astronomy Newsletter


May 27 2015 Astronomy Newsletter

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Here's the latest article from the Astronomy site at

In the darkness of space we see the part of the Moon that the Sun illuminates. But sometimes there is a bright crescent Moon with a dark shadow filling in the rest of the Moon's face. What lets us see the Moon's night side, and how might the phenomenon detect life on distant worlds?

*Birthday - Sally Ride *
America's first woman astronaut was born on May 26, 1951. But for her untimely death three years ago, she would have been 64 yesterday. Ride earned a PhD in physics from Stanford University and from the same university: MS in physics, BS in physics and BA in English. She is still the youngest American astronaut to travel into space, and flew twice on the space shuttle Challenger. For one of the missions she was chosen as a mission specialist because of her experience with the robot arm which she'd helped to design. After leaving NASA, Ride went into academia. One of her many contributions to science was to set up a company to devise science education programs to inspire young people.

(1) May 29, 1919. The solar eclipse occurred that tested and supported Einstein's General Theory of Relativity. You can read more about this at:
(2) May 31, 1975. The European Space Agency (ESA) was formed.
(3) June 2, 2003. ESA launched Mars Express and the ill-fated astrobiology probe Beagle 2. You can read more about Beagle 2 here:

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I wish you clear skies.

Mona Evans, Astronomy Editor

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