astronomy Newsletter


March 13 2019 Astronomy Newsletter

Hi everybody

Here's the latest article from the Astronomy site at

Arcturus - the Bear Guardian
Arcturus is the brightest star in the constellation Boötes (the Herdsman) and the fourth brightest in the entire sky. It's been prominent in the skylore of many cultures for thousands of years, opened a World Fair, and may have been born in another galaxy.

*Birth anniversaries*
(1) March 6, 1937: Valentina Tereshkova. The first woman in space, a Soviet cosmonaut who spent three days orbiting in Vostok 6.
(2) John Herschel. Son of the discoverer of Uranus, John Herschel was one of the 19th century's most distinguished individuals - a brilliant mathematician, chemist and astronomer, and accomplished author, artist, musician and linguist.
(3) March 7, 1837: Henry Draper. Draper was a pioneer of astrophotography. Following his early death, his wife Anna donated money to Harvard College Observatory to complete his catalogue of stellar spectra. A deep sky object with an “HD” prefix refers to this catalogue.
(4) March 9, 1934: Yuri Gagarin. This Soviet pilot and cosmonaut was the first human to orbit the Earth.
(5) March 11, 1811: Urbain LeVerrier. The calculations of this French mathematician and astronomer enabled the Berlin Observatory to discover the planet Neptune.
(6) March 13, 1855: Percival Lowell. The American businessman, author, mathematician and astronomer who founded the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona.

*Astro events*
(1) March 2, 2004: the European Space Agency (ESA) launched Rosetta which went on to travel for ten years and billions of miles to rendezvous with a comet, deploy a lander and accompany the comet as it moved through the inner Solar System past the Sun.
(2) March 2, 1972: NASA's Pioneer 10 was launched. It was the first spacecraft to cross the Asteroid Belt and to complete the first mission to Jupiter. It's now over 123 AU from the Sun.
(3) March 7, 2009: NASA launched its planet-hunter Kepler. During its two missions the space telescope found 2700 confirmed exoplanets and 3000 possibles for further investigation.
(4) March 13, 1781: William Herschel became the first person in history to discover a planet when he found the planet Uranus.

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!  

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I wish you clear skies.

Mona Evans, Astronomy Editor

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