astronomy Newsletter


April 11 2017 Astronomy Newsletter

Hi everybody

Here's the latest article from the Astronomy site at

Spring Triangle – a Seasonal Asterism
There are 88 official constellations covering the sky with no gaps or overlaps. There are also lots of asterisms, recognizable patterns of stars that aren't constellations. They have no official standing, but they have the advantage over many constellations of resembling what they represent.

And here is the previous artice.

Ultra-cool Dwarf and the Seven Planets
When a planet was first discovered around an alien sun in 1995, it was big news. Now we know thousands of them, so it takes something special to get into the news. In February 2017 one team hit the jackpot: a star with seven Earth-sized planets, three of them in the habitable zone.

My apologies for the missing newsletter. I've been traveling and not able to get the newsletters out.

Some historical highlights:
(1) March 13, 1781: William Herschel discovered the planet Uranus, the first new planet ever discovered.
(2) March 23, 1849: American scientist John William Draper (Antonia Maury's grandfather) produced the first detailed photograph of the Moon.
(3) March 25, 1655: Christiaan Huygens discovered Saturn's moon Titan. The Dane's discovery was honored by NASA in naming their Titan probe after him.
(4) April 2, 1845: French physicists Leon Foucault and Louis Fizeau made the first successful photograph of the Sun.
(5) April 3, 1966: the Soviet spacecraft Luna 10 was the first to go into orbit around the Moon.
(6) April 9, 1959: NASA selected its first group of astronauts, known as the Mercury Seven. Sadly, the last of them John Glenn, died last year.

*Birth anniversaries*
(1) March 13, 1844: Percival Lowell, founder of Lowell Observatory in Arizona, USA
(2) March 14, 1855: Giovanni Schiaparelli, Italian astronomer who described channels on Mars, which was mistranslated as “canals”. Percival Lowell was one of those who became convinced there was an alien civilization on Mars.
(3) March 14, 1879: Albert Einstein, a man who needs no introduction.
(4) March 14, 1925: Eugene Cernan, Apollo astronaut and the last man to walk on the Moon.
(5) March 15, 1713: Nicolas-Louis de Lacaille, French astronomer who surveyed the southern skies and named many of the constellations there.
(6) March 16, 1750: Caroline Herschel, German-English astronomer, discoverer of eight comets and a number of deep sky objects, assistant to her brother William.
(7) March 21, 1865: Antonia Maury, American astronomer known for her work on stellar classification.
(8) March 23, 1749: Pierre-Simon Laplace, French mathematician, astronomer and physicist who is sometimes called “France's Newton”.

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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