astronomy Newsletter


February 24 2015 Astronomy Newsletter

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Here's the latest article from the Astronomy site at

Sagittarius the Archer
In northern hemisphere summer, the ancient zodiac constellation Sagittarius stands low on the southern horizon. It's a special constellation, for when you see Sagittarius, you're looking into the heart of the Milky Way.

*First American to orbit Earth*
On February 20, 1962 John Glenn in Friendship 7 became the first American to orbit the Earth. NASA must have been relieved at the successful mission since two Soviet cosmonauts had already done it. On October 29, 1998 John Glenn, by then a US Senator, became the oldest person to go into space. He flew as a mission specialist on the Space Shuttle.

*Moons of Pluto*
Pluto was discovered on February 18, 1930 by Clyde Tombaugh at Lowell Observatory. It was 48 years before Pluto's moon Charon was discovered and then it took another 28 years to find that Charon wasn't an only satellite. On February 22, 2006 two tiny moons were discovered by the Hubble Space Telescope. One was named Nix (classical spelling: Nyx) after the Greek goddess of the night and mother of Charon. The other was called Hydra after one of the mythological guardians of the Underworld, a 9-headed serpent. Recently, New Horizons has got close enough to Pluto to image Nix and Hydra.

*25 Years of Hubble photos*
In honor of the space telescope's 25th birthday, here's a collection of 25 of the telescope's most famous images. You can just scroll through them in awed admiration or click to find out more about what you're seeing. Sensational.

*Birth anniversary: Camille Flammarion*
Flammarion, a well-known astronomy writer and popularizer, was born on February 26, 1842. He founded the Astronomical Society of France, and was also a friend of the French composer Camille Saint-Saëns. You can read more about “Musical Astronomers” here:

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I wish you clear skies.

Mona Evans, Astronomy Editor

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