astronomy Newsletter


July 21 2017 Astronomy Newsletter

Hi everybody

Here is the latest article from the Astronomy site at

Valentina Tereshkova - the First Spacewoman
Three days orbiting Earth strapped into a space capsule so primitive that no one could land in it. So how did the cosmonaut get home? That's part of the story of the first woman in space, on a solo flight twenty years before NASA sent Sally Ride into orbit on a Space Shuttle.

*Find your way around the space station*
There's not room for everybody on the ISS, but you can now explore via Google using the sort of StreetView you use on the ground.

*48 years after Apollo 11*
Nearly half a century ago – July 16, 1969 – Apollo 11 was launched. On July 20, the first humans walked on the Moon, took pictures and set up experiments as the whole world watched. On July 21, the lunar module Eagle lifted off for the spacecraft to begin the return journey. Sadly, Neil Armstrong is no longer with us, but both Buzz Aldin and Michael Collins remain.

*5 Historic Anniversaries*

(1) July 5, 1687: Edmond Halley published Isaac Newton's Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica (Latin for 'Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy') which states his laws of motion and of universal gravitation. It's regarded as one of the most important works in the history of science.
(2) July 7, 2003: the Mars rover Opportunity was launched for a three-month mission. It's still at work on the Red Planet.
(3) July 10, 1962: Telstar 1 was launched. It was the beginning of a revolution in communications around the world.
(4) July 14, 2015: NASA's New Horizons mission made a fly-by of Pluto and its moons.
(5) July 16, 2011: NASA's Dawn spacecraft entered orbit around the asteroid Vesta.


(1) July 11, 1732: French astronomer Jérôme Lalande – observer, teacher, writer and popular lecturer.
(2) July 15, 1943: Irish astrophysicist Jocelyn Bell Burnell - as a graduate student she first noted what turned out to be rotating neutron stars. Until then neutron stars were only theoretically an endpoint of the evolution of massive stars.
(3) July 17, 1894: Belgian astronomer and physicist Georges Lemaître - made the first definitive formulation of the idea of an expanding universe and what was to become known as the Big Bang theory of the origin of the universe.
(4) July 18, 1921: US astronaut John Glenn - the first American to orbit the Earth and on a much later trip on the space shuttle, he became the oldest person ever to go into space.
(5) July 19, 1846:– American astronomer Edward Pickering - the director of Harvard College Observatory who hired the women assistants (computers), and who modernized the approach of the observatory to astronomy through the use of photography.

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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