astronomy Newsletter


April 29 2015 Astronomy Newsletter

Hi everybody

Here's the latest article from the Astronomy site at

The Sky of Grand Central Terminal - History
In New York City, you can see the Milky Way on the ceiling of Grand Central Terminal. A beautiful mural of the night sky has graced this elegant Beaux-Arts building since its opening over a century ago. But why is there a black spot and hole in the ceiling? Are the constellations really backwards?

*May 5 – not just Cinco de Mayo*
On May 5, 1961, Alan Shepard became the first American in space.

*April 28 – a busy day for anniversaries*
(1) In 1900 Dutch astronomer Jan Oort was born. He was one of the great astronomers of the 20th century. He theorized that there is a reservoir of comets surrounding the Solar System. The Oort Cloud was named for him. You can read more about it here:
(2) In 1906 Bart Bok was born. This Dutch-American astronomer contributed greatly to our understanding of the Milky Way. He discovered the dark globules in which stars are being formed. They've been named Bok Globules for him. You can read more about them here:
(3) In 1928 Eugene Shoemaker was born. He was an American geologist who specialized in meteors and asteroids and their craters. His wife Carolyn was an astronomer and keen comet-hunter. The Shoemakers and their friend David Levy discovered nine comets including one that broke up and hit Jupier.
(4) In 2001 Dennis Tito became the first space tourist when he traveled to the International Space Station with two cosmonauts on board a Soyuz.

*Mercury mission almost over*
The MESSENGER mission ends tomorrow as it drops to the planet's surface. Here are some gorgeous last images from the team: It's wonderful how the color that is to help with analysis of the surface also produces works of art.

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I wish you clear skies.

Mona Evans, Astronomy Editor

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