astronomy Newsletter


March 7 2018 Astronomy Newsletter

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Fascinating Facts about Saturn's Moons
Saturn lies in the outer Solar System, ten times farther away from the Sun than Earth is. It's best known for its fabulous ring system, but it also has an amazing system of moons including ring shepherds and a moon that could possibly sustain primitive life.

*Birth anniversaries*
(1) March 6, 1937: Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space. She spent three days orbiting in Vostok 6.
(2) March 7, 1792:  John Hershel, English astronomer, mathematician, chemist, artist, musician and linguist
(3) March 7, 1837:  Henry Draper, pioneer of astrophotography. After his early death, his widow donated money to Harvard College Observatory to complete his catalogue of stellar spectra. A deep sky object with an “HD” prefix refers to the catalogue.
(4) March 9, 1934: Yuri Gagarin, soviet pilot and cosmonaut, was the first human to orbit the Earth.
(5) March 11, 1811: Urbain LeVerrier, French mathematician and astronomer whose calculations enabled the discovery of Neptune.

*Space missions*
(1) March 6, 2015: NASA's Dawn spacecraft went into orbit around Ceres, becoming the first to orbit around a dwarf planet.
(2) March 7, 2009: NASA launched its exoplanet hunter, the Kepler Space Observatory.
(3) March 8, 1979: Active vocanoes were found in Voyager 1 images showing erpuptions on Io, the first ones ever discovered on a body other than Earth.
(4) March 10, 2006: NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) arrived at Mars.

*More events*
(1) March 10, 1820: the Astronomical Society of London was formed – it later became the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS).
(2) March 10, 1977: rings were discovered around the planet Uranus.
(3) March 13, 1781: William Herschel discovered Uranus.

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I wish you clear skies. 

Mona Evans, Astronomy Editor 

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