astronomy Newsletter


June 4 2017 Astronomy Newsletter

Hi everybody

Here's the latest article from the Astronomy site at

Ptolemy and the Butterfly – M7 and M6
The objects in the Messier catalog that are the farthest south are two star clusters. M6 is also called the Butterfly Cluster and M7 is also known Ptolemy's Cluster. They're splendid objects seen in their glory in the southern skies, but if you live in the far north you can't see them at all.

*Another pair of colliding black holes*
In February 2016 LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory) announced that it had made two detections of gravitational waves - ripples in space-time. It was one of the major science stories of the year. On June 1st they announced that a third detection had been made. As in the first two cases, the detected waves were generated when two black holes collided.

(1) May 30, 1975: Nine countries signed the convention to establish the European Space Agency (ESA). It came into force on 30 October 1980 with the deposit of the last instrument of ratification.

(2) June 2, 2003: ESA launched Mars Express and Beagle 2. Mars Express is still an operational orbiter. The British lander Beagle 2 was damaged as it landed on Mars and never became operational. More about Beagle 2:

(3) June 2, 1977: 14 delegates from nations around the world plus the UN Secretary-General recorded greetings for the Voyager space probes' "golden record". More about the golden records:

(4) June 3, 1948: the 200-inch Hale telescope was dedicated at Palomar Observatory in California. More about Palomar Observatory:

*Birth anniversaries*
(1) May 30, 1963: Dr. Helen Sharman, the first British astronaut, was born. She went into space on Soyuz TM-12 in May 1991.
(2) June 2, 1930: Apollo astronaut Charles "Pete" Conrad Jr. was born. During the Apollo 12 mission Conrad became the third person to walk on the Moon.

Please visit for even more great content about Astronomy. I hope to hear from you sometime soon, either in the forum or in response to this email message. I welcome your feedback!

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I wish you clear skies.

Mona Evans, Astronomy Editor

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