astronomy Newsletter


July 26 2012 Astronomy Newsletter

Hi everybody!

Here's the latest article from the Astronomy site at

Naming Planets
From ancient times to the present fifteen Solar System objects have been called planets. But there are only eight planets now. Find out what happened to the other eight and how the planets got their names.

*Sally Ride, the last journey*

Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, died on Monday, aged 61. When she first went on the Space Shuttle, she was the youngest astronaut to go into space. Ride was also certainly the right stuff. She had four degrees from Stanford University, bachelor’s degrees in physics and English, a masters in physics and a PhD in astrophysics. After NASA she went into academia and founded a company whose purpose was to develop exciting and challenging science materials for children and especially to encourage girls into science. The New York Times has written a splendid and interesting obituary:

*Delta Aquarid meteor shower*

If you live in the tropics or the southern hemisphere, you’re likely to see more of this meteor shower than those further north. For everyone, the peak is expected between 2 a.m. daylight saving time and dawn on Saturday July 28 and Sunday July 29. The gibbous moon may well have set before the best viewing time, so be sure to have a look at your local moonset time.

*First photograph of total solar eclipse*

The first photograph of a total eclipse was made on a daguerrotype on July 28, 1851 at the Royal Observatory in Königsberg, Prussia (now Kalingrad, Russia). The photographer’s name was Berkowski. His first name was never published and no one has been able to discover it since.

You can learn more about “Photography and the Birth of Astrophysics” here:

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I wish you clear skies.

Mona Evans,
Astronomy Editor

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