astronomy Newsletter


March 4 2018 Astronomy Newsletter

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European AstroFest 2018 – Astronomy Potpourri
European AstroFest 2018, billed as “The Universe under One Roof”, was held in the Kensington Conference and Events Centre in London. The conference program included talks on dark matter, gravitational waves, asteroid impacts and wintering in White Mars.

*Birth anniversaries*
(1) February 23, 1945: Ukranian astronomer Svetlana Gerasimenko, co-discoverer of the comet studied by the Rosetta mission
(2) February 27, 1897: French astronomer Bernard Lyot, solar astronomer and inventor of the coronagraph
(3) March 1, 1917: George Abell, American professional astronomer, teacher, writer and science popularizer.
(4) March 4, 1923: Sir Patrick Moore, English amateur astronomer, writer and broadcaster

*Space missions*
(1) Feburary 23, 1990: Pioneer 11 crossed the orbit of Neptune on its way out of the Solar System.
(2) February 1, 1966: the Soviet probe Venera 3 landed on Venus, the first Earthly craft to land on another planet.
(3) March 2, 1972: NASA's Pioneer 10 was launched – it was the first spacecraft to cross the asteroid belt, and the first to visit Jupiter.
(4) March 2, 2004: the European Space Agency (ESA) launched the Rosetta spacecraft.
(5) March 4, 1979: The Voyager 1 spacecraft discovered the rings of Jupiter.

*More events*
(1) February 23, 1987: the light from supernova SN 1987A reached Earth – it was the closest supernova seen in nearly four hundred years.
(2) February 24, 1968: the discovery of the first pulsar was announced – a pulsar is a fast rotating neutron star, the remnant of a supernova.

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I wish you clear skies. 

Mona Evans, Astronomy Editor 

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