astronomy Newsletter


February 12 2014 Astronomy Newsletter

Hi everybody

Here's the latest article from the Astronomy site at

Astrofest 2014
“The Universe comes to London,” read the banner on the courtyard wall of the Kensington Conference and Events Centre. Images of the Universe, people who study it, ideas about how it works, and equipment for seeing it occupied the center for the two days of European Astrofest 2014.

*Happy Valentine's Day*

Astronomical Valentines:
Valentine's Day. Is it a romantic day or one invented by greeting card companies and sellers of luxury goods? It certainly isn't an astronomical holiday, but whatever your view of the day, you can enjoy this selection of cosmic valentines.

There are nearly two dozen space-related Valentine images on my “Astronomy Valentines” Pinterest board at:

On Valentine's Day 1990 Voyager 1 took the Solar System portrait showing Earth as a “pale blue dot”: And on Valentine's Day 2000 the spacecraft NEAR went into orbit around asteroid Eros.

*Happy Birthday, Galileo*

Galileo Galilei was born on February 15, 1564. His life, work and relationship with his eldest daughter is the subject of Dava Sobel's book “Galileo's Daughter”:

*Good news, bad news*

Good news: It looks like the Kepler spacecraft is back in business. Here is an infographic that explains how the K2 mission uses solar radiation pressure to stabilize the craft in the absence of a third reaction wheel:

Bad news: The lunar rover Yutu (Jade Rabbit) did not survive the second lunar night. The official announcement came today that its mission was over.

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I wish you clear skies.

Mona Evans, Astronomy Editor

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