astronomy Newsletter


July 21 2010 Astronomy Newsletter

Hi everybody

Since yesterday was the 41st anniversary of the first Moon landings, here are two related articles from the Astronomy site at

The Moon - Earth's Daughter
The Moon preserves the history of the early Solar System which weathering has swept from Earth's surface. It lights up our nights and is the ancient timekeeper of human prehistory. A massive collision may have created the Moon from the body of the Earth.

Carrying the Fire - Book Review
What was it like to be one-third of the Apollo 11 crew? Michael Collins, the man in the command module that didn't land on the Moon, tells a fascinating story of astronaut training and space travel. Originally published in 1974, a Fortieth Anniversary edition of Carrying the Fire was issued last year.

Earth and Moon Viewer

One of my favorite websites is the Earth and Moon Viewer. This link is to the main page which tells you about all the things you can do. I have to be careful of this, because I find it endlessly fascinating even though there are still things I haven't explored.

This is a direct link to a page that will let you see the current moon phase as viewed from Earth. It comes up with a picture and information based on the time you access it. However if you want to see the phase on a different date, scroll down the page and you can change the date.

But here's the really good bit. Michael Collins had a little picture on the wall of a crescent shape and reported that even though the coloring was wrong, people identified it as the Moon. It was the Earth. If you click on this link, you will see the current phase of the Earth as viewed from the Moon.

Moon Atlas

If the Earth & Moon viewer doesn't interest you, maybe an interactive lunar atlas would. You do have to have Javascript in order to identify the features by running your mouse over them. If you're observing or photographing the Moon, you might try finding the features you saw. You can also - with patience - find Apollo landing sites. I had a go at the Apollo 11 landing site and did finally locate it in the southwest part of D5.

Please visit for even more great content about Astronomy.

To participate in online discussions, this site has a community forum all about Astronomy located here -

I hope to hear from you sometime soon, either in the forum or in response to this email message. I welcome your feedback!

Do pass this message along to family and friends who might also be interested. Remember it's free and without obligation.

Mona Evans, Astronomy Editor

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