astronomy Newsletter


March 10 2017 Astronomy Newsletter

Hi everybody

Here's the latest article from the Astronomy site at

Astronomical Doodles
Google doodles are little drawings and animations that incorporate the Google name into a presentation of a person or event of note. Here are five doodles with an astronomy theme, including asteroids, a lunar eclipse and how the speed of light was calculated by observing Jupiter and Io.


(1) March 1, 1966: the Soviet probe Venera 3 landed on Venus, the first Earthly craft to land on another planet.
(2) March 2, 2004: ESA launched the Rosetta spacecraft, which then traveled for ten years and billions of miles to rendezvous with a comet, accompany it as it moved through the inner Solar System past the Sun, and deploy the lander Philae.
(3) March 2, 1972: NASA's Pioneer 10 was launched. It was the first spacecraft to cross the Asteroid Belt, and the first mission to Jupiter.

(4) March 6, 2009: NASA launched its planet-hunter Kepler. As of February 2017 Kepler had found nearly 2500 confirmed exoplanets and four thousand possibles for further investigation.
(5) March 6, 2015: NASA'S Dawn spacecraft went into orbit around dwarf planet Ceres, the first spacecraft to visit a dwarf planet.

(6) March 11, 1820: The Royal Astronomical Society of Britain was founded.
(7) March 11, 1977: Rings were discovered around the planet Uranus by a group of astronomers itending to use the occultation of the star SAO 158687 by Uranus to study the planet's atmosphere.
(9) March 11, 2006: NASA's Mars Reconnaissance arrived at Mars. Eleven years later it's still operating.

*Birth anniversaries*

(1) February 27, 1897: French astronomer Bernard Lyot. His most important contributions to astronomy were in solar observing, especially the invention of the coronagraph which makes it possible to observe the Sun's corona without waiting for a total eclipse.
(2) March 1, 1927: American astronomer George Abell. Abell's catalogue of galaxy clusters from the Palomar Sky Survey remains an important piece of work. He was also a teacher, administrator, writer and science popularizer.
(3) March 4, 1923: Patrick Moore, English amateur astronomer, writer and broadcaster.

(4) March 5, 1512: Gerardus Mercator, German-Flemish cartographer, geographer and cosmographer.
(5) March 6, 1937: Valentina Tereshkova. Soviet cosmonaut who was the first woman in space.

(6) March 6, 1937: Joseph Fraunhofer. German optician who was known for the quality of his optical glass and excellent telescope objectives. His name is still known today for his discovery of the dark absorption lines - known as Fraunhofer lines - in the Sun's spectrum.
(7) March 7, 1792: John Herschel. Son of the discoverer of Uranus, John Herschel was one of the 19th century's most distinguished individuals. He was a brilliant mathematician, chemist and astronomer, as well as an accomplished artist, musician and linguist.

(8) March 7, 1837: Henry Draper. Pioneer of astrophotography. Following his early death, his wife Anna donated money to Harvard College Observatory to complete his catalogue of stellar spectra. If you see a deep sky object named with an “HD” prefix, it refers to this catalogue.
(9) March 9, 1934: Yuri Gagarin. Soviet pilot and cosmonaut, and the first human to orbit the Earth.
(10) March 11, 1811: Urbain LeVerrier. French mathematician and astronomer whose calculations led to the discovery of Neptune.

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

Unsubscribe from the Astronomy Newsletter

Online Newsletter Archive for Astronomy Site

Master List of BellaOnline Newsletters

Editor's Picks Articles
Top Ten Articles
Previous Features
Site Map