Anniversaries – space exploration*
(1) December 2, 1993 – the first Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission was launched.
(2) December 2, 1995 – the NASA/ESA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) was launched. It's still providing essential data about the Sun and space weather.
(3) December 10, 1999 – the European Space Agency (ESA) launched the Newton X-Ray Multi-Mirror Telescope (XMM-Newton), tasked with investigating interstellar X-ray sources.
(4) December 14, 1972 – Apollo 17 astronaut Gene Cernan became the last human to walk on the Moon.
(5) December 14, 2013 – the Chinese lander Chang'e-3 landed on the Moon, and deployed the rover Yutu (Jade Rabbit).
(6) December 19, 2013 – ESA's Gaia spacecraft was launched, a space observatory designed to measure the positions and distances of stars with unprecedented accuracy.
(7) December 20, 1904 – The Mount Wilson Solar Observatory was founded - "solar" was dropped from the name as the 100-inch Hooker telescope came into use.
(8) December 21, 1968 – NASA launched Apollo 8, the first manned mission to leave Earth orbit and go into orbit around another celestial object.

*Birth anniversaries*
(1) December 7, 1905 – Gerard Kuiper, Dutch-American astronomer considered by many to be the 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 – Tycho Brahe, Danish astronomer who was the greatest ever observer in the days before the telescope.
(4) December 16, 1857 – E.E. Barnard, American astronomer noted for his excellence as n observational astronomer. Barnard's Star is named for him.
(5) December 16, 1917 – Arthur C. Clarke, author ofmore than 100 books who inspired scientists and space explorers.

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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