astronomy Newsletter


March 14 2013 Astronomy Newsletter

Hi everybody

Here's the latest article from the Astronomy site at

Experience the Aurora - film review
Try to imagine seeing the northern lights dancing across the sky above you. A film on a flat screen couldn't duplicate this. But what about one made to be projected on the dome of a digital theater? This was the aim of “Experience the Aurora.”

*Discoveries and discoverers*

(1) On March 13, 1781 William Herschel, observing in his garden in Bath, England, discovered an unknown planet. People had seen the five planets nearest to us for thousands of years, but this was new. The new planet was eventually named Uranus after the sky god and father of Saturn. It's twice as far from the Sun as Saturn, so its discovery doubled the diameter of the known Solar System.

You can read more at “The Herschel Museum of Astronomy”:

(2) William Herschel did much of his work in partnership with his sister Caroline. She didn't discover a new planet, but she was the first woman to be credited with the discovery of a comet. In her lifetime she discovered seven of them altogether, as well as nebulae, galaxies and star clusters. Caroline Herschel was born on March 16, 1750. Read about her extraordinary life at:

(3) Urbain Le Verrier was born on March 11, 1811. He enabled the discovery of the planet Neptune through mathematics and Newton's laws. Johann Galle at the Berlin Observatory actually found the new planet based on the information Le Verrier sent him. You can read more about Uranus and Neptune here:

(4) Percival Lowell was born on March 13, 1855. He didn't discover any celestial objects, but he did make possible the discovery of Pluto. He built Lowell Observatory in Arizona and financed the search for what he thought was a tenth planet:

*Apollo astronauts*

It looks as though this week in March was a good time to be born to become an Apollo astronaut. Gene Cernan's birthday is March 14, Alan Bean's is March 15 and Jim Irwin was born on St. Patrick's Day March 17, 1930.

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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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