astronomy Newsletter


June 15 2017 Astronomy Newsletter

Hi everybody

Here's the latest article from the Astronomy site at

Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin
How does the composition of a star affect the temperature? In 1925 a young woman solved this puzzle in her doctoral thesis. Her analysis was a great breakthroughs in astrophysics. Otto Struve described it as “the most brilliant Ph.D. thesis ever written in astronomy.”

*Birth anniversaries*
(1) June 5, 1819: British mathematician and astronomer John Couch Adams
His most famous achievement was predicting the existence and position of Neptune, using only mathematics. But Urbain LeVerrier had independently made the calculations and the planet was discovered using LeVerrier's calculations.

(2) June 9, 1812: German astronomer Johann Gottfried Galle
LeVerrier had sent his calculations to Galle who was the first person to see the planet Neptune, knowing what he was seeing. Others had seen it in the past and ignored it:

(3) June 8, 1625: Italian-French astronomer Giovanni Domenico (Jean Dominique) Cassini
Cassini was one of the most important astronomers of the 17-18th centuries, and was the first of four Cassinis to be director of the Paris Observatory. His study of Saturn, including discovering four of Saturn's moons, led to the NASA/ESA/ASI Cassini–Huygens mission bearing his name.

(4) June 13, 1831: James Clerk Maxwell was born.
Maxwell was the Scottish scientist who showed that electricity, magnetism, and light are all aspects of the same phenomenon – electromagnetism.

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I wish you clear skies.

Mona Evans, Astronomy Editor

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