astronomy Newsletter


February 25 2018 Astronomy Newsletter

Hi everybody

Here is the latest article from the Astronomy site at

European AstroFest 2018 - Space Missions
For two days there was no need for a telescope to view the Universe, though you might have decided to buy one for later on. The Universe came to London in the form of European AstroFest – all under one roof in the Kensington Conference and Events Centre. Here is Part 1 of some highlights.

*In Memoriam*
Three NASA tragedies spanned four decades, but their anniversaries occur within a week of each other. The annual memorial even took place at the Kennedy Space Center on January 25th this year.
(1) January 27, 1967: the three members of the Apollo 1 crew died in the command capsule on the launchpad when a fire broke out and they were trapped.
(2) January 28, 1968: the space shuttle Challenger exploded soon after launch, and the seven crew members perished.
(3) February 1, 2003: the space shuttle Columbia broke up during re-entry, killing the seven crew members.

A number of astronauts, almost all American or Russian, have paid the ultimate price for their dreams. Where are their memorials?

*Birth anniversaries*
(1) February 4, 1906: American astronomer Clyde Tombaugh, discoverer of Pluto
(2) February 15, 1564: Galileo Galilei, Italian physicist and astronomer
(3) February 19, 1473: Nicolaus Copernicus, whose work  was a revolution in understanding the Solar System with the Sun in the center

*Space missions*
(1) Feburary 3, 1995: the first space shuttle with a woman pilot was launched – four years later Eileen Collins became the first woman commander of a space shuttle.
(2) February 3, 1966: the Soviet spacecraft Luna 9 made the first successful soft landing on the Moon, and sent back pictures from the Moon's surface.
(3) February 11, 2010: NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) was launched.
(4) February 14, 1990: NASA's Voyager 1 took a Family Portrait, looking towards the Sun from 6 billion km away. Earth is only one pixel of the image, christened by Carl Sagan "the pale blue dot".
(5) February 20, 1965: John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth.

*More events*
(1) February 15, 2013: a meteor explosion occurred over Chelyabinsk in Russia causing around 1500 injuries.
(2) February 18, 1930: Clyde Tombaugh discovered Pluto.

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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