astronomy Newsletter


April 29 2014 Astronomy Newsletter

Hi everybody

Voyager 1 – the First Starship
Has Voyager 1 finally left the Solar System? No, that won't happen for tens of thousands of years. But it has left the bubble that the solar wind makes in space. The spacecraft is in the space between the stars, moving through a plasma made from ancient supernova explosions.

*Birth anniversaries April 28*

Jan Oort, forn 1906: Dutch astronomer who suggested that there was a distant region of the outer Solar System where comets originated. It was named the Oort Cloud in his honor.

Bart Bok, born 1921: A distinguished Dutch astronomer who worked extensively in the USA and eventually became an American citizen. He received many awards and prizes for his work. One of his best known discoveries were certain dense dark clouds of dust and gas. They were named Bok globules, and are now know to be sites for new star formation. He died of a heart attack in 1983.

Eugene Shoemaker, born 1928. American geologist and planetary scientist. He studied asteroids, and discovered – with his wife Carolyn – a number of comets. He died in 1997 in a car accident, and two years later Lunar Prospector took some of his ashes to the Moon. He's the only person whose ashes have been buried on the Moon.

*Darkened cities imagined*

Hong Kong is the most light-polluted city on Earth. But what might it look like at night if Hong Kong had a dark sky? See this amazing picture at: The photographer Thierry Cohen shot the cityscape "day for night" and then added a night sky. Not just any nice sky he could find, but one that he shot at the same latitude as Hong Kong, so that it really could look like that if it were dark. He also has pictures from New York, San Francisco, Rio de Janeiro, Singapore and other cities.

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I wish you clear skies.

Mona Evans, Astronomy Editor

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Mona Evans, Astronomy Editor

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