astronomy Newsletter


June 17 2015 Astronomy Newsletter

Hi everybody

Here's the latest article from the Astronomy site at

Cosmic Father's Day
What sort of tie would you give a cosmic father? What would you feed him? Where might he find challenging mountaineering, make an astounding golf shot or get up an interstellar soccer game? How can you send a special man a genuinely galactic greeting? Here's how.

*Philae phoned home*
The big news for this week has to be that ESA's Philae lander has been in touch. On June 13, alarms went off in Darmstadt when Philae sent data to Rosetta which relayed it to Earth. A second burst of data arrived the next day. Rosetta is now being moved into an orbit which will make communications easier.

*Women pioneers in space*
(1) June 16, 1963: The first woman in space was cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova in Vostok 6. She's the only woman to go solo into orbit. One of her qualifications was that she was a keen parachutist. After the space capsule re-entered the atmosphere, the cosmonaut had to parachute to Earth. Here is an infographic about Tershkova's flight:
(2) June 18, 1983: It only took the Americans twenty years after Tereshkova's flight to send a woman into space – Dr. Sally Ride (Ph.D in physics from Stanford University). That did give her the advantage of a nice trip in the space shuttle and a more interesting tour of duty in Space. After NASA she went into academia and also founded a company that produced interesting science materials for young people. Sadly, she died three years ago.

*More anniversaries*
(1) June 18, 1799. Birth of English amateur astronomer William Lassell. He's best known for his discovery of Triton - Neptune's largest moon - not long after the discovery of Neptune itself. His work was highly regarded, and he was awarded the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society. You can read more about Triton here:
(2) June 22, 1675. The Royal Greenwich Observatory was founded. You can read more about the place where time begins:

*Venus and Jupiter in conjunction*
There is a NASA video about the sky show in June:

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I wish you clear skies.

Mona Evans, Astronomy Editor

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